Ss. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are the only angels named in Sacred Scripture and all three have important roles in the history of salvation.
Michael’s name means “Who is like God?” St. Michael’s name is mentioned four times in the Bible: twice in Daniel and once in both the Book of Revelation and the Epistle of St. Jude. In the book of Revelation 12:7-9, we read of a great war that took place in heaven, in which Michael and his angels battled with Satan and the other fallen angels (devils). Michael became the great champion of faithfulness to God and the victor over evil. Today, he is our protector. He guards the people of God, defends the souls of the just, and brings the souls to their final judgment. To combat the forces of evil in our world today, we pray the St. Michael the Archangel prayer. Pope Leo XIII composed the prayer after experiencing a horrific vision of attacks against the Church. The prayer was said at the end of Mass prior to 1968. Today, in some areas, parishioners continue to recite this powerful prayer after daily Mass.
Gabriel’s name means “the power of God.” He, too, is mentioned in the book of Daniel. He has become familiar to us because Gabriel is an important person in Luke’s Gospel. This archangel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of our savior. Gabriel announced to Zechariah that he and St. Elizabeth would have a son and call him John. Gabriel is the announcer, the communicator of the Good News. We can ask him to help us be good communicators as he was.
Raphael’s name means “God has healed.” We read the touching story of Raphael’s role in the Bible’s book of Tobit. He brought protection and healing to the blind Tobit. At the very end of the journey, when all was completed, Raphael revealed his true identity. He called himself one of the seven who stands before God’s throne. We can ask St. Raphael to protect us in our travels. We can also ask him to help when illness strikes us or someone we love.