The Feast of the Archangels – Our Heavenly Friends
September 29 is the Feast of the Archangels. This is a special day on which we remember three angels who are powerful with God. What distinguishes an archangel from an angel? In Heaven, there are nine choirs of angels and the archangels are members of the second-last choir. Their name means “above the angels.” We know the names of three of the archangels – Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Each archangel has a name with a special meaning. Saint Michael’s name means, “Who is like God?” He is the leader of all angels in God’s heavenly army. Saint Gabriel’s name means “Strength of God.” He appeared to Zachariah to foretell the birth of John the Baptist. However, the most important message he ever delivered was to Mary to announce that she was going to be the Mother of Jesus. The strength of God shines through the messages Saint Gabriel delivers. Saint Raphael’s name means “God heals.” He appears in the Book of Tobit, disguised as a human. He travels with Tobiah as his guide, heals Tobit (Tobiah’s father) of his blindness, delivers Sarah from an evil spirit, and brings Tobiah and Sarah together.
On the Feast of the Archangels, we should say a special prayer that they will be with us and protect us. The archangels, just like the saints, want to be our special friends in high places. We should turn to them in our every need on any day and at any time.
Turning to the Archangels
Saint Michael will help us fight fear and temptations. We should pray to him for protection against the attacks of the evil enemy and when we feel weak or powerless. He is also the patron saint of police and soldiers. We should pray to him for the safety and protection of those who strive to keep us safe. There are many special prayers to Saint Michael. The one written by Pope Leo XIII is very popular:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Another prayer to Saint Michael is less common, but just as powerful. There is a powerful story about a Marine who was saved by Saint Michael in 1950. In the story he mentions this short prayer that is very easy to say and remember:
Michael, Michael of the Morning, fresh chord of Heaven adorning, keep me safe throughout this day and in temptation drive the devil away. Amen.
Saint Raphael is the patron saint of the blind, nurses, physicians, happy meetings, and of those waiting for their future spouse. We may only think to pray to Saint Christopher when we travel, but Saint Raphael is the patron saint of travelers as well. Saint Gabriel is the patron saint of media, messengers, and postal workers. We can think of him whenever we pray the Angelus. When we say, The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary… we are talking about Saint Gabriel.
To help introduce children to these powerful angels we’ve created a Saint Michael coloring sheet and magnet. There is a Saint Gabriel magnet and coloring sheet also! There are also stickers of Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel included in the Saint Stickers Multipack.
Powerful Intercessors Throughout the Year
We should pray to the archangels whenever possible, but especially on September 29, the Feast of the Archangels. They are very powerful intercessors! No need is too small or too large for them to handle. They will bring our petitions before the throne of God and help us, just as they have helped countless others before.
Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael – Pray for us and lead us to Heaven!
Monique Sammut is a senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville interning with My Catholic Kids for the fall semester. She is majoring in English Writing with an associates degree in Child Development. She lives in Steubenville with her family and loves to read, write short stories, and make rosaries.