Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

From the December AD 1995
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin

    Question: What are the names of the Archangels and how do we know them? Are they the highest angels in heaven?

    Answer: We know three of the names of the Archangels from sacred Scripture. Michael is mentioned in the Old Testament Book of Daniel as well as in the Epistle of St. Jude and the Apocalypse. Gabriel is also mentioned in Daniel, and in St. Luke's Gospel. Raphael is found in the Book of Tobias, where we also learn that the Archangels are seven in number (xii: 15).

    Each Archangel name ends with the syllable "el," a Hebrew name for God, reflecting their intimacy with the Most High. "Michael" is a question, "Who is like God?" "Gabriel" refers to the "strength of God," and "Raphael" to the "medicine of God." The other four Archangels are not mentioned by name in the canonical Scriptures, but are listed in the apocryphal book of Enoch as Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jeramiel.

    Although their title might suggest that they are the highest angels in heaven they are actually eighth in rank. The confusion arises from using the word "angel," a name that correctly applies only to spirits sent as messengers from God, to designate the entire celestial hierarchy. From sacred Scripture, including the books of Isaias, Colossians, and Ephesians, we learn that their nine "choirs" or orders among those whom God created pure spirit:

1. Seraphim

2. Cherubim

3. Thrones

4. Dominations

5. Principalities

6. Powers

7. Virtues

8. Archangels

9. Angels

The Choirs of angels are mentioned in each of the Prefaces of the Mass. The Preface, of course concludes with the Sanctus, "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts," which is attributed by Isaias (vi: 3) to the Seraphim.

The Church observes feasts in honor of the angels on:

March 24th, St. Gabriel

September 29th, St. Michael

October 2nd, The Guardian Angels

October 24, St. Raphael

November 1st, All Saints



Dei via est íntegra
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