Category Archives: Saints

Feast of the Archangels

In the Matins service this feast the Church prays: “Wherever your grace casts its shadow, O Captain and Archangel Michael, the Devil is driven out, for Lucifer, the fallen morning star, cannot bear to behold your light. We, therefore, beg you to quench the fiery darts he casts against us and deliver us from his temptations.”

All of us —you, me, the angels, the Son of God— have a mission given by God the Father. For a moment, let us consider the heavenly beings, the archangels.

The archangel Raphael bears a name which means God Has Healed; he appears clothed as a traveler. Raphael wears the traveler’s dress throughout the Book of Tobit because he guides young Tobias on his journey and brings God’s deliverance and healing to Tobit and Sarah. His traveler’s staff takes the form of a caduceus, indicating his special care for those engaged in healing ministries; it’s also conveying God’s healing to Tobit of his blindness. Moreover, Raphael is traditionally seen as the protector of travelers and physicians, plus having agency in bringing Tobias and Sarah together and therefore, he is often invoked by those seeking a loving marriage and a godly spouse.

The archangel Gabriel, Strength of God, is the Angel of the Annunciation, who identified himself to Zachary (Lk. 1:19) as one who stand(s) in the presence of God. He stands here closest to the Star and with his feet planted firmly on rock, for his message brings light and joy to all

the earth. In Gabriel’s left hand he holds an icon of the Theotokos of the Sign, indicating the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, the Son of God, and in his right he grips a staff surmounted by a lily, symbol of peace, a role he had of sounding the Last Trumpet (cf. Rev. 8:2-5). Christians consider Gabriel to be the angel of mercy and consolation.

Clad in armor and bearing a shimmering sword, the Archangel Michael, Who Is Like God?, is the champion of justice and angel of righteousness. Michael raises up an image of Man clothed in the white robe of Baptism, while casting into hell Satan (cf. Rev.12:7-9) and the fallen angels who serve him. In several ways Michael is like Gabriel because he is the link between the Old and New Covenants: he is invoked in time of warfare, both physical and spiritual, and to rescue souls from the clutches of the Devil, especially at the moment of death. As Pope Leo XIII reminded the Church, Michael is a powerful heavenly being in the struggle against evil.

May we revere the Archangels all the more by invoking their protection.

Ss. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael


The psalm response for today’s Novus Ordo Mass is: “In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.” Indeed, this is our position before the Divine Majesty.

On the Novus Ordo liturgical calendar the St Michael is joined with Gabriel and Raphael. The only angels mentioned by name (though Uriel is  sometimes noted as an angel). Recall, an angel is a messenger, sent, and is deputed by God for a particular purpose, hence, there is no generic angel doing vague things.

These days attention is drawn to St Michael due to his fighting the fallen angel and his minions –fighting evil in the world. He is invoked for assistance in doing spiritual battle. The image above is that of the famed church in Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel. Dedicated to the honor of St Michael it was for centuries locus of a Benedictine monastery of monks and today it is home for monastic Community of Jerusalem.

Fr. Dennis Brown writes: Gabriel patronize my intellect; Raphael patronze my will; Michael patronize my heart. Take time to reflect here.

Here is a reflection on Michael the Archangel. Pray for his intercession today (and every day).

As often as anything very mighty is to be done, we see that Michael is sent, that by that very thing, and by his name, we may remember that none is able to do as God doeth. Hence that old enemy whose pride hath puffed him up to be fain to be like unto God, even he who said, I will ascend unto heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will be like the Most High, Isa. xiv. 13, 14, this old enemy, when at the end of the world he is about to perish in the last death, having no strength but his own, is shown unto us a-fighting with Michael the Archangel, even as saith John, Apoc. xii. 7: There was war in heaven Michael and his Angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.

From the Sermons of Pope St. Gregory the Great.
34th on the Gospels.

St Vincent de Paul



“The Church teaches us that mercy belongs to God. Let us implore Him to bestow on us the spirit of mercy and compassion, so that we are filled with it and may never lose it. Only consider how much we ourselves are in need of mercy.”

Saint Vincent de Paul

Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions

sts-andrew-kim-and-companionsSt. Andrew Kim was the first native Korean priest and the son of Korean converts. His father, Ignatius Kim, was martyred during the persecution of 1839 and beatified in 1925. After Baptism at the age of 15, Andrew traveled 1,300 miles to seminary in Macao, China. After six years of study, he returned to Korea and was ordained a priest. He was eventually arrested, tortured and beheaded near Seoul. 

Paul Chong Hasang, 45, was a lay man and married, also martyred.

Pope John Paul II canonized Kim and the companions in 1984 when he visited Korea. The 98 Koreans and three French missionaries were martyred between 1839 and 1867. Among them were bishops and priests, but for the most part they were lay persons: 47 women, 45 men.

Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, pray for us!

St John Chrysostom

john-chrysosotom“Do you want to honor Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honor him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: This is my body, and made it so by his words, also said: You saw me hungry and did not feed me, and inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did not do it for me. [Mat 25:34ff]. What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; what we do outside requires great dedication.”

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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