Angel Raphael is associated with healing. In Hebrew, Raphael means "God Heals". In fact, the root of the name
(Rophe or Rapha) can be translated as doctor or medicine.
This powerful angel is recognized as an archangel in Judaism and in Christianity.
In Islam, he is known as Israfil or Rafail.
Also, according to some traditions, archangel Raphael is one of the powerful seven archangels who oversee many important aspects of the cosmos.
Archangel Raphael in Judaism and Christianity
In the Torah, the angels are not mentioned by name. However, Raphael is mentioned in several Jewish apocryphal texts.
|The Coming of Raphael|
Engraving by Gustave Doré
For example, in the Book of Enoch
chapter 10: 5-7, God asks Raphael to bound Azazel (a mysterious supernatural being who is believed to be a predecessor to Satan):
"the Lord said to Raphael: 'Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein."
In Christianity, the arch angel Raphael is mentioned by name in the Book of Tobit (see below for more information). By the way, this book is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canons, but it is considered apocryphal by most Protestant Christians.
In the New Testament, only the archangels Michael and Gabriel are mentioned by name.
In the books of Luke and John, there is a mention of the pool of Bethesda. The sick go there to wait for a movement of the water so that they can dive into it and be healed. Since Raphael is associated with healing, believers accept that Raphael is the angel who moves the water.
Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Christians venerate Raphael as Saint Raphael the Archangel.
The feast of the Archangel Raphael was first included in the general Roman calendar in 1921. It was later moved from October 24 to September 29. Roman Catholics also celebrate Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel on the same day. Some traditional Catholics, however, still observe Raphael’s feast on October 24.
Angel Raphael and Islam
In Islam, Raphael is known as Israfil (or Rafail). However, he is not mentioned by name in the Quran.
According to the Hadith (a collection of narrations based on the deeds and words of the prophet Mohammad), Israfil is the angel responsible for heralding the Day of Judgment. Followers of this faith believe that Israfil will do that by blowing a horn, known as the blast of truth.
Raphael and the Book of Tobit
The Book of Tobit (also known as the Book of Tobias) is a book of scripture and Raphael is one of its main characters. It is also part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canons. But as I said above, most Protestant Christians consider the book as apocryphal.
For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord. ~ Book of Tobias 12:15
Even though Tobit
appears in the Septuagint
(the Greek Old Testament), it has never been included in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) as a canonical text.
The Book of Tobit tells the story of Tobit, a deeply religious Israelite of the tribe of Nephtali. He went to live in Nineveh after the northern tribes of Israel were deported to Assyria.
Tobit was well regarded among his fellow men. One reason behind his good reputation was that he provided proper burial for Israelites killed by Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. As a result of his activities, Tobit was exiled and his property was confiscated.
Tobit returned to Nineveh after Sennacherib’s death. On his way home, he (always the Good Samaritan) buries a man who died on the street. And because he didn't have any place to stay, Tobit is forced to sleep outdoors. Somehow, he is blinded by bird droppings that fall on his eyes. Not surprisingly, his blindness makes Tobit’s life very difficult.
Tobit sends his son, Tobias, to collect some money he had previously left in Media. The Angel Raphael, very conveniently, shows up at Tobit's door. He appears as a human and introduces himself as Azariah, and offers to accompany and protect Tobias on his journey.
Meanwhile, in Media, a young woman named Sarah has become a widow for the seventh time. Asmodeus – the demon of lust – has killed each of her husbands before each marriage was consummated. Sarah prays for deliverance, and she receives divine help from Raphael himself. The archangel frees Sarah from the demon and also plays the matchmaker by helping Tobias and Sarah get married.
Once they all return to Nineveh, Raphael heals Tobit of his blindness, and finally reveals that he’s one of God’s archangels.
Click here for the full text of The Book of Tobit.
Raphael angel of...
Angel Raphael is called upon any time a healing is needed. He is known as the angel of healing. Raphael is also the patron of:
- apothecaries and pharmacists
- the archdiocese of Seattle, Washington
- guardian angels
- lovers and matchmakers (remember Sarah and Tobias?)
- nurses, doctors and health practitioners
- the visually impaired
Raphael is associated with Hermes and Mercury, respectively the Greek and Roman messenger god. In addition to being the archangel of healing, Raphael is also the archangel of science and knowledge.
Raphael the Archangel in Art and Literature
The Angel Raphael has inspired many artists throughout history. Some well-known works of art that portray Raphael as the central theme are:
- Saint Raphael the Archangel by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
- Saint Raphael, Archangel by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
- The Archangel Raphael Advises Tobias to Catch a Fish by Chiesa
- Tobias and the Angel by Verrocchio
This beloved angel also appears in the epic poem Paradise Lost by the English poet John Milton. In Book Five, God sends Raphael to warn Adam about the perils of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Angel Raphael and You
Raphael is known among students of Metaphysics as Heaven's Doctor. Do you need a healing of any kind? Whether your affliction is physical, mental or emotional, know that God and his angels can help you. Prayer and meditation are two wonderful ways to ask for help. Just call upon Raphael and ask directly for a healing. You can also visualize Archangel Raphael healing you.
By the way, according to Metaphysics, Raphael is the archangel of the Green Ray. In many cultures, green is associated with health, healing and life. You can invoke Raphael as you visualize yourself enveloped in green light.
Metaphysical teachings state that the Green Ray is also the ray of truth. You can call upon Raphael and the angels of the Green Ray whenever you want to find the truth about any situation.
Prayer doesn’t need to be complicated. Just ask the angels as you would ask a parent or a friend for help.
To learn more about metaphysics, click here. The main site is in Spanish, but it also provides information in other languages.
If you need a Raphael-inspired gift, here are some ideas:
References and further reading:
- Sculptures and statues depicting Angel Raphael
- Books about Raphael
- Amulets and other jewelry items
--The Book of Enoch
--The Book of Tobit
--Raphael: Communicating with the Archangel for Healing & Creativity by Richard Webster
Raphael - Angel of Healing
Uriel - Angel of Tranquility
The Seven Archangels
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