Monday, September 29, 2014

Raphaelmas: I Want You to Be a Thing, Too.



Today we've got lots of plans.  It's the feast of the three archangels mentioned in Scripture:  Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.  Our  little Michael has been looking forward to his feast day for months.  He gets a pass from lessons and at the current moment is painstakingly setting the dining room table up to be all sorts of fancy for our dinner tonight.

I love St. Michael.  Obviously.  We wouldn't have named our kid after him if he weren't kind of important to us.  He's had our back so many times over the years and we ask for his protection for our family every day.  

But instead of talking about Michael today, I kind of want to talk a little bit about poor neglected Raphael.  Raphael, the patron of this blog, a patron of our family, and whose name in Hebrew means It is God Who Heals, is one of my all-time favorite intercessors.  He is the best.  Patron of healing, marriage, travelers, happy meetings, and more, he found me about seven years ago when I needed him desperately.  Des-per-ate-ly.  His story is found in the book of Tobit and even if you aren't Catholic and don't recognize the book as canon, I encourage you to read it.  The story is absolutely beautiful.  It's dramatic and weird and engaging and mind-blowing when you ponder the meaning behind it.  A very long story waaaay abridged:  the archangel disguised as the man Azarias guides Tobiah on his journey protecting him from a demon, healing his father from blindness (using fish guts!), and convincing Tobiah to wed Sara and freeing her from the demon who had been killing each of her seven previous grooms on their wedding night.  The story is an amazing account of the work of this messenger of God and how God longs to heal us in all the ways and is so very concerned with the details of our lives.  The book contains one of the most beautiful and simple prayers of holy married love.

This great archangel found me at a time when I was quite near broken.  I felt lost, alone, and we were in desperate need of healing in our marriage from all sorts of demons of our own.  I was so close to giving it all up, my heart a shattered mess.  I began attending a daily Mass several times a week at a brand new parish about twenty minutes from our home.  The parish was named St. Raphael.  While standing next to a stunning statue of the patron, the resident priest gave me a small book about his story, his intercession, and his work.  I didn't know anything about him.  I read it and was hooked.

I claimed him as a patron for our family and our marriage and feel sure that his intercession was critical to the healing we have experience in our marriage and within each of us individually.  Only a straight up angel of God could've pulled us out of the mess we were in.  Who knows, maybe I can someday convince the husband to let me use the name on a potential kiddo as a small thank you.  

Today I'm remembering again how much Raphael has done for us.  I'm grateful for the protection and guidance he has given to our family and I'm asking for his intercession even more.  I encourage you, especially those who are desperate, those who feel on the brink of losing everything and who need healing, be it physical, mental, emotional, or in relationships, to reach out to this one of seven who stands before the throne of God and discover the power of Raphael, Healer of God.

Due to the story in Tobit, Raphael is claimed patron of (ready for this list?):
Healing
Christian Marriage
Lovers
Travelers
Single People
Young People
Happy Meetings
Mental Illness
Doctors
Nurses
Medical Workers
Pharmacists
Blindness
Eyesight


St. Raphael, Healer of God, pray for us.

"I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One."
Tobit 12:15


Our dinner tonight includes angel hair pasta, pan fried tilapia (fish for Raphael!), and, of course, our Devil's Food Cake in honor of Saint Michael.  I suppose it's Gabriel's turn to be neglected because I couldn't come up with anything for him :)




6 comments:

  1. nice. we obviously like raphael over here too, though that little one is acting less than angelic by not taking his nap! maybe the mister read your post...cuz he is picking up a cake to celebrate the angels feast day today since no one went grocery shopping while he was gone on retreat!

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  2. Thank you for this beautiful post. I am so glad I read it. I didn't know much about Raphael, but he is my husband's confirmation Saint. I am feeling so broken and in need of healing right now and will be turning to St Raphael.

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  3. Oh, no doubt Gabriel will speak to you one day--he's the pro-life angel, announcing the births of both John the Baptist and Our Lord--both of whom in today's society would be prime candidates for abortion. But, let it be St. Raphael's day this time! How I wish every married couple would foster a devotion to him! I just heard from my sister and her son is getting a divorce. He told her he doesn't like telling people because everyone gets so sad---and he's not sad! He and his wife have been through therapy and have agreed that they are now just friends!!!! I can't believe the "advice" that the secular world dispenses today. Their oldest child is 4 TODAY (and there is another who is 2) and you can believe I am calling on her patrons to heal this marriage. Pray, pray, pray---all you who are married--turn to St. Raphael for healing. Thanks for this post Mary--let us pray for one another!

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  4. What a lovely story!
    Somehow I missed the story of Tobias and Sara, just telling the children!

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  5. Loved your highlight of St. Raphael! Sought his help often while in grad school! :)

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  6. Beautiful! I think it's so neat how each person and family can have a strong devotion to a specific angel. I recently started feeling drawn to a greater devotion to St. Gabriel and my husband has always had a strong devotion to St. Michael. I'm glad you shared about St. Raphael, he is just as wonderful :)

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