Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Celebrating the Feast of St. Raphael, October 24th

Most of our knowledge of the Archangel Raphael comes to us from the Book of Tobias. Because of his mission as a wonderful healer and the fellow traveler, guide and counselor of young Tobias, St. Raphael is invoked for journeys and at any critical moment in life. Tradition also holds that Raphael is the angel that stirred the waters at the healing sheep pool in Bethesda. His name means "God has healed".

St. Raphael is one of the seven Archangels who stand before the throne of God. He is known as the healer. He is powerful and is called on for help in the healing of maladies in both humans and animals. Because of his mission as the fellow traveler, guide and counselor of young Tobias, as described in the book of Tobias, St. Raphael is also known as patron of travelers, for both geographical and spiritual journeys.

Saint Raphael, the healer is recorded as having helped Tobias make balms and ointments from fish to cure Tobit's (Tobias's father) blindness.  The Archangel Raphael healed Abraham of the pain of circumcision, an operation the patriarch had avoided until late in his life. He also cured the disjointed thigh Jacob suffered while wrestling with the angel.  Raphael's name, in fact, means 'God's Healing.'  He is called upon by doctors, therapists. surgeon, all healers and is turned to for healing of mental illness, as well.  It is also thought that he may have given Noah a medical book which gave Noah the knowledge necessary on the Ark, and is therefore also called upon for illness in animals.

Saint Raphael is also called the Angel of Science and Knowledge. He is often referred to as 'Regent' or 'Angel of the Sun'. Because of his bright countenance, his sanguine and companionable treatment of Tobias, St. Raphael
 is considered the most sociable of the archangels; it is imagined that he has the best sense of humor and the happiest disposition. It is said that Raphael delights in bringing health and happiness everywhere he goes.

Prayers for St. Raphael's Intercession

Saint Raphael Prayer
Blessed Saint Raphael, Archangel, We beseech thee to help us in all our needs and trials of this life, as thou, through the power of God, didst restore sight and give guidance to young Tobit.We humbly seek thine aid and intercession, that our souls may be healed,our bodies protected from all ills, and that through divine grace we may be made fit to dwell in the eternal Glory of God in heaven. Amen.

St. Raphael Prayer for Healing
Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.
I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul 
and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask of you the favor (here   mention your special intention), and the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer to Saint Raphael Before a Trip
Dear St. Raphael, your lovely name means "God heals." The Lord sent you to young Tobias to guide him throughout a long journey. Upon his return you taught him how to cure his father's blindness. How natural, therefore, for Christians to pray for your powerful help for safe travel and a happy return. This is what we ask for ourselves as well as for all who are far from home. Amen.

Prayer for Protection From All Evil
Most Holy Mother, Queen of the Angels and Archangels, send me your Champion, the Archangel Saint Raphael, let him heal me of all my spiritual and physical ailments in JESUS' HOLY NAME. May he protect me from satan and all the evil spirits. Saint Raphael be my guide and protector on my journey through life. O' glorious Saint Raphael the Archangel, herald of blessings, pray for us! Amen.

Prayer to St. Raphael: For the Choice of a Good Spouse
St. Raphael, you were sent by God to guide young Tobiah in choosing a good and virtuous spouse. Please help me in this important choice which will affect my whole future. You not only directed Tobiah in finding a wife, but you also gave him guidelines which should be foremost in every Christian marriage: "Pray together before making important decisions." If through prayer we keep God as the "third Partner" in our marriage, we will have the strength and grace we need to always accept and do His will. Amen.
Pray 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory be...

The Whole List of St. Raphael's Causes 
He is patron of:  The blind; bodily ills; counselors; druggists; eye problems; guardian angels; happy meetings; healers; health inspectors; health technicians; love; lovers; mental illness; nurses; pharmacists; physicians; shepherds; against sickness; therapists; travellers; young people; young people leaving home for the first time; Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa; Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington.
His Symbols Are: 
A staff; a wallet and fish; staff and gourd; traditional rendering of a winged archangel; young man carrying a staff; young man carrying a fish; archangel walking with youthful Tobias; holding a bottle or flask; symbolic colors, gray or yellow.
Prayer: Patron of 

Ways to Celebrate the Day:

* Bake a traditional cake just for the feast of St. Raphael:

Gateau St. Raphael

6 egg yolks 
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 cup flour 
2 cups hot milk
2 TB butter 
2TB yellow Chartreuse
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp vanilla 
3/4 cup flour 
1/4 cup angelica, chopped fine 
powdered sugar 

  1. Beat egg yolks in a 3-quart saucepan for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating for 3 minutes or until mixture is lemon colored and forms a ribbon when beaters or whisk is lifted out.
  2. Beat in 1/2 cup flour a little at a time. Then beat in milk a little at a time. Bring mixture to a low boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and beat in butter. Stir in Chartreuse.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Chill in refrigerator at least 6 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 400º F. Butter sides and bottom of a 15"x10" jellyroll pan. Line pan with wax paper and butter top of paper .
  5. Beat 4 egg yolks for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup sugar and continue beating until mixture is lemon colored and forms a ribbon when the beaters or whisk is lifted out.
  6. Beat egg whites until and salt in a separate bowl until stiff. Beat in vanilla. Pour yolk mixture over egg whites and fold in gently. Sprinkle mixture with flour and angelica and fold in gently. Pour batter into jellyroll pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
  7. Bake cake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Sprinkle powdered  sugar over a muslin or "flour sack" towel and turn out cake on powdered towel Cool for 4 hours.
  8. Remove waxed paper from cake.. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and chill 4 hours before serving

* There is a wonderful Feasting "Fair" with the Angels in the archives at Catholic Cuisine with many ideas for celebrating the angels' feast days, culinary and otherwise!  Many, many links!   Check it out here.

* Discuss with the children the important patronages of St. Raphael.  Some ideas: after reading the story of Tobit and Tobias in the Bible, it's easy to draw out good conversations about:
  + obedience and the reward for good works (Tobias in relation to his Father, Tobit, and his father's healing)
   + hospitality and kindness (as the Archangel Raphael's protection to Tobias on the long journey exemplifies)
   + caution on journeys and our reliance on good guides here on earth and in the heavenly realm (remind them to pray to St. Raphael as well as St. Christopher before all journeys)
   + the importance of choosing a good spouse, and relying on the counsel of others in this very important decision (as Tobias accepts the guidance of St. Raphael)
   + the reality that the angels are truly at our side (all of them with our prayers for their intercession, and our Guardian Angels for every moment of our lives -- and in purgatory, too!)

* Here is a coloring page for the day, unfortunately not specific to St. Raphael, but it will do in a pinch.  Around the sides of this image, I plan to have the children draw the symbols of St. Raphael themselves:  fish, a staff, a gourd, maybe even young Tobias -- possibly even with young Tobias' bride. (Nothing better that a little girl likes to draw than brides in brides' dresses!)

* And two more -- though, fair warning --  they will probably not enlarge well.  They might work best if they were made into a bookmarks, or used to embelish a page in which the children copy out one of the prayers to St. Raphael, above.

Our Personal Prayer to St. Raphael

Dear St. Raphael, please guide all travelers safely home -- but especially our family's two travelers right now, Dominic and Michelle, who are leaving Ireland tomorrow -- Dominic for home, Michelle to spend another month or so in Austria before coming back to America.  Keep them both safe in mind, body, and spirit! 

 Also, a prayer in advance for our son Paul, who will be leaving for a six week mission in a very dangerous land within the next month; please guide him, prepare him, protect him, and don't leave his side for a minute until he is safely home!

And please keep Kevin, and Dan, and Grandpa safe while they travel to join together to spend some "boy time" together with Paul before he leaves. 

And, I expect we'll have more travel petitions to add soon...

But, regardless of where our feet take us on this earth, please keep all of our souls aimed and moving toward our loving Father in heaven. 


Happy, Happy Feast of the Holy Archangel, St. Raphael -- Who Always Beholds the Face of God in Heaven!

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