From the Pastor September 25, 2016


26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – C


Saints Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, Archangels – September 29


My next reflection on the 50 Saints with an Obligatory
or Feast
and full set of orations [Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and Prayer after Communion]
is on Saints Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, Archangels, whose Feast Day is September 29. How can ‘Angels’
be ‘Saints’
if a Saint is a human being, who once lived on earth, and is now living in heaven? The Latin word ‘Sancta’
– which gives us the word ‘Saint’
simply means ‘holy.’
It has been used by Catholics as the honorific title for all who are in heaven with God, whether they once lived on earth or were always part of that invisible ‘other’ world in ‘heaven.’ So we rightly use the term ‘Sancta’
for Angels, ordinary humans who are in heaven, and even for our Blessed Mother.


Did you know not all angels are Saints; we call fallen or bad angels demons or devils. And did you know that the Archangels and many Saints, like the Apostles and our Blessed Mother, were never officially canonized by the Church? Popes have been officially canonizing a Saint for ‘only’ 1,000 years; before that, Saints were declared by popular acclamation or widespread veneration. Here are the orations for Saints Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, Archangels
whose highly symbolic names are not even mentioned in their orations!


Collect – Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, Archangels


O God, who dispose in marvelous order ministries both angelic and human,

graciously grant that our life on earth

may be defended by those who watch over us

as they minister perpetually to you in heaven.

Through our Lord … for ever and ever. Amen.


In God’s awesome plan, we are never alone; while our surest defense and main intercessor is Jesus Christ, God makes it a communal effort, high and low. Saint Michael, whose name means ‘who is like God,’ defends us from evil. Saint Gabriel, whose name means ‘hero of God,’ is entrusted with the most important divine messages; he announced the conception and birth of both John the Baptist and Jesus. Saint Raphael, whose name means, ‘God has healed,’
is sent to cure humans of all that ails us. It is he who tells us, “I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand and serve before the Glory of the Lord.”
[Tobit 12:15]
From non-biblical, and thus non-canonical sources [which means we are free to accept or reject them] we learn the names of the other four Archangels: Uriel, Raguel, Sariel
and Jerahmeel.


Prayer over the Offerings – Archangels


We offer you a sacrifice of praise, O Lord, humbly entreating, that, as these gifts

are borne by the ministry of Angels

into the presence of your majesty,

so you may receive them favorably

and make them profitable for our salvation.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


At every Mass, each Preface ends by leading us into the song the Bible says is constantly sung in heaven. It usually goes like this: “… so we join the Angels and Saints in their unending hymn … as we proclaim: then we paraphrase that heavenly hymn: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!” [Isaiah 6:3]
And in Eucharistic Prayer I we say: “In humble prayer we ask you, almighty God: command that these gifts be borne by the hands of your holy Angel to your altar on high in the sight of your divine majesty, so that all of us, who through this participation at the altar receive the most holy Body and Blood of your Son, may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing.”
So Angels worship with us, and as the next oration states, they also protect and watch over us. Saints Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, pray for us.


Prayer after Communion – Archangels


Having been nourished with heavenly Bread,

we beseech you humbly, O Lord, that,

drawing from it new strength, under the

faithful protection of your Angels, we may advance boldly along the way of salvation.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


In His holy Name,




Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS