The name of the archangel Michael means, in Hebrew, who is like unto God? and he is also known as “the prince of the heavenly host.” He is usually pictured as a strong warrior, dressed in armor and wearing sandals. His name appears in Scripture four times, twice in the Book of Daniel, and once each in the Epistle of St. Jude and the Book of Revelation. From Revelation we learn of the battle in heaven, with St. Michael and his angels combatting Lucifer and the other fallen angels (or devils). We invoke St. Michael to help us in our fight against Satan; to rescue souls from Satan, especially at the hour of death; to be the champion of the Jews in the Old Testament and now Christians; and to bring souls to judgment.
This day is referred to as “Michaelmas” in many countries and is also one of the harvest feast days. In England this is one of the “quarter days”, which was marked by hiring servants, electing magistrates, and beginning of legal and university terms. This day also marks the opening of the deer and other large game hunting season. In some parts of Europe, especially Germany, Denmark, and Austria, a special wine called “Saint Michael’s Love” (Michelsminne) is drunk on this day. The foods for this day vary depending on nationality. In the British Isles, for example, goose was the traditional meal for Michaelmas, eaten for prosperity, France has waffles or Gaufres and the traditional fare in Scotland used to be St. Michael’s Bannock (Struan Micheil) — a large, scone-like cake. In Italy, gnocchi is the traditional fare.
St. Gabriel’s name means “God is my strength”. Biblically he appears three times as a messenger. He had been sent to Daniel to explain a vision concerning the Messiah. He appeared to Zachary when he was offering incense in the Temple, to foretell the birth of his son, St. John the Baptist. St. Gabriel is most known as the angel chosen by God to be the messenger of the Annunciation, to announce to mankind the mystery of the Incarnation.
The angel’s salutation to our Lady, so simple and yet so full of meaning, Hail Mary, full of grace, has become the constant and familiar prayer of all Christian people.
Our knowledge of the Archangel Raphael comes to us from the book of Tobit. His mission as wonderful healer and fellow traveller with the youthful Tobias has caused him to be invoked for journeys and at critical moments in life. Tradition also holds that Raphael is the angel that stirred the waters at the healing sheep pool in Bethesda. His name means “God has healed”.
Quotes on the Angels
1) “When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.” – St. John Chrysostom
2) “Beside each believer stands an Angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life.” – St. Basil the Great
3) “Those closest to God in heaven, the seraphim, are called the fiery ones because more than the other angels they take their fervor and ardor from the intense fire of God.” – St. Robert Bellarmine
4) “When tempted, invoke your Angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel.” – St. John Bosco
5) “How happy is that guardian angel who accompanies a soul to Holy Mass!” – St. John Vianney
6) “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” – G. K. Chesterton
7) “If the Angels could envy, they would envy us for Holy Communion.” – Pope St. Pius X
8) “We should show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux
9) “Make yourself familiar with the Angels, and behold them frequently in spirit. Without being seen, they are present with you.” – St. Francis de Sales
10) “I have great reverence for Saint Michael the Archangel; he had no example to follow in doing the will of God, and yet he fulfilled God’s will faithfully.” – St. Faustina Kowalska
11) “The powers of hell will assail the dying Christian; but his angel guardian will come to console him. His patrons, and St. Michael, who has been appointed by God to defend his faithful servants in their last combat with the devils, will come to his aid.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori
12) “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” – St. Augustine
13) “Ask your angel to console and assist you in your last moments.” – St. John Bosco
Powerful Prayer Invoking The Holy Angels
Bless the Lord, All you His Angels, You who are Mighty in strength And do His Will.
Intercede for me At the throne of God, And by your unceasing watchfulness Protect me in every danger Of soul and body. Bless the Lord, All you His Angels, You who are Mighty in strength And do His Will.
Intercede for me At the throne of God, And by your unceasing watchfulness Protect me in every danger Of soul and body.
Obtain for me The grace of final perseverance, So that after this life I may be admitted To your glorious company And may sing with you The praises of God For all eternity.
O all you holy Angels And Archangels, Thrones and Dominations, Principalities and Powers And Virtues of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim And especially you, My dear Guardian Angel, Intercede for me And obtain for me The special favor I now ask
(State your intention here…).
Say 9 Our Father…