Archangel Raphael

September 7, 2021

Glory to Raphael the archangel, the third of the vigilant, holy and heavenly archangels; and the dedication of his church which was built to him on an island outside the city of Alexandria in the days of Saint Theophilus the Archbishop; and the miracle which was made manifest therein.

A certain rich woman from the city of Rome came to Saint Theophilus the Archbishop, and with her were her son and a picture of the glorious Archangel Rufa’el (Raphael), and much money, which she had inherited from her parents.  She cleared away the heap of rubbish, which was in front of the archbishop’s house, and there appeared from beneath it a treasure of gold, even as we have written [in the section for] the eighteenth day of October 25.  Saint Abba Theophilus built many churches, and among them was the church, which was on the island outside the city of Alexandria, and was dedicated in the name of the glorious Archangel Raphael; and Abba Theophilus the Archbishop finished the building thereof and consecrated it as it were this day.

Whilst the believers were praying in the church, behold the church trembled, and was rent asunder, and it moved about.  They found that the church had been built upon the back of a whale of the whales of the sea, on which a very large mass of sand had heaped itself.  Now the whale lay firmly fixed in its place, and the treading of the feet of the people upon it cut it off from the mainland; and it was Satan who moved the whale so that he might throw down the church.  And the believers and the archbishop cried out together, and made supplication to the Lord Christ, and they asked for the intercession of the glorious Archangel Raphael.  God, the Most High, sent the glorious angel Raphael, and he had mercy on the children of men, and he drove his spear into the while, saying unto him, “By the commandment of God stand still, and move not thyself from thy place”; and the whale stood in his place and moved not.

Many signs and wonders were made manifest, and great healings of sick folk took place in that church.  And this church continued to exist until the time when the Muslims reigned, and then it was destroyed, and the whale moved, and the sea flowed back again and drowned many people who dwelt in that place.

This story was told by John, Archbishop of the city of Constantinople, to Honorius, the righteous emperor; and he said unto him, “Know, O emperor, that we were sailing in a ship to come to thee, and as we were going along we saw a church, on the island, on the day preceding the Sabbath, and we came into port, so that we might received the Holy Mysteries on the First Day of the week.   We found a little monastery by the side of the church, with brethren and monks therein. By the commandment of God, we went to them, and we said unto them, ‘O brethren, if ye have with you an old manuscript treating of the days of the ancients, give it to us so that we may comfort ourselves therewith.’  And they answered and said unto me, ‘Behold, we have many manuscripts in the sanctuary, but we do not know how to translate them.’  I said unto them, ‘Bring them here that I may see them.’  When they brought them to me, I searched through them, and I found that they treated of the mighty deeds and miracles which our Lord Jesus Christ had performed before His disciples, and also of the beginning of the heavens and the earth, and [they went on] to the end of this world.   As I was examining these manuscripts, I found a manuscript which was written by our fathers, the holy Apostles, and which treated of the appointment of the Seven Archangels, and it said:  ‘When our Lord Jesus Christ was on the

Mount of Olives with His disciples, He revealed to them the mystery of the Godhead.’ the Apostles asked Him, saying, ‘O our Lord and God, we beseech and entreat Thee to tell us about the glory of the honorable angel Raphael, and what day Thou didst appoint him, and in what month, and whether he is the equal of his fellow archangels, so that we may preach him in the world, and that men may celebrate a festival in his honor as they celebrate festivals in honor of his fellow archangels, and that men may pray to him in the time of their sorrow and tribulation, so that they may find grace and compassion with Thee, and his intercession.’  Straightway our Lord Jesus Christ commanded, and the seven, and the three archangels, came from the third heaven, Michael, and Gabriel and Raphael with great joy, and they bowed down before our Lord Christ:  and our Lord said unto the angel Raphael, ‘Tell the Apostles thy name so that they may know thy great honor.’

Now the Archangel Raphael, a sincere angel, is the third of the archangels, and Michael the archangel is the first of all the angels; and his name meaning the ‘compassionate.’  Gabriel is the second archangel, and his name meaning ‘God and man,’ and it was he who was sent to our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, to announce the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ from her.” Raphael said, “I make hearts to rejoice, and I am sincere, and good, and merciful to sinners, against whom I never lay information concerning their sins before God; I speak only of my power to save, and my sincerity, and my love for men.  I send angels with the souls of sinners, and I treat them with long-suffering until at length they repent of their sins, and forsake their transgressions, I am Raphael whom God set over the twenty-three hosts of angels, [and] we praise God the Father, and His compassionate Son, and the Holy Spirit the Comforter.  I am Raphael whom God commanded to give good things to the saints at the Marriage of One Thousand Years in Mount Zion, when our Lord Jesus Christ made them to drink out of the cup, which is filled with honor indeed, as they reclined with Him when He sat on the holy throne.  I am Raphael whom God commanded to take up branches of the Tree of Life in my hand, and to give them to Christians on that day [of] life and joy.  I am Raphael under whose hands are kept the treasure houses of the heavens, and I open them and shut them according as God command me.   if any man shall do a good deed to another man, who is in tribulation upon earth, for my name’s sake, or shall write a book about my office, or shall remember any of the poor in my name, or shall offer up an offering or incense on the day of my commemoration, which is the third day of Paguemen, whereon God appointed me, and crowned me with the office of the angels, I will bear them and transport them on the chariot of light, until they enter the  heavenly  Jerusalem.   And  I  will  place  in  their  souls  scented  branches  with  an exceedingly sweet odor, the like of which shall never be found upon the earth.

Ask of me, O chosen Apostles, at all times so that I may protect you until ye stand before God.  And preach ye unto all men in all the world that they must celebrate my commemoration, and I will  make  intercession  with  God  on  their  behalf,  and  I  will  deliver  them from their tribulation, and they shall never see punishment.”  Having said these words Raphael)  bowed  low  to  the  Lord.   This  glorious  angel  Raphael,  the archangel, hath performed many miracles, and it is meet that we should celebrate his commemoration  at  all  times,  for  he  make  intercession  with  God  on  our  behalf.

Source: The Ethiopia Synaxarium page 733-734