Friday, September 2, 2011

September Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

Sins and its many consequences--->
<---The perpetual Virginty of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


With the clear and sober language of catechesis, the Church teaches that;
"the existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls 'angels' is a truth of faith.
The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition"

Tradition regards the angels as messengers of God, "potent executives of his commands, and ready at the sound of his words" (Ps 103, 20.
They serve his salvific plan, and are "sent to serve those who will inherit salvation" (Hb 1, 14).

HOLY ANGELS

The faithful are well aware of the numerous interventions of angels in the New and Old Covenants.

They closed the gates of the earthly paradise (cf. Gen 3,24),

they saved Hagar and her child Ishmael (cf. Gen 21, 17),

they stayed the hand of Abraham as he was about to sacrifice Isaac (cf. gen 22, 7),

they announce prodigious births (cf. Jud 13, 3-7),

they protect the footsteps of the just (cf. Ps 91, 11),

they praise God unceasingly (cf. Is 6, 1-4),

and they present the prayer of the Saints to God (cf. Ap 8, 34).

The faithful are also aware of the angel's coming to help Elijah, an exhausted fugitive (cf. 1 Kings 19, 4-8), of Azariah and his companions in the fiery furnace (cf. Dan 3, 49-50), and are familiar with the story of Tobias in which Raphael,
"one of the seven Angels who stand ever ready to enter the presence of the glory of God" (cf. Tb 12, 15),
who renders many services to Tobit, his son Tobias and his wife Sarah.

The faithful are also conscious of the roles played by the Angels in the life of Jesus: the Angel Gabriel declared to Mary that she would conceive and give birth to the Son of the Most High (cf. Lk 1, 26-38),

and that an Angel revealed to Joseph the supernatural origin of Mary's conception (cf. Mt 1, 18-25);
the Angels appear to the shepherds in Bethlehem with the news of great joy of the Saviour's birth (cf. Lk 2, 8-24);

"the Angel of the Lord" protected the infant Jesus when he was threatened by Herod (cf. Mt 2, 13-20);
the Angels ministered to Jesus in the desert (cf. Mt 4, 11) and comforted him in his agony (Lk 22, 43),
and to the women gathered at the tomb, they announced that he had risen (cf. Mk 16, 1-8), they appear again at the Ascension, revealing its meaning to the disciples and announcing that;
"Jesus ...will come back in the same way as you have seen him go" (Acts 1, 11).

The faithful will have well grasped the significance of Jesus' admonition not to despise the least of those who believe in him for "their Angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven" (Mt 10, 10), and the consolation of his assurance that "there is rejoicing among the Angels of God over one repentant sinner" (Lk 15, 10).

The faithful also realize that "the Son of man will come in his glory with all his Angels" (mt 25, 31) to judge the living and the dead, and bring history to a close.

Down through the centuries, the faithful have translated into various devotional exercises the teaching of the faith in relation to the ministry of Angels: the Holy Angels have been adopted as patrons of cities and corporations.

Great shrines in their honour have developed such as Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, San Michele della Chiusa in Piemonte and San Michele Gargano in Apulia, each appointed with specific feast days; hymns and devotions to the Holy Angels have also been composed.

Popular piety encompasses many forms of devotion to the Guardian Angels. St. Basil Great (+378) taught that "each and every member of the faithful has a Guardian Angel to protect, guard and guide them through life".

This ancient teaching was consolidated by biblical and patristic sources and lies behind many forms of piety. St. Bernard of Clarivaux (+1153) was a great master and a notable promoter of devotion to the Guardian Angels.

For him, they were a proof "that heaven denies us nothing that assists us", and hence, "these celestial spirits have been placed at our sides to protect us, instruct us and to guide us.

Devotion to the Holy Angels gives rise to a certain form of the Christian life which is characterized by:

devout gratitude to God for having placed these heavenly spirits of great sanctity and dignity at the service of man;
an attitude of devotion deriving from the knowledge of living constantly in the presence of the Holy Angels of God;— serenity and confidence in facing difficult situations, since the Lord guides and protects the faithful in the way of justice through the ministry of His Holy Angels.

Among the prayers to the Guardian Angels the Angele Dei294 is especially popular, and is often recited by families at morning and evening prayers, or at the recitation of the Angelus.

POPULAR DEVOTION

Popular devotion to the Holy Angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations:

when, as sometimes can happen, the faithful are taken by the idea that the world is subject to demiurgical struggles, or an incessant battle between good and evil spirits, or Angels and daemons, in which man is left at the mercy of superior forces and over which he is helpless; such cosmologies bear little relation to the true Gospel vision of the struggle to overcome the Devil, which requires moral commitment, a fundamental option for the Gospel, humility and prayer;

when the daily events of life, which have nothing or little to do with our progressive maturing on the journey towards Christ are read schematically or simplistically, indeed childishly, so as to ascribe all setbacks to the Devil and all success to the Guardian Angels.

The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.

SEPTEMBRE 29: MICHAELMAS DAY

To many, Saint Michael the Archangel, "Captain of the Heavenly Host," is best known as that dauntless spirit who vanquished his peer among the angels, Lucifer, once called "the Star of the Morning."

Michael is a star of the love than conquers pride. Sometimes he is pictured as a winged angel in white robes, but oftener as the armed warrior on the errands of God, about his head a halo and under his foot the demon, prone and helpless.

He was honored in Jewish tradition, and became the champion of Christian warriors as well, although in early ages he was also given the protection of the sick. Of his early sanctuaries, the best known is Monte Gargano in Italy, where he appeared in the fifth or sixth century to the Lombards and insured their victory over the Greek Neapolitans.

In the Middle Ages Michael became in Normandy the patron of mariners. His shrines were built in high places, facing the sea, and Mont-Saint-Michel on its rock is the greatest example of devotion to him, a place of pilgrimage a thousand years ago as it still is today.

In the early days much food was sold around the shrine "bread and pasties, fruit and fish, birds, cakes, venizens," according to an old description.
The fare is simpler today but a visitor to Mont-Saint-Michel will eat a famed and favorite dish.

THE CHRISTIAN LITURGY

The liturgy celebrates the feast of these three archangels, the 29 of September who are venerated in the tradition of the Church.

Michael (Who is like God?) was the archangel who fought against Satan and all his evil angels, defending all the friends of God.
He is the protector of all humanity from the snares of the devil.

Gabriel (Strength of God) announced to Zachariah the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary, the birth of Jesus. His greeting to the Virgin, "Hail, full of grace," is one of the most familiar and frequent prayers of the Christian people.

Raphael (Medicine of God) is the archangel who took care of Tobias on his journey.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the feast of St. Michael. St. Gabriel was observed on March 24 and St. Raphael on October 24.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, "The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls "angels" is a truth of faith.
The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition."

Angels are pure, created spirits. The name angel means servant or messenger of God. Angels are celestial or heavenly beings, on a higher order than human beings.

Angels have no bodies and do not depend on matter for their existence or activity. They are distinct from saints, which men can become.
Angels have intellect and will, and are immortal.
They are a vast multitude, but each is an individual person.

Archangels are one of the nine choirs of angels listed in the Bible.

In ascending order, the choirs or classes are
1) Angels,

2) Archangels,

3) Principalities,

4) Powers,

5) Virtues,

6) Dominations,

7) Thrones,

8) Cherubim,

and 9) Seraphim.

ARCHANGELS´S TASK

Despite the skepticism of our modern age, or the romanaticism of New Age cultic belief in angels as interstellar messengers, angels created by God to be His messengers and Heavenly court are real.

In the same way, we also know that there are good angels who follow and obey God and bad angels called demons or devils, who in pride refused to obey God's commands.

Accepting the existence of devils and of hell then leads to the understanding that Christian tradition holds that the Archangels have four tasks or offices:

To lead the fight against Satan.
To rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death.
To be the champion of God's people, the Jews of the Old Testament, the Christians in the New Testament.
To lead away from earth and bring men's souls to judgement.

The Temptation of Adam and Eve presupposes the reality of evil angels or demons wanting to lead others into disobedience. Accepting the existence of angels then naturally leads to an acceptance of the devil and of hell, which is nothing more than the total and everlasting absence of God without hope of redemption. The pride of Satan and the other demons created hell.

Scriptures give no indication of the precise time of the creation of angels; it is assumed that they were created very early.
Like us, angels were created in and receive God's grace and love. But because, unlike us, they are non-bodily creatures, their response to God's love did not require time and reflection to grow and mature.

As soon as they were created and received grace, they had the opportunity to respond to God's love and be welcomed into bliss.
For them, this choice was once and for all time.

ST. MICHAEL

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.

Patron:

Against temptations; against powers of evil; artists; bakers; bankers; battle; boatmen; cemeteries; coopers; endangered children; dying; Emergency Medical Technicians; fencing; grocers; hatmakers; holy death; knights; mariners; mountaineers; paramedics; paratroopers; police officers; radiologists; sailors; the sick; security forces; soldiers; against storms at sea; swordsmiths; those in need of protection; Brussels, Belgium; Caltanissett, Sicily; Cornwall, England; Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee Florida; England; Germany; Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama; Papua, New Guinea; Puebla, Mexico; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Sibenik, Croatia; Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Symbols: Angel with wings; dressed in armour; lance and shield; scales; shown weighing souls; millstone; piercing dragon or devil; banner charged with a dove; symbolic colors orange or gold.

ST. GABRIEL

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.

Patron:

Ambassadors; broadcasting; childbirth; clergy; communications; diplomats; messengers; philatelists; postal workers; public relations; radio workers; secular clergy; stamp collectors; telecommunications; Portugal; Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington.

Symbols:

Archangel; sceptre and lily; MR or AM shield; lantern; mirror; olive branch; scroll with words Ave Maria Gratia Plena; Resurrection trumpet; shield; spear; lily; symbolic colors, silver or blue.

ST. RAPHAEL

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".

Patron:

Blind; bodily ills; counselors; druggists; eye problems; guardian angels; happy meetings; healers; health inspectors; health technicians; love; lovers; mental illness; nurses; pharmacists; physicians; shepherds; against sickness; therapists; travellers; young people; young people leaving home for the first time; Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa; Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington.

Symbols:

Staff; wallet and fish; staff and gourd; archangel; young man carrying a staff; young man carrying a fish; walking with Tobias; holding a bottle or flask; symbolic colors, gray or yellow.

PRAYER TO ST. MICHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL

This prayer was composed by Pope Leo XIII. He wrote it after experiencing a vision that showed the battle between between the Church and Satan.
Please see: *St. Michael the Archangel.

In 1886, this prayer and the Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina) were to be recited at the end of the "low" Mass ("low" meaning the Mass that was spoken, with no music, compared to the "high", or sung Masses). This practice was discontinued around 1970.

In April 1994, during the International Year of the Family, Pope John Paul II during his Regina Coeli message asked all Catholics to pray this prayer daily. We invoke the help of St. Michael in our struggle against Satan and sin.

St. 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 host, by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who roam about the world,
seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

PRAYER TO ST. GRABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL.

Blessed Saint Gabriel, Archangel We beseech you to intercede for us at the throne of divine mercy:
As you announced the mystery of the Incarnation to Mary, so through your prayers may we receive strength of faith and courage of spirit, and thus find favor with God and redemption through Christ Our Lord.
May we sing the praise of God our Savior with the angels and saints in heaven forever and ever.
Amen.

PRAYER TO ST. RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL

Blessed Saint Raphael, Archangel, We beseech you to help us in all our needs and trials of this life, as you, through the power of God, didst restore sight and gave guidance to young Tobit. We humbly seek your aid and intercession, that our souls may be healed, our bodies protected from all ills, and that through divine grace we may become fit to dwell in the eternal Glory of God in heaven. Amen.


LITANY OF THE SAINTS

Lord, have mercy on us. (Lord have mercy on us.)
Christ, have mercy on us. (Christ have mercy on us.)
Lord, have mercy on us. (Lord, have mercy on us.)

Christ, hear us. (Christ, hear us.)
Christ, graciously hear us. (Christ, graciously hear us.)

God the Father of heaven, (have mercy on us.)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, (have mercy on us.)
God the Holy Ghost, (have mercy on us.)
Holy Trinity, one God, (repeat in all---> (have mercy on us,)
Holy Mary,
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,

St. Michael,
St. Gabriel,
St. Raphael,
All ye holy Angels and Archangels,
All ye holy orders of blessed Spirits,

St. John the Baptist,
St. Joseph,
All ye holy Patriarchs and Prophets,

St. Peter,
St. Paul,
St. Andrew,
St. James,
St. John,
St. Thomas,
St. James,
St. Philip,
St. Bartholomew,
St. Matthew,
St. Simon,
St. Thaddeus,
St. Matthias,
St. Barnabas,
St. Luke,
St. Mark,
All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists,
All ye holy Disciples of the Lord,

All ye holy Innocents,
St. Stephen,
St. Lawrence,
St. Vincent,
SS. Fabian and Sebastian,
SS. John and Paul,
SS. Cosmas and Damian,
SS. Gervase and Protase,
All ye holy Martyrs,

St. Sylvester,
St. Gregory,
St. Ambrose,
St. Augustine,
St. Jerome,
St. Martin,
St. Nicholas,
All ye holy Bishops and Confessors,
All ye holy Doctors,

St. Anthony,
St. Benedict,
St. Bernard,
St. Dominic,
St. Francis,
All ye holy Priests and Levites,
All ye holy Monks and Hermits,

St. Mary Magdalen,
St. Agatha,
St. Lucy,
St. Agnes,
St. Cecilia,
St. Catherine,
St. Anastasia,
All ye holy Virgins and Widows, pray for us.

All ye holy Saints of God, (Make intercession for us.)

Be merciful, (Spare us, O Lord.)
Be merciful, (Graciously hear us, O Lord.)
From all evil, O Lord
From all sin,
From Thy wrath,
From sudden and unlooked for death,
From the snares of the devil,
From anger, and hatred, and every evil will,
From the spirit of fornication,
From lightning and tempest,
From the scourge of earthquakes,
From plague, famine and war,
From everlasting death,
Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation,
Through Thy Coming,
Through Thy Birth,
Through Thy Baptism and holy Fasting,
Through Thy Cross and Passion,
Through Thy Death and Burial,
Through Thy holy Resurrection,
Through Thine admirable Ascension,
Through the coming of the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete.
In the day of judgment, deliver us.

We sinners,

That Thou wouldst spare us,

That Thou wouldst pardon us,

That Thou wouldst bring us to true penance,

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to govern and preserve Thy holy Church,

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve our Apostolic Prelate, and all orders of the Church in holy religion,

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of holy Church,

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes,

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant peace and unity to the whole Christian world,

That Thou wouldst call back to the unity of the Church all who have strayed from her fold, and to guide all unbelievers into the light of the Gospel,

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us in Thy holy service,

That Thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly desires,

That Thou wouldst render eternal blessings to all our benefactors,

That Thou wouldst deliver our souls, and the souls of our brethren, relations, and benefactors, from eternal damnation,

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth,

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed,

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to hear us,

Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear us.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, (spare us, O Lord.)
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, (graciously hear us, O Lord.)
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, (have mercy on us.)

Christ, (hear us.)
Christ, (graciously hear us.)
Lord, have mercy, (Lord, have mercy.)
Christ, have mercy, (Christ, have mercy.)
Lord, have mercy, (Lord, have mercy.)

[Our Father inaudibly] And lead us not into temptation (but deliver us from evil.)


PRAYER TO ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen.

No comments: