August 30, 2021 4 min read

As an angel announcer, it should not be missing in any decorated Christmas crib: the Archangel Gabriel. But what else is known about the angel who brought the good news of the Lord to Mary? Find out all you need to know about the Archangel Gabriel in this article.

What is an archangel and how many are there?

The word archangel comes from the Greek: An archangel is a divine angel with a arche means beginning and angel means messenger. An archangel is a divine angel with a leading position within the group. While ordinary angels take care of the individual, archangels like Gabriel carry command of God's far-reaching decisions for entire peoples or communities. According to the Bible, there are seven archangels. So it says in John's secret revelation (8:2): "And I saw that seven angels stood before God; seven trumpets were given to them. However, only three are known by name (Gabriel, Michelangelo, Raphael). In the hierarchy of angels, which dates back to the Christian author Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita, the archangels are in the third group together with princes and angels.

Who is the Archangel Gabriel?

The angel Gabriel is the herald of visions, messenger of God and one of the angels of higher rank. He makes God's message understandable to people and helps them to accept it with a pure heart. Until 1970, Catholics celebrated the feast of the Archangel on March 24. Today, the highest-ranking angel is commemorated in the church together with the Archangels Michael and Raphael on September 29 (Archangel's Day).

What is the meaning of the angel Gabriel?

The name Gabriel translated from Hebrew means: God is my strength or God is my hero.

What does the Archangel Gabriel look like?

According to Daniel's book (chapter 8), the angel Gabriel looks "like a man". In Christian art, Gabriel is depicted sometimes with male characteristics and features, sometimes female sometimes as a hybrid. His role as an announcing angel is characteristic of his representation. It is characterized by the white lily with which he is depicted when the birth of Jesus is announced to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The color white is here as a symbol of spirituality and purity.

What did the angel Gabriel do?

The story of Christmas is known to all believers, in which the angel Gabriel visits Maria and announces to her: "You will have a son who is of the Spirit of God." (Lk 1:26-38) He also preached the good news to the shepherds of Bethlehem on the holy night (Lk 2:8-20).

Therefore, in many families, the angel Gabriel (also called the angel of glory or the angel of announcement) is attached over the Nativity set.

At another point in the Bible, in the first chapter of Luke's Gospel (Lk 1:11f.), the angel Gabriel brings good news to the Elder Zechariah in the Temple of Jerusalem. He announces the birth of a son, John the Baptist. The old man and his wife Elizabeth had been childless until then. Since Zechariah expressed doubts about this announcement, according to tradition, he should have kept silent until the birth.

Legend has it that Gabriel woke up St. Joseph at night and asked him to escape from Egypt with the child and his mother. And in the end he gathered the Holy Family at home in Nazareth.

In the Old Testament, the angel Gabriel lifted up Daniel who had fallen and prophesied the venue of the Messiah (Daniel 8, 16 und 9, 20 ff).

What are the duties of the Archangel Gabriel?

As a saint, Gabriel is also the patron saint. Because of his role as the Angel of the Annunciation, who brought the message of Jesus' birth to the Mother of God, he is the Holy Patron Saint of all those who work in the field of communication and telecommunications. Many professions can rely on his support and protection in daily working life, including postal employees, philatelists, delivery men, garbage collectors, radio presenters and diplomats.

What tradition of the church remembers the angel Gabriel?

In the church, the "Angelus Prayer", to which the faithful are invited three times a day with prayers, commemorates the visitation of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary and the announcement of the birth of the Savior. Pope Urban II introduced the custom in 1095. Since then the so-called Ave bell has been called three times a day to recite the "Angel of the Lord" and the angel's greeting "Ave Maria".

What color is the Archangel Gabriel on a spiritual level?

On a spiritual level, the seven archangels and the seven main chakras (energy centers of the body) are assigned corresponding colors. Our body needs the full colors of light to sustain life. Illustrated by the example of the rainbow: the Archangel Gabriel creates with his white ray - the fourth of the arc - a new beginning, clarity, purity. By eliminating dark thoughts from your head and heart, you can finally see more clearly again.

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