Archangel Raphael

Archangel Raphael

Archangel Raphael, who is one of the Seven Archangels, is considered the angel of healing. The name Raphael is derived from a Hebrew root meaning “God has healed.” The origin of the Archangel’s title comes from the story of Tobias, which can be found in the Book of Tobit in the Old Testament.

Archangel Raphael was sent by the Lord to cure Tobit of his blindness. This began all the way back home when Tobit told his son, Tobias, to go retrieve money that was owed to him by a man named Gabael in a town in Media. Tobit told Tobias to go look for someone to accompany him because the journey could not be done alone. Tobias found a young man by the name of Azarias, who was Archangel Raphael in disguise, who agreed to go with him on the journey. On the way, they stopped for a break where Tobias grabbed a drink from a nearby river. Out of nowhere, a huge fish attacked Tobias and when he cried out for help, Azarias told him to “Catch it by the gills and draw it to you.” (Tobit 6:4). Azarias then commanded Tobias to take apart the fish and put aside the heart, gall, and liver for future uses.

They then made it to the town where they received the money from Gabael and then Archangel Raphael told Tobias that they would be staying in Raguel’s housing since he is closely related to him from the tribe. Raguel received both of them into his house where they met his wife Anna and their daughter Sarah. Sarah was known for the demon that haunted her since there were seven men who attempted to approach her and afterwards all died. Tobias asked Raguel for the hand of Sarah, but Raguel hesitated since he knew the backstory of all the men who tried to ask for her marriage. The angel then reassured Raguel and told him “Do not be afraid to give her to this one because this one fears God.” (Tobit 7:12). The angel instructed Tobias to take out the liver and the heart and place them over the live coals within the house where he and his wife Sarah lived. This let Archangel Raphael catch the demon and bind him in a desert of upper Egypt.

Thereafter the huge marriage celebration, since Tobias was able to successfully marry Sarah, they returned to his father’s house. The angel then instructed Tobias to cut the gallbladder open and to anoint his father’s eyes and within half an hour, the white film that had covered Tobit’s eyes began to come out of his eye. The family greatly exalted and feasted for seven days, rejoicing with great joy. Afterwards, Tobit told Tobias to go repay this holy man for all that he had done for them and that’s when Archangel Raphael revealed himself to them.

This wonderful story is why we consider Archangel Raphael the angel of healing. We commemorate the honorable Archangel Raphael on the 8th day of September, or the 3rd day of the blessed month of Nesi in the Coptic calendar. May his holy blessings be with us all.

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