About Me

My photo
Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Other Archangels

Perhaps not related but sister could you explain Saint Selaphiel, patron saint of prayer? I found out about this archangel today and would like to know if he features in the Catholic tradition?

Funny you should mention "I found out about this today".  I have had a similar archangel experience. I would wish us both luck in unraveling who reveres who and who suppressed who, but Catholics eschew luck. Eschew is the perfect word for what we, as Catholics, do about luck.

My angel appeared in the catalog where we find the medals for our shop. There in the Catholic catalog was Zadkiel, the archangel of mercy and forgiveness. This tickled me no end. Who doesn't need more mercy and forgiveness?  Keep in mind that not only are these angels the patrons of whatever, their job description is to bring human beings to God through that patronage. So not only do need more mercy and more forgiveness, I need to be more merciful and more forgiving.

All covered by Zadkiel. He'll be in the shop soon!

But hold on...the Catholic church really only names three archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. The rest were suppressed at the Council of Nicaea, as far as I can find out at least.

But if you go digging a little you'll find the names of the seven archangels. We all agree there are seven archangels.  But there are several traditions of who they are and what there names are.  We'll all cry if I try to name them all within the traditions in which they are found.There is the Catholic Tradition, The Eastern Orthodox Tradition, the Coptic Orthodox Tradition and the Judaic Tradition.  The Episcopals (and their granddaddies the Anglicans) like adding Uriel.  Suffice to say that we all agree on Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.  Next is Uriel, who also appears in all the traditions but is skipped more or less by the Catholic Tradition.  The names of the seven are differ from each other in each tradition.

So your angel is from the Eastern Orthodox church, named as one of the seven archangels who stand before God. He is the patron saint of prayer and is almost always depicted with his hands folded and his head bowed. His name means "Prayer of God".  He stands bowed before God in prayer and he is the primary teacher of prayer.

But, just like there are various names of angels on various names of angels lists, Selaphiel has spelling variations and one of those spellings means "God's Command".  He is the angel that will lead you before God to be judged.

According to tradition.

My new pal Zadkiel is the angel who stopped the hand of Abraham when Abraham was following God's order to sacrifice Isaac.

Or it was Selaphiel. Depends on your tradition.

It's a little hard to have a tradition if you're new to it. Sort of flies in the face of the meaning of tradition.

Oh well.

We know there are seven archangels so I see no problem with Selaphiel, Zadkiel, Jehudiel, Barachiel, Jeremiel, Jophiel, Chamuel,, Simiel, Oriphiel, Ananiel... there are more.  And there are alternate spellings for everyone. Wheeeeeee!

1 comment:

nebula said...

Thank you so much for your post answering my question sister. Next question if you are up for it :) What did Jesus mean when he said: "Ask and you shall receive." Was he talking about spiritual gifts?