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Saint of the Day
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

September 29
Gabriel (Michael, Gabriel and Raphael)

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Angels—messengers from God—appear frequently in Scripture, but only Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are named.

Michael appears in Daniel's vision as "the great prince" who defends Israel against its enemies (12:1); in the Book of Revelation, Michael leads God's armies to final victory over the forces of evil (12:7). Devotion to Michael is the oldest angelic devotion, rising in the East in the fourth century. The Church in the West began to observe a feast honoring Michael and the angels in the fifth century.

Gabriel also makes an appearance in Daniel's visions, announcing Michael's role in God's plan. His best-known appearance is an encounter with a young Jewish girl named Mary, who consents to bear the Messiah (Luke 1:26-38).

Raphael's activity is confined to the Old Testament story of Tobit. There he guides Tobit's son, Tobiah, through a series of fantastic adventures which lead to a threefold happy ending: Tobiah's marriage to Sarah, the healing of Tobit's blindness and the restoration of the family fortune.

The memorials of Gabriel (March 24) and Raphael (October 24) were added to the Roman calendar in 1921. The 1970 revision of the calendar joined their feasts to Michael's.


Each of these archangels performs a different mission in Scripture: Michael protects; Gabriel announces; Raphael guides. Earlier belief that inexplicable events were due to the actions of spiritual beings has given way to a scientific world-view and a different sense of cause and effect. Yet believers still experience God's protection, communication and guidance in ways which defy description. We cannot dismiss angels too lightly.


"In praising your faithful angels and archangels, we also praise your glory, for in honoring them, we honor you, their creator. Their splendor shows us your greatness, which surpasses in goodness the whole of creation" (Sacramentary, Preface for Angels).

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Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.

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