ST. RAPHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
Raphael is one of the seven Archangels who stand before the throne of God, and one of the three mentioned by name in the Bible. He appears, by name, in the Book of Tobit. Raphael's name in Hebrew means “Divine Healer.” He is a powerful intercessor whom we should not forget, especially during times when we are most in need of healing, be it physical, mental or spiritual healing.
This identity came about because of the biblical story that he "healed" the earth when it was defiled by the sins of the fallen angels in the apocryphal book of Enoch.
Although only the archangels Gabriel and Michael are mentioned by name in the New Testament, the Gospel of John speaks of the pool at Bethesda, where many ill people rested, awaiting the moving of the water. "An angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under." John 5:1-4. Because of the healing powers often linked to Raphael, the angel spoken of is generally associated with Raphael.
Raphael is found in the Book of Tobit, where he reveals himself as a healer of mind, body and spirit. The first part of the biblical story narrates the life of Tobit, a righteous Jewish man who took upon himself the burial of the dead even when it was forbidden by his Assyrian captors. Tobit became blind after bird droppings fell into his eyes. The blindness lasted for several years and sent Tobit into a deep anguish, creating in him a desire to die.
At the same time there was a woman named Sarah who was tormented by a demon. She married seven times, but each time her bridegroom was killed by the demon on their wedding night, before the marriage could be consummated. She too was deeply depressed and wished for death.
Raphael, disguised as a human, was sent to both. He brought about their healing by accompanying Tobit’s son, Tobias, on a journey to find a special kind of fish liver with healing properties.
On the way back home, Raphael and Tobias stopped at the home of Tobit’s kinsmen — the parents of Sarah. Tobias and Sarah fell in love, and on their wedding night Tobias’ pledge of chaste love, stirred by Raphael’s angelic power, defeated the demon.
Returning home with his bride, Tobias laid the fish liver on Tobit’s eyes and his blindness was healed. At the marriage feast of Tobias and Sarah, the family turned to thank Raphael, it is then that his true healing powers are revealed and he makes himself known as "the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord." Tobit 12:15
St. Raphael is the patron saint of travelers, marriage, healing, the blind, bodily ills, happy meetings, nurses, physicians and medical workers. His angelic mission on earth is to heal, which is very important for those suffering in any way.