Saint of the Day – 24 October – St Raphael the Archangel. Patronages – the blind, travellers, happy meetings, nurses, physicians, medical workers, matchmakers, Catholic Marriage and Catholic studies.The Feast day of Saint Raphael was included for the first time in the General Roman Calendar in 1921, for celebration on 24 October. With the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the Feast was transferred to 29 September for celebration together with the Archangels, Saints Michael and Gabriel.
Who gave Blessed Raphael the Archangel
to Tobias as his travelling companion,
grant to us Thy servants,
that we also may be guarded by his care
and receive the protection
of his assistance.
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
St Raphael, Archangel
By Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876
The two youths then set out on their journey. After the first day’s march, Tobias rested on the bank of the river Tigris and when he went to wash his feet in this river, an immense fish came suddenly up to devour him. When he called to his companion for help, Raphael told him to seize the fish courageously and draw him to land. Tobias did so, after which, Raphael told him to open the fish, take out the entrails and keep the heart, liver and gall, as useful medicines. They continued their journey,and took lodgings in the house of Raguel, who was of the same tribe as Tobias and who had an only daughter, named Sara, whom Raphael advised Tobias to take as wife. Tobias feared to do this, as he had heard that Sara had already been given in marriage to seven husbands, all of whom had been killed by the devil. Raphael, however, said: “Hear me and I will tell thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. It is they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from their heart and mind.”
Tobias exactly followed the directions of his holy companion and remained unharmed. From how many evils would persons about to be married be saved, if they had first received and followed suitable instructions from their pastors who, in regard to them, take the place of Raphael, advising them what they should do in order to enter the state of holy matrimony properly prepared. They should purify their heart by a good general confession and be married, not like heathens in the darkness of night but at Mass receiving the blessing of the Priest at the Altar. After marriage, they should live as becomes the marriage state, faithfully fulfilling the admonition of St Paul, sanctifying each other and taking care, that their children shall become, without delay, children of God through Baptism. Indeed, how much displeased must be the Guardian Angels of new-born children at seeing them, through the neglect of their parents, to have them Baptised in time, left in the power of the devil, in original sin and in danger of eternal perdition. While Tobias remained at the house of Raguel, his heavenly companion went to Rages, demanded and received, without any hesitation, the borrowed money from Gabelus, returned to Raguel and having made a short stay there, accompanied Tobias back to his home at Ninive.
Anna, Tobias’ mother, had meanwhile, grieved very much at the long absence of her son. She daily went to a high mountain and looked into the distance, to see whether her son was approaching and, when, on the day of his return, she saw him from afar, she ran to her husband and informed him of his son’s approach. Being blind, Tobias gave his hand to a servant and went to meet his son, as also did Anna. Both fell on his neck, kissed him and wept for joy. Having all entered their house, they adored the Almighty and gave due thanks to Him for the happy issue of the journey. Tobias, the son, then took some of the gall of the fish, and anointed his father’s eyes, as the Angel Raphael had told him to do, before they had reached the house and immediately, the blind father recovered his sight. Indescribably great ,was the joy of the father, the mother, the whole household and neighbourhood. Having given humble thanks to God for this new grace, Tobias told his parents how many benefits he had received from his travelling companion. “He conducted me and brought me safely back again,” said he; “he received the money from Gabelus, he caused me to obtain my wife and he chased from her the evil spirits and gave joy to her parents. Myself, he delivered from being devoured by the fish, thee also, father hath he made to see the light of heaven and we are filled with all good things through him. What can we give him sufficient for all these?“
Before his father could answer, he begged him to give so faithful a companion, as recompense, one-half of all the things they had brought. Tobias acceded to this proposal of his son without hesitation and calling the Angel, they both begged him to accept one-half of all the things they had brought, as a recompense for his services. But the Angel said to them: “Bless ye the God of heaven, give glory to Him in the sight of all that live because he hath showed mercy to you. For it is good to hide the secret of a king but honourable to confess and reveal 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 sin and maketh us to find mercy and life everlasting. But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul. When thou didst pray with tears and didst bury the dead and didst leave thy dinner and hide the dead by day in thy house and bury them by night, I offered thy prayers 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.”
Having thus spoken, the Holy Archangel was silent but Tobias and his son were seized with fear and fell trembling, with their faces to the ground. The Angel cheered them, with the words: “Peace be to you, fear not. For when I was with you, it was by the will of God: bless ye Him and sing praises unto Him. It is time now that I return to Him that sent me but bless ye God and publish all His wonderful works.” Having said these words, he vanished from their sight. They, however, lay prostrate on the ground for three hours, partly from fear, partly in wonder at the great goodness of God who had sent so high a Prince of Heaven to protect, comfort and help them. At length, having overcome their awe they repeated their thanks to God and announced everywhere, the benefits He had bestowed upon them. The beautiful hymn of praise which Tobias composed on that occasion is to be found in Holy Writ. From this event, as true as it is wonderful, several historians, not without reason, conclude that the intercession of St Raphael ought to be invoked by those who are either troubled or tempted by the Evil One, who are blind, or otherwise infirm, or who go on a journey. The name, Raphael, means “the remedy, or the physician of God” and shows ,that this Holy Angel assists, particularly those who are sick, either in soul or body. The true Church teaches those who intend to undertake a journey to pray: “May the Angel Raphael be with us on our way!” from which we infer, that he is the especial patron of all travellers.
Prayer to Saint Raphael the Archangel
Glorious Archangel, St Raphael,
great Prince of the Heavenly Court,
illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace,
guide of travellers by land and sea,
consoler of the unfortunate
and refuge of sinners,
I entreat thee to help me in all my needs
and in all the trials of this life,
as thou didst once assist the young Tobias
in his journeying.
And since thou art the “Physician of God,”
I humbly pray thee to heal my soul
of its many infirmities
and my body of the ills that afflict it,
if this favour is for my greater good.
I ask, especially, for angelic purity,
that I may be made fit
to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost.
(Indulgence of 100 days.—-Pope Leo XIII., 21 June 1890)