Michael and Gabriel, Archangels – S390


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Church Feast Day 1



Egg Tempera


20th c. (Late)


Monk Michael of Athos


The Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel are two of the seven great Archangels whom the Holy Fathers of the Church believe are of the highest, or Seraphic Order of the Bodiless Hosts, or Seraphim who stand the closest to the Throne of God.  These two Archangels are the leaders of the Heavenly Hosts.  The names of the other five Archangels are Raphael, Uriel, Salatiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel.  Sometimes one more name is added, that of Jeremiel.

In Hebrew, Michael means “Who is as God?” and Gabriel means “Man of God.”  In Tradition, it is taught that when St. Michael spoke his name to Satan, that is when Satan fell down to the lower depths.  We believe that it was St. Gabriel who appeared and greeted the Virgin Mary at the time of the Annunciation, and told St. Zacharias of the birth of his son John the Baptist.  He also  told SS Joachim and Anna of the birth of their blessed child, the Theotokos Mary, and instructed the Prophet Moses while still in the wilderness to write Genesis, on the origins of the world, which Moses couldn’t have known otherwise.  Thus we see that St. Gabriel informs God’s people about the salvation of mankind.