Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Holy Archangels Michael And Gabriel

The Seven Holy Archangels:
Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel,
Selaphiel, Jehudiel, Barachiel, and Jeremiel.

Commanders of the heavenly hosts, we who are unworthy beseech you, by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory, and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you: "Deliver us from all harm, for you are the commanders of the powers on high!"
Commanders of God's armies and ministers of the divine glory, princes of the bodiless angels and guides of mankind, ask for what is good for us, and for great mercy, supreme commanders of the Bodiless Hosts.

The ninth month of the year, as well as the "ninth" day of the week, are devoted to the honor of the nine heavenly hosts. While there were initially ten angelic choirs -this number being regarded as mystical and holy in the Holy Writ, reminding us of the Ten Plagues and the Ten Commandments, as well as the numerical value of the initial letter of the Tetragram-, the first and foremost of these aforesaid heavenly hosts unfortunately fell from the heavens, under the misguided leadership of the former Archangel Lucifer, who refused to give the deserved glory and rightful praise to the uncreated Angel of the Lord, Great Counselor and Angel of Great Advice -of Whom the Divinely inspired Scriptures repeatedly make mention, and of whom Isaiah the Prophet praisefully speaks-, by mistaking him for one of the created ones. The irony of faith in all this consists in the fact that, if he would've meekly humbled himself before This One, today the Church would've celebrated his and his host's Feast Day as well, together with all of those who continued to remain faithful servants of God under the leadership of the second-in-command, the Great and Holy Archangel Michael, who's being thusly named for rebuking the former's prideful thoughts, when seeing that that one wanted to rise his throne higher than the Throne of Glory, by crying out loud unto him: "Who is like unto God !?"; after which he exhorted all the Angels that were under him with the advice with which the Priest still calls upon the faithful present at the Holy Liturgy every Sunday and Feast Day, namely: "Let's stand well, let's stand with fear ... ". The number of this fallen tenth celestial army is to be fulfilled, according to the Divine Revelation of Saint John the Theologian, with those that lived heavenly lives here on this earth, resembling those of the bodiless Angels with their bloody martyrdom or unbloody asceticism, though being themselves but bodily men. As the Akathist dedicated to Saint Anthony the Great of Egypt so beautifully puts it: "Rejoice, oh heavenly man and earthly Angel !". For their worthiness, they're being remembered on the "tenth" day of the week.

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