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Saturday, June 10, 2017


Tobit, Chapter 5, Verse 16
I will even add a bonus to your wages!” The young man replied: “I will go with him. Do not fear. In good health we will leave you, and in good health we will return to you, for the way is safe.”

This is the angel Raphael who says to do not fear. It is interesting to note that Raphael name and function means the medicine of God.  

One of the Seven[1]

Raphael is one of the seven archangels who bring prayers before God (Tobit xii. 15), although he was not one of the six who buried Moses. In Enoch, xx. 1-7 he is the second among the six or seven angels, Michael, as the most prominent, being placed in the Middle. In the lists of planetary angels given in the Jewish calendar, Raphael presides over the sun and over Sunday (ib. p. 56). The four angels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel appear much more often in works of Jewish mysticism. From heaven they behold all the bloodshed on earth and bring the laments of souls before the Lord (Enoch, ix. 1-3). From out of the darkness they lead souls to God (Sibyllines, ii. 214 et seq.). They are the four angels of the Presence, and stand on the four sides of the Lord, whom they glorify (Enoch, xl., where the fourth angel is Phanuel). Each has his own host of angels for the praising of God, around the four sides of whose throne are the four groups of angels. In accordance with their position in heaven, they are the four leaders of the camp of Israel in the wilderness: Michael on the east, opposite the tribe of Levi; Raphael on the west, opposite Ephraim; Gabriel on the south, facing Reuben and Judah; Uriel on the north, facing Dan. In like manner, the four rivers of paradise are divided among these four angels ("Seder Gan 'Eden," in Jellinek, "B. H." iii. 138). Raphael, like every other angel, can assume any form he will (Tobit); a tablet on his breast bears the name of God (Pesiḳ. R. 108b); according to the Zohar, he is the chief of the "ofannim." Arealization of the foreign character of this angel is inferred in the statement of Simeon ben Laüish (in 250 C.E.) to the effect that the names of the angels originated in Babylon, meaning among the Parthians who ruled there (Gen. R. xlviii. 9). Raphael, as his name implies, is the angel of healing diseases and wounds (Enoch, xc. 9); he overcomes Asmodeus, the evil spirit; he binds even Azazel, and throws him into a pit (Enoch, x. 4). He cures blindness (Tobit l.c.; Midrash of the Ten Commandments, in Jellinek, "B. H." i. 80), and because of his healing powers he is represented as a serpent (Origen, l.c.). Raphael, as the third in rank, appeared with Michael and Gabriel to cure Abraham (Yoma 37a; B. M. 86b; Gen. R. xlviii. 10). He cures also moral evil (Pasiḳ. R. 46 [ed. Friedmann, p. 188a]).

Raphael in Christian Theology

Raphael was a favorite figure in Christian as well as in Jewish angelology, and early Christian amulets, encolpions, tombstones, and other monuments have been found bearing the names of the angels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. A small, gold tablet discovered in the grave of Maria, the wife of the emperor Honorius, bears a similar inscription. The names of the same angels occur on Basilidian gems, and Origen likewise mentions them.

His name occurs in Judæo-Babylonian conjuring texts, and is conspicuous in the liturgy—as in the evening prayer, where he is mentioned together with the three other angels, at whose head stands God, exactly as in the Christian version of Zechariah.

  1. Tobias went out to look for someone to accompany him and who should he run into but Raphael, the angel!
  2. When asked if he knew the way to Media, Raphael replied that he often stayed there with Gabael (who just happened to be the guy holding the bag of money) because they were kinsmen.  (Though this seems to be an amazing stroke of luck, it, of course, reflects the providence of God.)
  3. Tobit wanted to meet him and when pressed for a name, Raphael said it was Azariah, which means “Yahweh has helped.”
  4. Both Tobit and Tobias had no clue as to Azariah’s true identity even though he told Tobit he would soon be healed.
  5. Tobit wished them a safe journey, saying, “May [God’s] angel accompany you both and protect you!”  (Another example of great irony!)
Ember Saturday
·         The end of Paschaltide (after the office of None on Saturday afternoon).
·         Pope Callistus (217-222) in the “Liber Pontificalis” has laws ordering all to observe a fast three times a year to counteract the hedonistic and pagan Roman rites praying for: a good harvest (June).
·         By the time of Pope Gelasius, (492-496), he already writes about there being four times a years, including spring.  He also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of Ember week.
·         It was not until Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) that these Ember days were prescribed for the whole Catholic Church as days of fast and abstinence.  He placed these “four mini Lents” consisting of three days; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
·         Saturday it is 2 small meals and 1 regular.
·         Wednesday and Saturday, only meat at the regular meal.

Daily Devotions/Prayers

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood


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