Holy Raphael, Archangel at the throne God, Holy Physician and healer of All, pray for us in our earthly struggles, Bless us with your healing light, this, and all of our days.
Reading from the Book of Tobit
Then Tobit said to him, ‘Brother, of what family are you and from what tribe? Tell me, brother.’ He replied, ‘Why do you need to know my tribe?’ But Tobit said, ‘I want to be sure, brother, whose son you are and what your name is.’ He replied, ‘I am Azariah, the son of the great Hananiah, one of your relatives.’ Then Tobit said to him, ‘Welcome! God save you, brother. Do not feel bitter towards me, brother, because I wanted to be sure about your ancestry. It turns out that you are a kinsman, and of good and noble lineage. For I knew Hananiah and Nathan, the two sons of Shemeliah, and they used to go with me to Jerusalem and worshipped with me there, and were not led astray. Your kindred are good people; you come of good stock. Hearty welcome!’
Then he added, ‘I will pay you a drachma a day as wages, as well as expenses for yourself and my son. So go with my son, and I will add something to your wages.’ Raphael answered, ‘I will go with him; so do not fear. We shall leave in good health and return to you in good health, because the way is safe.’ So Tobit said to him, ‘Blessings be upon you, brother.’
Then he called his son and said to him, ‘Son, prepare supplies for the journey and set out with your brother. May God in heaven bring
you safely there and return you in good health to me; and may his angel, my son, accompany you both for your safety.’
Before he went out to start his journey, he kissed his father and mother. Tobit then said to him, ‘Have a safe journey.’
But his mother began to weep, and said to Tobit, ‘Why is it that you have sent my child away? Is he not the staff of our hand as he goes in and out before us? Do not heap money upon money, but let it be a ransom for our child. For the life that is given to us by the Lord is enough for us.’ Tobit said to her, ‘Do not worry; our child will leave in good health and return to us in good health. Your eyes will see him on the day when he returns to you in good health. Say no more! Do not fear for them, my sister. For a good angel will accompany him; his journey will be successful, and he will come back in good health.’
~Chapter 5, verses 11-22
Reading from the Gospel of Matthew
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven
~Chapter 18, verse 10
John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne.
~Chapter 1, verse 4
Angels reveal themselves in times of great need or change throughout the scriptures. Raphael is seated alongside Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel together they are the 4 most prominent and powerful Archangels acting on behalf of God to serve humanity. These 4 come to represent the elements, directions, the gospel authors, and important to our message to each bring a specific skill set. In Raphael we find the Eastern Sun, with it’s rays of healing and hope renewed every dawn. This light brings his healing to body and spirit .
Kindness and compassion are repaid with Raphael’s healing and good fortune for being fair in the angel’s presence in our reading from Tobit. Matthew reminds us angels protect even and especially, the smallest of us. Revelations bear witness to the power of the angels in what comes next after the risen Christ returns.
Raphael is just as needed if not more so in our world today as it is ravaged by illness. Cancer, viruses, and natural disasters have made humanity ill and in that illness it is had to remember our Holy Physician. He who bears all of the power of the East, knowing doctor, healer of body and soul. But we must remember and call upon the powers God himself instructed us in. Ask and you shall be healed.
Raphael must be in our prayers and living faith alongside of our earthly physicians and healers. Pray for all those who heal and serve the sick. Remember them often in prayer and recall them by name to St. Raphael, physician, healer, and our beloved patron.