War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them.”
Why do we, Catholics, celebrate the Feast of Archangels?
The origin of “angel” comes from the Greek word, “aggelos” and this word was interpreted from the Hebrew word, “mal’ak,” which means “messenger.” Even though these creatures are spirits they were created by God to praise, worship, and pray to the Almighty. They were also created to protect, pray, inspire, encourage, and to convey His plans to us, humans.
Have you had an encounter with an angel?
I had an experience while driving that can’t be logically explained. On a busy street, I passed a car and there I was facing on-coming vehicles. I knew I was going to get hit by one of those cars, but before I knew it, I was past the spot where I should have contacted one of the cars. It was as though I hopped over them. After I realized that I was spared by some supernatural power, I thanked my angel for his protection.
There are Biblical references of the missions that God sent archangels to earth to carry out. We know for certain the names of three archangels:
St. Michael, and his name means “Who is like God,”
St. Gabriel’s name means “God is Strength,”
St. Raphael’s name means “God heals.” In Daniel 10:13, there is a reference to Gabriel speaking to Daniel concerning his request of when the Jews could return home (Jerusalem). Gabriel explains that Michael helped him in fighting the Persians for the people of God. Again in the book of Daniel 12, an Angel tells Daniel about the end of the world and the Antichrist. He says: “At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people.”
Another reference in the Catholic Letters of St. Jude, it refers to “When Michael the Archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses.”
We know that in Rv 12:7-12ab , St. Michael battles the dragon, Satan, in the heavens and sends Satan and his angels out of heaven.
References of St. Gabriel are in Daniel 10 and in the New Testament in Luke 1 describing Gabriel's announcement to Zachariah that his wife Elizabeth was to have a son and to name him John. Later in Luke 1:26, Gabriel appears to Mary six months after he appeared to Zachariah to announce that Mary will conceive God’s son, Jesus.
The Archangel Raphael is mentioned in the book of Tobit. He tells Tobias, Tobit’s son, how to catch a great fish and use its heart, gall, and liver to use for medicine. Raphael explains that if you put the heart and liver on burning coals it will ward off demons. The gall can be used as ointment for his father’s eyes.
In 745, Pope St. Zachary, in the Council of Rome affirmed that we know the names of three archangels because they are revealed in the Sacred Scriptures. These Archangels are “honored” like we honor the saints and they are a Dogma of Catholic Faith.
Let us pray in thanksgiving for the Holy Archangels who always protect and guide us. Let us pray the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel for the protection of our Holy Catholic Church.
“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 power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.” AMEN