Archangels are the highest-ranking angels. According to the Bible, these creatures live in Heaven and are close to God. There’s also a belief that angels are the army of Our Lord, which aim is to protect people. No wonder they say that everyone has a guardian angel. And above them, there are the Archangels. Every Archangel has his own name and mission. Archangel Gabriel is one of them.
The Archangel Gabriel is considered a blessed messenger, and the Scriptures call him the safe keeper of the chosen people. The name Gabriel translates as “the Power of God.” In Kabbalah, he is revered as the teacher of Patriarch Joseph, and in Islam – as the patron of Muhammad. Muhammad received his revelation from Gabriel and was taken to Heaven.
Most often, the Archangel is depicted as a young man, holding a mirror made of jasper and a lantern in his hands. The lantern illuminates the way for the souls of the dead and the mirror reflects both good and evil deeds of people.
Gabriel represents that God works in mysterious ways. They are not often clear, but over time, they can be understood through work and learning. And at the same time, it is important to listen to the voice of conscience. The secrets of God and the salvation of mankind will be reflected in this Mirror later but only those who deserve them will be able to see them.
The deeds of Gabriel are called miracles. Back in the 9th century, there was a stone erected on Mount Athos in his honor, on which he inscribed with his finger a Prayer of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who appeared to one of the Athos monks. There’s still one of the cells near Karia, pilgrims visit it. It’s called “Worthy”.
Gabriel was also a frequent guest of biblical figures. For example, he came to Moses, who was tending the flock. Gabriel told him about how the world was created. Then Moses registered the words of the Archangel in the book of Genesis. The prophets of the Testament were often telling people about what would happen but Moses told everyone about what had happened.
The Archangel brought the news of the future coming of the Savior to the Prophet Daniel. Gabriel foretold St Anna that she would give birth to a daughter, who would later become the blessed Virgin Mary. And when Mary lived in the Jerusalem Temple, he used to come to visit her many times.
The prophet Zechariah was punished with dumbness for not believing in the coming of John the Baptist. And then Gabriel came to the Virgin Mary again. He told her that she would conceive since she had found the grace of God. Gabriel told Mary what name she should give her son. He also told her who this son will become.
Gabriel came to Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary, when the latter began to doubt himself, his wife, and son. The Archangel comforted him and said that his wife was innocent, and his son was conceived immaculately. Gabriel accompanied Jesus his entire life and before his crucifixion, he came to strengthen his faith during his suffering.
When the Myrrh-bearers came to bury Christ the morning after his execution, they saw none other than Gabriel, who told them to share the good news about the resurrection of Jesus with his disciples. Even ordinary people tell about the miracles of Gabriel.
Today, Gabriel is known as a helper in difficult matters and making difficult decisions. People who cannot make a choice pray to him and light candles in his honor.
Since it was Gabriel who helped St Anna conceive, women and men who dream of having a child ask this Archangel to help them as well.
If a person is confused, he prays to Gabriel and asks him to guide his lost soul on the right path. Gabriel brings light and joy, and therefore, people also turn to this archangel in moments of depression and despair. Relatives of the person who passed away ask Gabriel to accompany the soul of the deceased to the Throne of God.