Pray to archangels for protection from devil, pope says

| Carol Glatz | September 29, 2017 | 10 Comments

iStock/Gabriele Grassl

The archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael help encourage and accompany Christians on life’s journey and defend them from the devil, Pope Francis said.

While the three archangels serve the Lord and contemplate his glory, God also “sends them to accompany us on the road of life,” the pope said in his homily at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Sept. 29, the archangels’ feast day.

They have “an important role in our journey toward salvation,” he said. For instance, Michael has been tasked with waging war against the devil, who is a “nuisance in our life.”

The devil seduces everyone, like he did Eve, with convincing arguments and temptations, the pope said.

“The Lord asks (Michael) to wage war,” he said, and “Michael helps us wage war, to not be seduced.”

Gabriel, on the other hand, is the bearer of good news, the news of salvation. He, too, is with the people and helps when “we forget” the Gospel and forget that “Jesus came to be with us” to save us.

Raphael, the pope said, is the one who “walks with us,” protecting people from the “seduction of taking the wrong step.”

The pope asked that people pray: “Michael, help us in the fight; everyone knows what battle they are facing in their lives today. Every one of us knows the fundamental battle — the one that puts salvation at risk. Help us.

“Gabriel, bring us news, bring us the Good News of salvation, that Jesus is with us, that Jesus has saved us, and give us hope,” he continued. “Raphael, take us by the hand and help us on the journey to not go the wrong way, to not remain immobile, always walking, but helped by you.”

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Category: From the Pope

  • Builder Baptist

    There is only one Archangel. Only to God the Father and In the name of Jesus our Lord that we pray for proctection. We will not pray for protection to any other creature in heaven, earth or under the earth.

    • Charles C.

      That’s fine, feel free. Me? I like the extra protection and am willing to follow the teachings of the Church.

      Although, traditionally, the Powers are the angels responsible for protection from evil. They’re classed in the second, or middle, hierarchy of angels. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are, as the pope said, Archangels. About Archangels:

      “According to Dionysius the Areopagite, their principle service consists in revealing prophecies, knowledge, and understanding of God’s will, which they receive from the higher orders of angels and announce to the lower order (the angels), and through them, to men. St. Gregory says that the Archangels “strengthen people in the holy faith, enlightening their minds with the light of knowledge of the holy Gospel and revealing the mysteries of devout faith.”

      How’s that for more than you wanted to know?

      • Dominic Deus

        Dominic here. I like my version better. Besides if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle inspiring Archangels are in the Middle, who’s on top? I’ve never heard the names of any of them.

        • Charles C.

          I’m pretty sure that your curiosity had already led you to the answer to that question, but in the unlikely case that it hasn’t, I offer the following.

          Angels are said to be divided into three groups or “choirs.” The first, or group closest to God, consists of Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. The next group has Dominions, Virtues, and Powers. The group closest to Man includes Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.


          My understanding is that Baptists have no problem with the existence of Angels, see Hebrews 1:14.
          “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

          I think Builder’s objection is praying to them. Of course the Bible has several examples in both Testaments, of individuals talking with Angels, so that can’t be a bad thing. Perhaps Builder is thinking that prayer includes worship, which, of course, it doesn’t.

          • Dominic Deus

            Charles, you are right. We are actually getting to know each other! That is exactly what I did and what’s even more interesting, a little voice in my head was saying, “Charles will never let you forget it if you don’t know by the time he posts.”

            So I looked it up and of course it is exactly as you describe. A couple of comments: I cannot confirm or deny that I’m more than a little skeptical of the whole angelology (yes, that’s a thing) field but if there are going to be angels it seems to me they should be useful, at a minimum.

            For that reason, I strike from the angelic ranks the Seraphims whose only function is to sit closest to God, as in right next to Him and sing praise songs eternally. To me, the thought of vast numbers of sycophantic Seraphims screeching soprano high notes in my ears eternally would be the sixth or seventh Circle of Hell so I conclude they don’t exist or they do need job retraining.

            Cherubims are this cute little baby angels with wings who are perpetually surprised or about to get into trouble. I think of them as the Little Rascals. On the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel Michelangelo originally painted them with their little toddler penises prominently featured. Years later, some priggish Cardinal ordered little cloth diapers be created of fabric and plaster then painted. If you go to the Sistine Chapel (it’s very hard to get tickets) and get the right tour guide, she will tell you that there was some talk of removing the nappies when the Japanese government paid to have the entire fresco cleaned but the Vatican decided against that plan. It was concluded that the risk of removing diapers form little boy angels who had not peed in years was just too much.

            I favor keeping Cherubims but clearly they belong on a lower celestial level–perhaps in rain clouds. BTW I am not sure you can accurately describe a not-yet-walking angel who can nevertheless fly as a “toddler.”

            As for the Thrones, Dominions,Virtues and Powers, I would describe them as the clerical staff or civil servants of Heaven and although you could not un the place without them. Their job descriptions are padded with a lot of duties seldom performed. Thats why you make them work on salary. They do not need to be close to God or anyone else. That’s why you put them init an Executive Office Building or “annex” somewhere.

            That leaves us with Principalities who are something like angelic mall cops who protect areas, cities, groups of people, nations, excluding Las Vegas. They are not even pictured carrying swords, but maybe sword possession is illegal in Heaven. Anyway, I see them as being more like the Guardian Angels (the ones from New York and Jersey).

            Now we are down to the lowest tier leaving only Archangels and Angels. This is totally backwards as the whole point of having angels is to give humans anthropomorphic reference points in the mystical world. Take Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. These are obviously the Big Kahunas. Michael’s title is “God’s Mightiest Angel, Defender of Heaven.” He may be busy thrusting (Satan and the Demons) into Hell or smiting Enemies (of God or underdogs), Gabriel may be out doing instant messaging or announcing and Raphael could be painting beautiful pictures. These guys rock. (I’m making some assumptions based on what we know about Cherubims) They are the three that always have God’s ears when they want to speak. Sure, they are gone on business a lot but only because God or possibly his daughter-in-law told them to do something special. (She and Gabriel have known each other since the beginning.)

            Finally there are angel angels and they are your everyday angels who hang around the house, play with babies and puppies, are always close at hand when you need someone to talk to. You see them all the time but don’t recognize them for what they are, until the day you do and you smile. They will walk the lonely road with you, every step. You don’t pray to them, they just want you to love them and talk to them. Admit it. You feel better just reading about them.

            OK, there you have it. Angelology according to Dominic Deus. Test it in the Fire of Life and see if its true.

            I still need Builder to tell me what the Baptist Church does for theological fun.

          • Charles C.

            You’re going to hate me for this, but a little baby with wings, as depicted in some art which I fail to find inspiring, is called a putto (plural, putti). It’s the wings and the clouds which make everybody call them angels, or cherubs.

            Oh, and the reason you know only the names of Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael, is because they are the only ones named in the Bible. Even Lucifer isn’t a name, it means “light-bringer” and wasn’t originally capitalized. Eventually it was taken as a generic name for the Devil.

            Since there are other angels which fell, I’d be very cautious of angels with any name other than the three mentioned in the Bible. They have good character references. The rest? Well, don’t mess with them.

          • Dominic Deus

            Wow, that’s a good name for them. They look like “putto” or putti’s. What are they though? What’s their function? Well, come to think of it, I guess being eternal Little Rascals is a good thing. Did you know some of the original Little Rascals films are almost a hundred years old? We have them at the cabin on VHS and the grandchildren love them, as do their parents. We also have Flash Gordon episodes

            Several years ago at Burning Man, the fellow in charge of re-creating the French Quarter was named “Lucifer”, referring actually to the bringer of light thing or the match. In short order, I was named Michael Archangel as a counterpoint and it stuck. Yes, given the fallen angels, I would be reluctant to associate with one that say, looked like a Hell’s Angel and was named “Skull.” Lots of red flags there.

            Baptists–apparently very, very diverse.

        • Charles C.

          Dear Dominic Deus,

          And who inspired the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I might ask?

          • Dominic Deus

            Charles–Mormons. They have the greatest names for angels–ones the rest of us haven’t even heard of. They also have the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which, thanks to you, I now understand could be angels. I never thought of that but they do sing well.

            I still haven’t heard from Builder on the subject of what Baptists do for fun, religiously speaking.

    • Dominic Deus

      Dominic Deus here. Builder, thank you for commenting. Angels and archangels are just two of the really fun things we have in Catholicism. Their mystical existence allows us lots of room for speculation on existential questions. For example, Heavenly angels (as opposed to you and me if we go to Heaven and get our wings and all that) have no free will. They only act as direct agents at the command of God. What kind of eternal life would that be? Regular angels get to do what they want and I imagine that includes returning to observe this life and walk around just a step behind us, occasionally saying “Don’t step in that.”

      So tell me more about being a Baptist. What do you have that’s fun and what do you have that inspires existential thoughts? Or any other kind of thoughts. Whatever you want to write about 🙂