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Monday, September 29, 1997

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Archangels Michael, Gabriel, & Raphael

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 or
Revelation 12:7-12
Psalm 138
John 1:47-51

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the coming of raphael

"I solemnly assure you, you shall see..." —John 1:51

Several hundred years ago, the archangel Gabriel was especially recognized through the custom of praying the "Angelus." In the "Angelus," we think of the annunciation of the good news of Jesus' Incarnation and our salvation. It is customary to pray the "Angelus" at morning, noon, and evening.

Over a hundred years ago, Pope Leo XIII composed the St. Michael Prayer and thus made the archangel Michael better known and appreciated than ever before. The St. Michael Prayer is a clear statement about the reality and importance of spiritual warfare, that is, warfare against evil spirits (see Rv 12:7ff).

Although many of us pray the "Angelus" and the St. Michael Prayer, few Catholics are strongly committed to the meaning of these prayers. We refer to Gabriel's good news of the Incarnation but may not evangelize. We ask for Michael's help in fighting the devil but may be silent and subdued about spiritual warfare in the context of our secular society.

We need Raphael to do for us what he did for Tobit. We need our eyes opened to the urgent need for evangelization and the pressing reality of spiritual warfare. "Open your eyes and see! The fields are shining for harvest!" (Jn 4:35) Open your eyes and see the world filled with the fiery chariots of angels and demons (see 2 Kgs 6:17). When we let Raphael open our eyes, we will see why we need Gabriel and Michael more than ever, and we will give these archangels more than lip-service. Raphael, do for me what you did for Tobit.

Prayer:  Lord, "I want to see" (Mk 10:51).

Promise:  "They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death." —Rv 12:11

Praise:  "Raphael pursued (the demon) there and bound him hand and foot" (Tb 8:3).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997