Celebrating the feast day of the three archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Pope Francis said we share their vocation “cooperating together in God’s salvific design”.
Speaking during the homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, he reflected on the Collect for the Day in which we sing the Lord’s praises in the sight of angels.
Angels, Pope Francis said, are masters of contemplation: they serve and contemplate the Lord who has sent them to accompany us on the path of life.
Michael protects us against evil
Michael, Gabriel and Raphael in particular, he continued, have an important role in our journey towards salvation.
“Michael, he said, is the one who fights against the devil” and protects humanity from the snares of evil. He protects us against the serpent that seduces us, makes us fall and then accuses us before God claiming us as his own.
“Michael, the Pope explained, was asked by the Lord to fight the devil” and he helps us resist temptation on our earthly journey towards heaven.
Gabriel brings the good news
Gabriel – another archangel we celebrate today – is the one who “brings the good news”; he’s the one who announced to Zachariah the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist and to Mary and Joseph, the birth of Jesus.
“Gabriel too accompanies us and helps us on our journey when we “forget” the Gospel.” He reminds us that “Jesus came to save us”.
Raphael accompanies us
The third archangel we celebrate today, the Pope said, is Raphael: “he walks with us taking care of us on our journey and helping us not take the wrong step”.
These are our companions, Francis concluded, at our and at God’s service. And he prayed: “Michael: help us in our battle – each of us has a battle to fight in our lives; Gabriel: bring us news, bring us the good news of salvation; Raphael: take us by the hand and lead us forward without taking the wrong turning. Always walking forward, but with your help!”