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Archangel Raphael: Patron of Travelers and Healing

How this patron angel became synonymous with healing those who are ill and helping travelers.

Did you know that the longest speech ever recorded by an angel is Chapter Twelve in the Book of Tobit? It was from the great Archangel Raphael whose name means “Medicine of God” in Hebrew. He is one of the seven Archangels that stand before the throne of God chanting hymns of unending praise. (Three of those Archangels are named in the Catholic bible, two in the Protestant bible.) 

The Book of Tobit is not included in the Protestant (King James) bible so many Christians never get the chance to read about the wonderful relationship that developed between the archangel Raphael and a young man sent to carry out an assignment. 

Tobiah, the young man, was sent by his father, Tobit, to reclaim some money that he was owed. Tobit couldn’t go because he had become blind. Tobiah was willing to make the journey, but was concerned about going alone. A man of unknown identity, Archangel Raphael, volunteered to escort Tobiah on the journey.

As many of us experience on an uncertain journey, the young man had doubts and fears along the way, but this beautiful being protected and encouraged him, and all was well in the end. It’s no surprise that Raphael became the patron of travelers.

Raphael is also the patron of healing. Recently, a priest-friend of mine, Father Joseph Whalen, jumped on the technological bandwagon (at age 86) and created a beautiful website devoted to Archangel Raphael. Thanks to a special devotion to Raphael, each year he and his friends make holy oil out of rose petals, and distribute it as a blessing to those who are ill. In the many years Father Whalen has been doing this, many sick people have attributed their healing to his blessing. 

I’ll tell you more about St. Raphael next time, but for now, please visit these related sites:
This video offers an overview of the Biblical account of Raphael with beautiful background music.

Father Joseph Whalen’s ministry is outlined here.

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