Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, pray for us!

Five facts about angels

The statue of the St. Michael sculpted by Raffaello da Montelupo. It stands in Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome. Photo by By eZeePics/Shutterstock

The feast of the archangels Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, is Sept.  29. In honor of the feast, here are five teachings about angels.

Angels are messengers

“Angel” is from the Greek word angelos which means “messenger.” In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word used most often to refer to angels is malak which also means “messenger.” The prophet Malachi also derived his name from this term since he was a messenger.

There is a hierarchy to angels

There are nine choirs of angels comprised in three triads. In the first triad are the seraphim, cherubim, and thrones. The second triad are the dominions, virtues, and powers. The third triad is the principalities, archangels, and angels.

There are few known names of angels

The Bible only specifically mentions three angels by name: the archangels Michael (Revelation 12:7–9; Daniel 12:1), Gabriel (Daniel 9; Luke 1), and Raphael (Tobit 5–12).

Satan/Lucifer refers to the fallen angel who rebelled against God. There is also the mention of Abaddon as “the angel of the abyss” (Revelation 9:11).  (See “Abaddon” in The Catholic Encyclopedia.)

You cannot comprehend the number of angels that exist

“I looked again and heard the voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders. They were countless in number” (Revelation 5:11).

Angels will sort man during the end times

According to the Gospel of Matthew, it is angels who will sort those who are going to heaven and hell at the end of time. (See Matthew 13:49–50.)



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