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Archangels or Chief Angels

The Catholic Church recognizes the existence of only three Archangels, or the three mentioned in the Scriptures: Michael (“Who is like God?”), Gabriel (“God’s Power”) and Raphael (“God’s Doctor”).


Colossians 1:15-18 “15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”


1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”


Jude 9 “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”


We find that the Bible only attributes the rank of archangel to one angel – Michael. Michael is mentioned several times in both the Old and New Testament. In Daniel 10, Gabriel mentions Michael stepped into a spiritual fight against the Prince of Persia so Gabriel could deliver a message to the prophet. In Daniel 12:1 Michael appears again indicating he protected the Israelite nation from spiritual attacks. Many scholars think that Gabriel would be the second Archangel but the Bible is silent on this label.


Chapter 20 of the Book of Enoch mentions seven holy angels who watch, that often are considered the seven archangels: Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, Saraqael, Raguel, and Remiel. The Life of Adam and Eve lists the archangels as well: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Joel.


Religions have taken it upon themselves to identify what they think are archangels instead of looking at scriptures and missing books from the 66 books contained in the Bible.


The Catholic Church recognises the existence of only three Archangels, or the three mentioned in the Scriptures: Michael (“Who is like God?”), Gabriel (“God’s Power”) and Raphael (“God’s Doctor”).


This clarification is needed, because one could object that in the texts of the past, other archangels have been mentioned, the same as the number of sects in the Book of Enoch: Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Phanuel and Gabriel. The system of seven archangels is in fact an ancient tradition of Judaic origin.


The Catholic Church, however, considered it necessary to stop such arbitrary and fanciful interpretations of texts that did not belong to the canonical Holy Scriptures. In fact, we remind you that all individual traditions must be examined and verified in accordance with what is stated in the Holy Canonical Scripture, which is the only true revelation.


Therefore, with regard to the Archangels, it was established in the Middle Ages that the worship and veneration of any of the other archangels mentioned by the Bible apart from Michele, Gabriele and Raphael was forbidden. Even in the past, in the early Church, great efforts were made to prevent the cult of angels, which was influenced by heterodox practices and the pagan traditions of divine messengers, from leading to a form of idolatry.


In 1992, the decree Litteris Diei stated that “it is forbidden to teach and use notions about angels and archangels, their personal names and their particular functions, outside of what is directly reflected in the Holy Scriptures