Friday, September 29, 2006Michael, Gabriel and Raphael: Archangels
Today the Church celebrates the feast of the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. "Angel" literally translates to "messenger" from the Koine Greek; an "arch" angel is a "primary" or "chief" messenger. (~from Catholic Encyclopedia)
Catholicculture.org has some great ideas on how to celebrate this feast with children:
"... This is a good feast to learn more about the angels. Children especially are fascinated by these celestial beings...
~Find the passages in the Bible about angels, in particular the passages about Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
~Memorize the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. (encouraged by Pope John Paul II)
~In honor of St. Gabriel, Learn the Angelus and recite it daily.
~Read the Book of Tobit for the story of St. Raphael helping Tobit and Tobias.
~Make some recipes related to Michaelmas. Of special mention is the St. Michael Bannock from Scotland, roast goose and stuffing from Britain, waffles from France, and roast duck from Germany or France, gnocchi from Italy. Blackberries, apples and carrots also play a large role on this feast in various countries. Other ideas: make an angel food cake, devil's food cake or angel hair pasta. Decorate with white, symbolizing the angels, or use other symbolic colors (see above). Non-dessert items: deviled eggs, deviled meats, etc.
~Try to find the Michaelmas daisy, a purple aster, to use for decoration. The official name is Aster novi-belgii, but is also known as New York aster.
~Folklore in the British Isles suggests that Michaelmas day is the last day that blackberries can be picked. It is said that when St. Michael expelled Lucifer, the devil, from heaven, he fell from the skies and landed in a prickly blackberry bush. Satan cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, and stamp and spat on them, so that they would be unfit for eating. A Traditional Irish proverb says: On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on the blackberries.
If you have access to blackberries, make this the last picking and eating. Perhaps make a blackberry pie? See Michaelmas Pie for a great recipe.
Michael the archangel : Michael ( meaning: who is like unto God?) is given four offices:
1)to fight against Satan
2)to rescue faithful souls from the power of the enemy
3)to be the champion of God's people...he is the patron of the Church.
4)to call away from earth & bring men's souls to judgement.
Gabriel the Archangel: Gabriel (meaning: God is my strength) is of course the well-known archangel who comes to Mary in the mystery of the Annunciation.
Raphael the Archangel : Raphael (meaning: God has healed) is commonly the archangel of maidens; the archangel whom many of us prayed to for good husbands, for good spouses. He is also known as the protector of virgins.
God our Father, in a wonderful way you guide the work of angels and men. May those who serve you constantly in heaven keep our lives safe from all harm on earth. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.