Sunday September 28th. 2014                                                                                        Charity registration No. SC 002876

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Feast of the  Archangels Sts. Michael. Gabriel and Raphael, Monday  Sept. 29th.

We have the most wonderful friends in heaven, God's   angels, who worship continually in his presence. Their  power to protect us from evil and any harm is very  , but they can also help us to grow in holiness by praying  for our needs constantly before the throne of God.

Who are the angels?  

They are spiritual  beings created by God  to serve him, and are  also sent by God to  watch over the human  race, to deliver his  messages, to guard and  protect us from danger  and from any evil.  Since the beginning of  time, angels have   delivered God's  messages to mankind.  Sometimes these were impending warnings of   danger, sometimes  instructions as to what   to do in a particular  situation, sometimes as   protection from the  forces of evil. The   angels that brought  important news to mankind are called Archangels. and among the  

greatest of these are St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael. And,  of course, God has given each of us since the moment of our  conception a Guardian Angel to look after us throughout our life  .

The power of St. Michael

When something needing great power to achieve God’s will, he sends   . Michael. His name means Who is like unto God. It was he who  overcame Lucifer in the great battle that took place in heaven,  which you can read about in the book of the Apocalypse. Lucifer, whose other name is Satan, in his pride desired to be as powerful as  , and he and his followers were thrust down into hell. He is  destined to tempt and to try to corrupt mankind until the end of time. The Archangel Michael is the greatest of the angels in heaven, and  our protector against the forces of evil. He is also attributed with  powers of healing, and he is called upon frequently to heal the sick.  He was chosen by the  Celtic people as their  saint, and there are  shrines to Michael all over  West coast of Europe  since the 12th century.  They relied on his  protection from the perils  of the sea when fishing,  and also for his help for  providing good weather  for the harvest. There is a  statue of St. Michael at  Cille Choirill  South Uist had a  wonderful tradition of  celebrating St. Michael's  Day, (Lath' Fheill Micheil). It was a holy day when everyone went to  mass, bringing with them  struan (a special form of bread) which was baked the night before. This was blessed by the priest, some given to  poor and the rest brought back home for the special celebration  meal. The graves of loved ones were visited, and the traditional  games took place on the machair. You could borrow your  neighbour's horse without asking, and very often the engagements of young

couples took place on this day.  Many rural towns throughout the land still have Michaelmas Fairs, and the English Universities and Legal professions refer to Michaelmas as the first term studies.  It is sad that the country has lost its devotion to the saints, for this brought a religious contact in to our daily lives and kept the lovely spiritual traditions alive.

St. Gabriel

St Gabriel, whose name means Strength of God, was sent to , the prophet, to explain his vision concerning the . He also announced to Elizabeth and Zachariah the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist, even although they were  both advanced in years. His greatest role was to appear to the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation to ask her if she would consent to be the mother of  the Son of God, the long-awaited Messiah.

His greeting to Mary: Hail, Mary, full of grace. the Lord is with you, is the most frequently used and most familiar prayer to all Catholics in the recitation of the rosary.

St. Raphael

Our knowledge of St. Raphael comes to us from the Book of Tobit. He appeared disguised in human form as the travelling companion of the younger Tobias. During the adventurous course of the journey, the archangel's protective influence is shown in many ways, including the binding of the demon in the desert at upper Egypt. After the return and the healing of the blindness of elder Tobias, Azarias makes himself known as "the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord". He was  by God to heal the elderly Tobias's father of his blindness and to deliver Sarah, his daughter-in-law, from the devil that was the  serial killer of her husbands. The story ends happily with Sarah’s marriage to the young Tobias.

Among Catholics, St. Raphael is considered the saint of medical workers and also matchmaker, for he arranged the marriage of Tobias and Sarah. Try to find time to read the Book of Tobit, as it is a beautiful and moving story.

Tradition also holds  that Raphael is the angel that stirred waters of the pool of Siloam at Betsaida.  His name means God has healed.