Saint Raphael the Archangel

Feast Day: October 24th

Saint Raphael

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The name of this archangel (Raphael = "God has healed") does not appear in the Hebrew Scriptures, and in the Septuagint only in the Book of Tobias. Here he first appears disguised in human form as the travelling companion of the younger Tobias, calling himself "Azarias the son of the great Ananias". The story of the adventurous journey during which the protective influence of the angel is shown in many ways including the binding "in the desert of upper Egypt" of the demon who had previously slain seven husbands of Sara, daughter of Raguel, is picturesquely related in Tobit 5-11, to which the reader is referred. After the return and the healing of the blindness of the elder Tobias, Azarias makes himself known as "the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord" (Tob., xii, 15. Cf. Apoc., viii, 2). Of these seven "archangels" which appear in the angelology of post-Exilic Judaism, only three, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael, are mentioned in the canonical Scriptures. The others, according to the Book of Enoch (cf. xxi) are Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jerahmeel, while from other apocryphal sources we get the variant names Izidkiel, Hanael, and Kepharel instead of the last three in the other list.

    Regarding the functions attributed to Raphael we have little more than his declaration to Tobias (Tobit 12) that when the latter was occupied in his works of mercy and charity, he (Raphael) offered his prayer to the Lord, that he was sent by the Lord to heal him of his blindness and to deliver Sara, his son's wife, from the devil. The Jewish category of the archangels is recognized in the New Testament (I Thess., iv, 15; Jude, 9), but only Gabriel and Michael are mentioned by name. Many commentators, however, identify Raphael with the "angel of the Lord" mentioned in John 5. This conjecture is base both on the significance of the name and on the healing role attributed to Raphael in the Book of Tobias. The Church assigns the feast of St. Raphael to 24 October. The hymns of the Office recall the healing power of the archangel and his victory over the demon. The lessons of the first Nocturn and the Antiphons of the entire Office are taken from the Book of Tobias, and the lessons of the second and third Nocturns from the works of St. Augustine, viz. for the second Nocturn a sermon on Tobias (sermon I on the fifteenth Sunday), and for the third, a homily on the opening verse of John, v. The Epistle of the Mass is taken from the twelfth chapter of Tobias, and the Gospel from John 5:1-4, referring to the pool called Probatica, where the multitude of the infirm lay awaiting the moving of the water, for "an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved.And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under". Thus the conjecture of the commentators referred to above is confirmed by the official Liturgy of the Church.

Vigouroux, Dict. de la Bible, s. v. Raphael.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XII
Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1911, Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

Text Courtesy of TraditionalCatholic.Net

Prayers to Saint Raphael

O Raphael, lead us toward those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us: Raphael, Angel of happy meeting, lead us by the hand toward those we are looking for. May all our movements be guided by your Light and transfigured with your joy. Angel, guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whole unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze. Lonely and tired, crush by the separations and sorrows of life, we feel the need of calling you and of pleading for the protection of your wings, so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy, all ignorant of the concerns of our country. Remember the weak, you who are strong, you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God. Amen

Dear Saint Raphael, your lovely name means "God heals." The Lord sent you to young Tobiah to guide him throughout a long journey. Upon his return you taught him how ot cure his father's blindness. How natural, therefore, for Christians to pray for your powerful help for safe travel and a happy return. This is what we ask for ourselves as well as for all who are far from home. Amen

Saint Raphael, the archangel, you were the faithful companion to young Tobiah on his journey from Syria to Media, rescuing him from many dangers, even the danger of death in the river. Be a safe guide and an angel of consolation to those we love traveling to foreign lands. Keep far from them all dangers of body and soul, and lead them safely to their destination. Lord God, grant us the help of Saint Raphael, who enters and serves before your glory and offers you our petitions. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Litany of Saint Raphael the Archangel

(The angel of healing---see the Book of Tobit in the Old Testament)


Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, 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 Spirit,

Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God,

Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Queen of Angels,

pray for us.

Saint Raphael,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, filled with the mercy of God,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, perfect adorer of the Divine Word,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, terror of demons,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, exterminator of vices,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, health of the sick,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, our refuge in all our trials,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, guide of travellers,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, consoler of prisoners,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, joy of the sorrowful,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, filled with zeal for the salvation of souls,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, whose name means "Medicine of God,"

pray for us.

St. Raphael, lover of chastity,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, scourge of demons,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, in pest, famine and war, pray for us.

St. Raphael, angel of peace and prosperity,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, endowed with the grace of healing,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, sure guide in the paths of virtue and sanctification,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, help of all those who implore thy assistance,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, who wert the guide and consolation of Tobias on his journey,

pray for us.

St. Raphael, whom the Scriptures praise:

"Raphael, the holy angel of the Lord, was sent to cure,"

pray for us.

St. Raphael, our advocate,

pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,

Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,

Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,

Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

V. Pray for us, St. Raphael, to the Lord Our God,

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus Christ, by the prayer of the Archangel Raphael, grant us the grace to avoid all sin and to persevere in every good work until we reach our heavenly country, Thou who livest and reignest world without end.

R. Amen.