Today happens to be the Catholic Feast of Archangels! Another name for this Catholic holiday is Michaelmas (in reference to the leader of the angels, Michael). This is the only Catholic feast day that I’m intimately aware of, helped by the fact that because my birthday happens to be January 29th, this happening on September 29th is easier for me to remember.
Essentially, this is a day for honoring (not worshipping, but venerating) God’s archangels. While the Bible references seven archangels, in the canonical Catholic tradition, only three are named. They are Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Michael is arguably the most famous of all angels across all Christian traditions. He is referenced as the leader of the angels, and the angel who goes toe-to-toe against the devil in spiritual combat.
Gabriel is most famous for bringing the message of annunciation to the Virgin Mary, where it was revealed that she was to be the Mother of Christ.
Raphael is mentioned in the Catholic Book of Tobit, where he is described as the angel of God’s healing. In this book, he provides miraculous healing where hope for such a brilliant recovery had faltered.
There is a fourth Archangel not as well known as these three named Uriel, who is mentioned in the apocryphal (non-canon) books of the Bible. In these books, Uriel is depicted as a giver of visions and revelations. He has been interpreted as the angel with the fiery sword who stands guard over Eden.
The remaining three archangels have been given various names across multiple Christian traditions. Their names widely differ depending on whether somebody follows the Catholic or Orthodox faith. Even then, somebody is bound to get confused as to who is who regarding the final three, because of the vast multitude of names given to them.
Personally, I’m a big fan of studying angels, especially the archangels, because my Methodist upbringing generally didn’t focus on them. Angels make frequent appearances in my dreams, especially Michael the Archangel. Those dreams have been one of the biggest factors in my growing interest in Catholicism.
Also, I had what I believe was a surprise angelic blessing today after losing my guardian angel medallion. I bought this off of Amazon last year out of a growing curiosity over guardian angels. When I thought I’d lost this at my parents’ house last night, I was sad because of what it means to me. To my surprise, this afternoon after turning around in my bathroom, it appeared laying on my counter, with the angel looking right at me. I knew for a fact that I hadn’t placed it there, and that because it had been taken out of our apartment last night, my roommate wouldn’t have been able to place it there either. Somehow, my guardian angel medallion had been returned to me, and it lifted up my soul.
Angels are real indeed, and help us in more ways than we know 💙