Today is the Feast of Saint Raphael the Archangel, one of the Seven Spirits Who Stand Before the Throne of God.
In the Book of Tobias, in the Old Testament, we read of the ministry of the holy archangel St. Raphael, protector and guardian of the sick. The Eastern Chruches observed a feast in his honor since the year 1000. It is now universally celebrated throughout the Church. His name signifies "The Healing of God"; hi is one of the seven blessed spirits who always stand before the throne of God. He is identified by many Fahters of the Church with the angel who stirred the Pool of Bethsaida as related in the Gospel.
Our country is in grave danger from Viral pathogens that have developed resistance to antibiotics from the overuse of the same, and we are threatened by Ebola, at least if that viral threat is real. We need God's help to overcome the evil being perpetrated on the world and Saint Raphael is the one that God has blessed us with to give us that help.
O God, Who to thy servant Tobias when on his journey didst give blessed Raphael, the archangel, as a companion, grant us, Thy servants, that we may ever be protected by his guardianship and strengthened by his assistance. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God world without end. Amen.
Lesson from the Book of Tobias:
In those days, the angel Raphael said to Tobias: It is good to hide the secret of a king: but honorable to reveal and confess the works of God. Prayer is good with fasting and alms, more than to lay up treasures of gold: for alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting. But they that commit sin and iniquity are enemies to their own soul. I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you. When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in they house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the Lord.
Raphael, the angel of the Lord, took, and bound the devil. Great is Our Lord, and great is His power.
Alleluia, alleluia. I will sing praise to Thee in the sight of the angels, I will worship towards Thy holy temple, and I will give glory to Thy name, O Lord. Alleluia.
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