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