Interesting Facts Every Catholic Should know about the Archangels
There are uncountable Angels in heaven but the Church celebrates three(Archangel: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael) in particular for the vital roles they have played throughout the history of God’s people.
Below are some amazing things about the 3 Archangels you probably don’t know about:
– Early Christians regarded St. Michael “the restorer of health”
Although St. Michael has a millennia-old reputation as a warrior, commander, protector, and all-around badass, early Christians regarded him to be a healer. As soldier-martyrs like St. George, St. Demetrios, and St. Theodore was well known, the emerging Church
prayed to St. Michael for the ill and injured. This started to change in the early 4th century when a particular painting showing the archangel conquering a dragon became well known after one of Emperor Constantine’s military victories, and that motif remains one of the most popular images of St. Michael till date.
– Angel Michael was the defender and intercessor for Israel
There are many examples in the Old Testament where Michael contends for Israel and its people against his archenemy Samael, an evil angel thought to be synonymous with Satan. He occurs three times in the Book of Daniel where he instructs the prophet that he is the defender of the Jewish people, and will appear in the last days to save those whose names are written in the Book of Life. Rabbinical tradition believes that Michael was closely involved in some of the most crucial events in the early history of the Hebrew people. It is believed that he declared to Sarah that she would bear a son, desisted Abraham from sacrificing Isaac, and was the angel who contended and blessed Jacob.
– Angel Gabriel proclaimed more than one birth in the Scripture
Most likely, Gabriel’s most popular visitation was at the Annunciation, but he also proclaimed another crucial New Testament birth. He was the angel who visited John the Baptist’s father, Zacharias, and declared to him that his sterile wife Elizabeth would give birth to a son. When Zacharias didn’t believe him, Gabriel was not happy with him and struck him dumb until his son’s birth.
– Angel Raphael is regarded as the most accessible of all the archangels
Archangel Raphael plays a key role in the Old Testament Book of Tobit. Calling himself Azarias, Raphael directs the blind Tobit and his son Tobiah through the desert, fights off a demon, and recovers Tobit’s sight. He also loosed Tobiah’s fiancée Sarah from a demon’s curse. Many displays of St. Raphael picture the angel holding Tobiah’s hand as a dear friend, and for this reason, he has a reputation as being the most accessible archangel.
– Archangel Raphael’s is mostly known as the Angel of Healing
This is probably the reason Church tradition always considers him to be the unknown angel in John 5 who moves the waters of the pool of Bethesda. As the passage describes, an angel would at most times alter the waters of the pool, after which the first person to step on it would be miraculously healed. As a result of Raphael’s reputation as a healer, it made sense to many Church fathers and interpreters of the Bible that he would be this anonymous angel.