Christian tradition assigns priority among the angels of St. Michael. The Hebrew name Mika’el means ‘who is like God’. He is already mentioned in the Old Testament Book of Daniel, indicating that he is one of the “foremost princes of heaven” and the protector of the people of Israel. St. John in the Apocalypse shows Archangel Michael as standing at the head of the heavenly spirits in the fight against Satan. According to tradition, after Lucifer rebelled against God and dragged some of the angels with him, Michael shouted “Who like God” and declared war on Satans.
The cult of St. Michael is very much alive in Christianity. The origins date back to the 2nd century. In the 4th century, Emperor Constantine built the sanctuary of St. Michael. In the 5th century, the miraculous image of St. Michael, and in the following centuries a dozen churches and monasteries were built, which were named after St. Archangel.
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The name Gabriel also appears for the first time in the book of Daniel. It is also a ‘theophoric’ name containing the name of God, meaning the same as ‘man of God’ or ‘God’s warrior’. In the book of Daniel, he explains to the prophet the meaning of the mysterious visions.
In the Christian tradition, Archangel Gabriel brings the Good News. He appears to Zacharias and announces the birth of John the Baptist. He is best known for the scene of the Annunciation of Mary, announcing that she will become the Mother of the Son of God. Some church authors see in St. Gabriel, guardian angel of the Holy Family. According to them, it was he who came to Joseph in dreams, he was to console Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was a herald at the Resurrection and Ascension.
Unique prayers through the holy Archangels
St. Archangel Gabriel was proclaimed by Pius XII the patron saint of telegraph, telephone, radio and television. He is revered as the patron saint of diplomats, messengers and postal workers. In the iconography of St. Gabriel is shown as a young man, usually with wings or a halo. He is most often shown in the scene of the Annunciation. Its attributes are a scepter, a lily, a palm branch or an olive.
St. Archangel Raphael says about himself that he is one of the “seven angels who stand ready and go before the Lord’s majesty”. His name is also theophoric, it means ‘God healed’. Raphael accompanied the young Tobias on his journey from Nineveh to Rega. Along the way, he saves him from many dangers, drives away the demon Asmodeus, restores his eyesight to Tobias’ father.
In St. Archangel Raphael, we see God’s goodness and the work of His Providence. Popular piety sees Raphael as the prototype of the guardian angel.
St. Archangel Raphael patronizes pharmacists, the sick, doctors, immigrants, pilgrims, travelers, refugees and wanderers. In iconography, he is depicted as a young man in an angelic outfit – a tunic and a chlamide, i.e. an outer garment, usually made of wool, tied at the right shoulder or under the chin. Its attributes are a cross, a pilgrim’s staff, sometimes a fish or a vessel.