This week we celebrate the Fast of the Archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Traditionally, the three known archangels had their own feast days. Raphael’s feast day was commemorated on October 24th, although there were votive masses in his honor going back as far as the 15th and 16th century. Gabriel’s feast day was on March 24th, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation.
It is always important to remember the true reason for celebrating these feast days in honor of the angels, namely, that we have heavenly friends who are tasked by God to deliver u from harm (spiritual, although occasionally physically) and lead us closer to Jesus Christ. Besides the Archangels, we celebrate the Feast of the Guardian Angels just 3 days later. Each of us is given a guardian angel to guide and lead us to Heaven. There are some well-meaning but misguided beliefs about angels these days, such as, that we become an angel when we die. Angels are an entirely different species from human beings. We are born as human, die as human,, and will be resurrected as humans. The first chapter in the Letter to the Hebrews emphasizes this very point and reminds us that angles are “ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation.” (Heb. 1:14). These are the angels who remained faithful to God after Lucifer, and 1/3rd of the angels rebelled and became fallen angels, or demons as we call them. These good angels are too often forgotten and are just waiting for us to ask them for help. So let us entrust our prayers to them and remember to pray for one another.