For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 1 Thes. 4:16
Today the church recalls the archangels Raphael, Gabriel and Michael. These mighty messengers from God have a very special purpose in God’s plan of salvation and divine revelation for us. We too have our own guardian angels that work on our behalf. All three religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity recognize the concept of angels and their importance (Hopler, Whitney. “Angels According to Multiple Religions.” Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, learnreligions.com/who-are-angels-123812.).
I myself can recall those times in my life where nothing other than a miraculous encounter from God & message was sent such as driving a 6 hour stretch from college and instances that kept me awake & guided me on my path. So too, does Raphael, Gabriel and Michael hold a special place for us as Christians.
Michael Rev. 12:7 “Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
Gabriel Lk. 1:26-28 “In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
Raphael Tobit 12:15-17
“I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand and serve before the Glory of the Lord. Greatly shaken, the two of them fell prostrate in fear. But Raphael said to them: Do not fear; peace be with you! Bless God now and forever.”
If we saw an angel, we would probably faint or be taken aback since they are beings directly from the heavenly abode. As St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us, there are different classifications of angels with Archangels following in three ranks with principalities and angels.
From the entrance collect (prayer):
O God, who dispose in marvelous order ministries both angelic and human, graciously grant that our life on earth may be defended by those who watch over us as they minister perpetually to you in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen