In this time of crisis , many people have experienced numerous restraints and challenges in their lives, resulting in considerable effects on their mental and physical well-being. To name a few, COVID-19, natural calamities and recurring disasters, and tremendous amounts of human sickness and at death’s door are some of the reasons behind the undesired state of several people throughout this pandemic. These situations contribute to the burden of other fellow men and various industries in our country which alters the superb position of our economy to a predicament. In addition to that, the conditions of folks globally who are experiencing similar problems are affected, too. To support such a claim, the issues faced by our citizens also influenced the entire society’s wholeness. Consequences upon consequences. How will the world heal from all these misfortune occurrences?
In trials and desperate times, people turn to existing and fast ways to solve their daily dilemmas. Relevantly, the public seeks antidotes to cure illnesses brought by different infectious diseases and viruses present nowadays. With that , the commonality instantly proceeds to their mobiles, spending hours and hours on sundry search engines and social media platforms to find the right solution to the problems they are encountering. Fortunately, they arrive with multiple answers to their queries. But the real question is, are these the right solutions to the problem and the right things to do?
Many citizens at present forget countless things. As Catholics, the only thing we either fail to remember or do not do regularly is prayer. Prayers are acts of religious belief to call God and other heavenly beings for guidance, protection, and other matters of high importance (religiously speaking). Prayers serve as our armor and shield against all possible events, whether good or bad, which may transpire in our lives.
Since we are experiencing a global pandemic, the majority of sick people lack such an act. Even basic prayers like the Hail Mary and Our Father could make a difference in you and your physical and spiritual life. Do not just use your devices to look for solutions with lifelong effects for your everyday needs. Ask for help from God and His servants above without hesitation! If you are afraid to communicate to God directly through prayers, ask angels and saints to bring your prayers to God. They will also shower you with grace and blessing upon calling them. One saint that you may call during times like this is Saint Raphael the Archangel.
Saint Raphael the Archangel is one of the seven archangels who lead God’s celestial army and His servants in heaven. His name Raphael means God heals (In Hebrew, Rafael means God has healed me). He, together with the other archangels, guards and protects people who inhabit the earth. He is one of the only three archangels in the Bible mentioned by name (Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael).
Saint Raphael the Archangel has roles assigned to him by God, just like the rest of the seven archangels. His mission is to heal the world which the angels have defiled. In other words, he is the one who spreads healing to people worldwide, tarnished by the angels who have fallen, and aids the needs of God’s creations globally.
He is stated in the Bible in the Old Testament, particularly in the Book of Tobit. Here, it says that he camouflaged in the human flesh. As a human, Saint Raphael the Archangel is recognized as Azarias. As stated in the Bible, Azarias is the son of the great Ananias. He journeyed earth with Tobit’s son, Tobias, which means God is good (some sources refer to him as Tobiah or by the diminutive Tobiel).
Before knowing Saint Raphael the Archangel (disguised as Azarias), Tobias left his place to travel to Media. He did this not only to collect an old debt from a distant relative but to utilize this money as a source of funding to treat his father, Tobit, who became blind. But before going on his trip, Tobias met Azarias outside their house.
Azarias and Tobit continued to travel. Upon arriving at the river Tigris, they resided there. As Tobias went to the river to bathe himself, a fish jumped toward him, which would have eaten him. Azarias commanded him to get the fish. Tobias did such and took it to land. Azarias then told him to open the fish. He asked Tobias to take the heart, liver, and gall of the fish. After such, he asked him to raise these safely afterward. This scene shows how God loves, guides, and protects each one of us through His angels or heavenly servants. Moreover, Saint Raphael the Archangel, camouflaged as Azarias, depicts a metaphor in life that guardian angels are always there to join and accompany us whenever or wherever possible. They carried on back to Tobias’ house. After reaching home, Azarias told Tobias to anoint his father’s eyes. With the gall obtained from the fish, he cured Tobit’s blindness through Saint Raphael the Archangel, still disguised as Azarias. Upon seeing everything, including his son, Tobit became grateful to the Lord, fell into tears, and rejoiced in the glory of God and the angels. In another story, through Saint Rafael, the Archangel, the demon Asmodeus found in Tobias’ wife, Sarah, is immediately cast away.
Upon revealing his true power of healing, he declared that his name was Saint Raphael the Archangel, one of the seven archangels of the kingdom of God. Delivered by God to fulfill his earthly duties. Everyone kneeled before him in awe. They offered him earthly gifts, but he quickly refused. According to him, no amount of riches can repay the grace given by God. For such a reason, real people blessed with the gift of healing should not accept any form of gratitude from the least (such as a thank you) to the most (like money and other material things.) Because their reward awaits in the kingdom of God. After this, Saint Rafael the Archangel commanded them to thank God, for he will return to him. Upon going back to heaven, they arose and saw him no more. This scene tells us that we can only achieve God’s favor through sincere prayers and having good conduct here on earth.
In iconographic imagery, Saint Raphael the Archangel, as Azarias, carries a small box with medicaments. In some cases, there is a dog following both of them as they journey on. Some artworks also showcase the beauty of God’s creations wherein trees, plants, and other animals are present.
He is the patron saint of blind, physically sick patients, travelers, joyous meetings, physicians, nurses, and medical workers. He celebrates his feast together with Archangel Michael and Archangel Gabriel (September 29). He helps the sick through his prayer of healing, which is as follows:
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 to 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.
So why don’t we trust the Lord’s power instead? In the hardships we encounter, we must not only rely on the things we see on the internet, especially when it comes to cures for the sick. We should use the technologies we have today to seek guidance in finding the exact prayers for our petitions. Like the prayer above, several patients suffering will surely be well in no time upon praying to Saint Raphael the Archangel. Never lose hope ,we can be kind, we can take care of each other. In times of crisis, all we need is love, trust, and faith with the Lord and His heavenly subjects above. There is nothing wrong with offering everything to Him. If you feel broken inside and out, physically and emotionally, remember; GOD HEALS through an Archangel known as ST. RAPHAEL!