Category Archives: Health
Meaning: “Whom God heals”
Other Names: St. Raphael, the Archangel; Israfel
He supervises healers and healing. Archangel Raphael wants you to be as healthy as can be. He is one of God’s heavenly healers (doctors). He’ll gladly help you heal. He is charged with healing the earth. A few more things he is helpful with are prayer, love, joy, providence, healing, light, science, and knowledge. The archangel also takes charge of protecting the young, the innocent, the blind, and the travellers. Raphael is the third (and final) angel mentioned by name in the Bible (he’s mentioned by name in the Tobit, which is Deuterocanonical). He was sent by God to help Tobit, Tobiah and Sarah.
Archangel Raphael is often shown carrying a pilgrim’s staff.
Legend says that when Solomon prayed to God for help in the building of a temple, God answered with the gift of a magic ring brought to the Hebrew king personally by Raphael. Raphael was also the one who gave Noah, after the flood, a medical book said to have been the famous The Book of the Angel Raziel. He also bound the demon Azazel in the desert of Egypt. According to the hadith, Raphael is supposed to signal the coming of Judgment Day.
Sweet Raphael, I call on you, I know that you are there,
and ask you for your healing strength in answer to my prayer.
Please take away the sadness, take away the pain, hold me in your healing wings and make me whole again.
- “Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.” ~ John 5:2-4 (KJV) (Name not mentioned, but associated with healing)
- “So Raphael was sent to heal both of them: Tobit, by removing the white films from his eyes, so that he might see God’s light with his eyes; and Sarah daughter of Raguel, by giving her in marriage to Tobias son of Tobit, and by setting her free from the wicked demon Asmodeus. For Tobias, was entitled to have her before all others who had desired to marry her. At the same time that Tobit returned from the courtyard into his house, Sarah daughter of Raguel came down from her upper room.” ~ Tobit 3:17 (NRSV)
- “So Tobias went out to look for a man to go with him to Media, someone who was acquainted with the way. He went out and found the angel Raphael standing in front of him; but he did not perceive that he was an angel of God.” ~ Tobit 5:4
- “I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ready and enter before the glory of the Lord.” ~ Tobit 12:15
- “But he said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; peace be with you. Bless God for evermore. As for me, when I was with you, I was not acting on my own will, but by the will of God. Bless him each and every day; sing his praises. Although you were watching me, I really did not eat or drink anything – but what you saw was a vision. So now get up from the ground, and acknowledge God. See, I am ascending to him who sent me. Write down all these things that have happened to you.’ And he ascended.” Tobit 12:17-20
- The Book of Tobit has a lot of things about Raphael. He is very central to the book.
- “And then Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel looked down from heaven and saw much blood being shed upon the earth, and all lawlessness being wrought upon the earth. . . .” ~ Enoch 9:1-2 (http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/ethiopian/enoch/index.html)
- “and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world. And again the Lord said to Raphael: Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. . . .” ~ Enoch 10:4-8
- “Raphael, one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men.” ~ Enoch 20:3
- “Then Raphael answered, one of the holy angels who was with me, and said unto me: ‘These hollow places have been created for this very purpose, that the spirits of the souls of the dead should assemble therein, yea that all the souls of the children of men should assemble here. And these places have been made to receive them till the day of their judgement and till their appointed period [till the period appointed], till the great judgement (comes) upon them.’ I saw (the spirit of) a dead man making suit, and his voice went forth to heaven and made suit. And I asked Raphael the angel who was with me, and I said unto him: ‘This spirit which maketh suit, whose is it, whose voice goeth forth and maketh suit to heaven ?’ And he answered me saying: ‘This is the spirit which went forth from Abel, whom his brother Cain slew, and he makes his suit against him till his seed is destroyed from the face of the earth, and his seed is annihilated from amongst the seed of men.'” ~ Enoch 22:3-7
- “Then Raphael the holy angel, who was with me, answered me and said: ‘This is the tree of wisdom, of which thy father old (in years) and thy aged mother, who were before thee, have eaten, and they learnt wisdom and their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked and they were driven out of the garden.’” ~ Enoch 32:6
- “. . . And he said to me: This first is Michael, the merciful and long-suffering: and the second, who is set over all the diseases and all the wounds of the children of men, is Raphael: and the third, who is set over all the powers, is Gabriel: and the fourth, who is set over the repentance unto hope of those who inherit eternal life, is named Phanuel. 10 And these are the four angels of the Lord of Spirits and the four voices I heard in those days.” ~ Enoch 40:9-10
- “And Michael, and Gabriel, and Raphael, and Phanuel shall take hold of them on that great day, and cast them on that day into the burning furnace, that the Lord of Spirits may take vengeance on them for their unrighteousness in becoming subject to Satan and leading astray those who dwell on the earth.” ~ Enoch 54:6
- “. . . And on that day Michael answered Raphael and said: The power of the spirit transports and makes me to tremble because of the severity of the judgement of the secrets, the judgement of the angels: who can endure the severe judgement which has been executed, and before which they melt away ? And Michael answered again, and said to Raphael: Who is he whose heart is not softened concerning it, and whose reins are not troubled by this word of judgement (that) has gone forth upon them because of those who have thus led them out ? And it came to pass when he stood before the Lord of Spirits, Michael said thus to Raphael: I will not take their part under the eye of the Lord; for the Lord of Spirits has been angry with them because they do” ~ Enoch 68:2-4
- “. . . And Michael, and Raphael, and Gabriel, and Phanuel, And the holy angels who are above the heavens, Go in and out of that house. And they came forth from that house, And Michael and Gabriel, Raphael and Phanuel, And many holy angels without number.” ~ Enoch 71:8-9
- “And these blessings which went forth out of my mouth were well pleasing before that Head of Days. And that Head of Days came with Michael and Gabriel, Raphael and Phanuel, thousands and ten thousands of angels without number.” ~ Enoch 71:12
- “The horn will be blown, whereupon everyone in the heavens and the earth will be struck unconscious, except those who will be spared by GOD. Then it will be blown another time, whereupon they will all rise up, looking.” ~ Sura 39:68 (http://www.quran-islam.org/main_topics/quran_in_english_(P1223).html)
In the autumn, people in various places bring animals to church for a special ceremony called the Blessing of Pets. This ceremony is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. His feast day is October 4th (Mackin).
There are two Franciscan blessings for animals. One is for all animals. The other is for sick animals (AmericanCatholic.org).
Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. On the fifth and sixth days of creation, you called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all animals his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this animal. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.
Heavenly Father, you created all things for your glory and made us stewards of this creature. If it is your will, restore it to health and strength. Blessed are you, Lord God, and holy is your name for ever and ever. Amen.
As the prayer is offered, the pet is gently sprinkled with holy water. Some cats are known for flattening their ears as the “drops of water lightly pelt them.” If the animal is not able to be present, a photo of the animal can be brought in as substitute. The Blessing of Pets is usually held outdoors (Mackin).
We have a close connection to animals, especially our pets. We also know that they have souls (see Wild Souls). Depending on what our beliefs are, we usually bless or baptize (in some form) our children, family, and friends. Why not bless our animals? They need blessings too. God wants us to bless them, for he put them on Earth with us. St. Francis realized the importance of our siblings, the animals.
- AmericanCatholic.org. “‘Do-it-yourself’ Franciscan Animal Blessings.” ‘Do-it-yourself’ Franciscan Animal Blessings. AmericanCatholic.org, n.d. Web. 07 July 2012. http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/francis/animal.asp.
- Mackin, Kevin E. “Blessing of Pets and the Animals – St. Francis of Assisi.” Blessing of Pets and the Animals – St. Francis of Assisi. AmericaCatholic.org, n.d. Web. 07 July 2012. http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/francis/blessing.asp.