Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are the three named biblical angels, depicted as the beloved messengers of God. Michael, which means ‘who is like God?’, is described as protector of Israel and leader of the armies of God and is perhaps best known for his victory over the dragon, which is told in the Revelation to John. He is thus regarded as the protector of Christians from the devil, particularly those at the hour of death.
Gabriel, which means ‘the strength of God’, is the one who, in the Gospel according to Luke, is sent by God to Mary to announce the birth of Christ. Raphael, which means ‘the healing of God’, is depicted in the Book of Tobit as the one who restores sight to Tobit’s eyes.
A basilica near Rome was dedicated in the fifth century in honour of Michael on 30 September, beginning with celebrations on the eve of that day, and 29 September is now kept in honour of Michael throughout the western Church.
you have ordained and constituted
the ministries of angels and mortals in a wonderful order:
grant that as your holy angels always serve you in heaven,
so, at your command,
they may help and defend us on earth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.