Every Catholic Must Know These 9 Fascinating Facts About the 3 Great Archangels

The Bible, the sacred scriptures revered by Christians, contains many stories and teachings that are foundational to the faith. Among these are references to angelic beings who serve as messengers and protectors for both God and humans. The Catholic Church has long recognized the importance of angels, and within this heavenly hierarchy, a special place is reserved for the archangels. In this article, we will explore nine fascinating facts about the three great archangels that every Catholic should know.

Who Are the Archangels?

Before we dive into the facts, it’s essential to clarify who the archangels are. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, angels are “spiritual, non-corporeal beings” who “are personal and immortal creatures” that “constantly behold God face to face.” Archangels are considered the highest-ranking angels, set apart for important missions related to humanity (CCC 329-330). In Scripture, only three archangels are named: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

Michael: The Warrior Angel

Michael’s name means “Who is like God?” and he is often portrayed as a warrior angel who fights against the forces of evil. In the Book of Revelation, he leads the heavenly army in a battle against Satan and his followers: “And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back” (Revelation 12:7, NIV).

Gabriel: The Messenger Angel

Gabriel means “God is my strength,” and he serves as a messenger for important divine announcements. Most notably, Gabriel was the angel who informed the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and give birth to Jesus (Luke 1:26-38).

Raphael: The Healing Angel

The name Raphael means “God heals,” and this archangel appears in the Book of Tobit, an Old Testament book recognized in the Catholic canon. Raphael aids Tobit and his son, Tobiah, on their journeys and brings healing (Tobit chapters 5-12).

Fact 1: Michael is the Only Angel Called an “Archangel” in the Bible

In the Bible, Michael is the only angel explicitly described as an “archangel” (Jude 1:9). This distinction sets Michael apart as a chief angel or a leading figure among the heavenly hosts.

Fact 2: Gabriel Announced the Birth of Both John the Baptist and Jesus

Gabriel was responsible for significant announcements in the New Testament. He informed Zechariah about the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-20) and, later, delivered the Annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26-38). These events were pivotal in the unfolding of salvation history.

Fact 3: Raphael is Recognized Primarily in the Catholic and Orthodox Traditions

The Book of Tobit, where Raphael appears, is part of the Deuterocanonical books, accepted by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches but not included in the Protestant Bible. Raphael serves as a guide and a healer, embodying God’s providence and care for humanity (Tobit 5:4-22, 12:15).

Fact 4: Michael is Seen as a Patron of Soldiers and Police Officers

The warrior-like attributes of Michael have led to his veneration as the patron saint of soldiers and police officers. His ability to lead and protect aligns with the duties of those who serve in law enforcement or the military.

Fact 5: Gabriel is Often Associated with the Annunciation

The Feast of the Annunciation, celebrated on March 25, is often linked with Gabriel because of his role in announcing the birth of Jesus. In art and devotions, Gabriel is frequently depicted holding a lily, a symbol of purity, or a scroll with the words of the Annunciation.

Fact 6: Archangels Have Their Feast Day

In the liturgical calendar, the Catholic Church commemorates the Feast of the Archangels on September 29. This day is dedicated to Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, recognizing their unique roles in the story of salvation.

Fact 7: The Archangels Have Different Patronages

Michael is seen as the patron of soldiers, but also of the Church itself. Gabriel is often invoked for messages and communication, and Raphael is seen as the patron of travelers, the blind, and healthcare workers.

Fact 8: The Catechism Asserts the Existence of Angels

The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes it clear that the existence of angels is a truth of faith. “The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of faith” (CCC 328).

Fact 9: The Archangels are Invoked in Various Catholic Prayers and Traditions

Prayers like the “St. Michael the Archangel” prayer invoke the aid of archangels. These prayers ask for protection against evil and guidance in walking the path of righteousness.


The archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael occupy a special place in Catholic tradition. These heavenly beings serve unique roles in the divine plan, and their stories and attributes continue to inspire and guide the faithful today. Understanding their roles enriches our appreciation of the complexity and beauty of God’s creation and divine plan.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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