Archangel Raphael, whose name means “God has healed” or “the Shining One who heals,” is one of the most well of known of the archangels. He is one of seven angels who attend the throne of God and he is the archangel over all the healing angels. He is also known to be the funniest of the angels, and he frequently enjoys the company of humans, disguised as a human himself of course!
Raphael’s origins can be traced back to the Mediterranean to before the time of Christ where he is included in a pantheon that had as the high god, El, his consort Atirat and her child, Raphael. He was originally known as “Labbiel.”
He appears in the book of Tobit (which was later removed from the bible) disguised as a human sent to help Tobias. He shows Tobias how to use all the parts of a fish he has caught for healing.
He is the angel who helped Abraham heal from his circumcision (which he did not have done until he was an old man) and he healed Jacob of his thigh injury (which he obtained while wrestling another angel!).
It is also said that Raphael presented Noah with a book written by the angel Raziel (who is an angel of mysteries) that had all the information in it that was necessary to build the ark. Though some say that this was actually a “medical book” (the Sefer Raziel) and was not actually presented to Noah until after the flood.
When King Solomon prayed to God for help in building his temple, archangel Raphael was sent to the Hebrew King and presented him with a magic ring. The ring was engraved with a five pointed star, and it had the power to subdue all demons. King Solomon was then able to finish building his temple with the slave labor of the demons.
To the Greeks and Romans Raphael was their winged messenger god, Hermes (or Mercury).
Archangel Raphael belongs to the angelic choir of the Virtues, (also known as the shining or brilliant ones). The chief job of the Virtues is to provide miracles and blessings to humankind.
He is an angel of not only healing, but also science and knowledge. He is also the guardian of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, angel of the sun and the angel of the evening winds. He is also a guide to the underworld.
His symbol is the serpent or caduceus (which is also the symbol for healing in western medicine), and he is the patron saint of healers, writers, travelers and the blind.