The faithful love the archangels (especially among first communicants and confirmands), but we don’t know much about them. St. Raphael may be the least known and popular of the three, but who is he and how do we even know about him?
The Book of Tobit
In addition to being one of the three angels mentioned in the Bible, St Raphael is also one of the archangels. He is only mentioned in the Book of Tobit, when he appears (incognito) to help Tobias in both healing his father of blindness and finding his wife Sarah (who was tormented by a demon in her previous marriages, which each had only lasted hours – Woah!).
The name, Raphael, actually means “God heals” (many call God, Jehovah Rapha, which means “Healer”). In Tobit, Raphael counseled Tobias to use a fish’s gall to heal his father’s eyes and to roast fish to scare away the demon in Sarah’s life to deliver her of her situation. Many believe that Raphael is also the angel mentioned in the New Testament at the pool of Bethesda, who comes down to the water and heals through the water.
Because of St. Raphael’s success in the book of Tobit, he is the patron of the blind, happy meetings (The original Catholic matchmaker!), nurses, doctors, and travelers. Read a bit more about him here. The feast of the archangels is September 29.
Why a Fish?
Raphael is an archangel, typically associated with healing in the Bible. In the book of Tobit Raphael heals Tobit’s eyes with fish’s gall, creating the symbolism of the fish.
Who would be friends with St. Raphael?
- The blind
- Those seeking a spouse
- Those desiring authentic friendships (happy meetings!)
- Medical professionals
- Those seeking healing
Find St. Raphael’s medal in our shop and take this archangel to all of your happy meetings!