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The Seven Archangels


The idea of seven archangels is most explicitly stated in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit when Raphael reveals himself, declaring: "I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand in the glorious presence of the Lord, ready to serve him." (Tobit 12,15) The other two angels mentioned by name in the Bible are archangel Michael and angel Gabriel. The four names of other archangels come from tradition.

One such tradition of archangels comes from the Old Testament biblical apocrypha, the third century BCE Book of the Watchers,[6] known as 1 Enoch or the Book of Enoch, eventually merged into the Enochic Pentateuch.[7][8] This narrative is affiliated with the Book of Giants, which also references the great archangels[9][10] and was made part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church's scriptural canon. Although prevalent in Jewish and early Christian apostolic traditions and the early Christian Fathers, the Book of Enoch gradually fell from academic and religious status, and by the seventh century was rejected from the canonical scriptures of all other Christian denominations, a banned and unknown work. The various surviving oral traditions recounted many differing lists of archangels.[citation needed]

The earliest specific Christian references are in the late 5th to early 6th century: Pseudo-Dionysius gives them as Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Camael, Jophiel, and Zadkiel.[12] In most Protestant Christian oral traditions only Michael and Gabriel are referred to as "archangels", which echoes the most mainstream Muslim view, whereas Roman-Rite Catholic Christian traditions also include Raphael to complete a group of three. Through its Byzantine tradition, however, the Catholic Church recognizes seven archangels altogether, sometimes named, sometimes unnamed other than the three mentioned above.

Lists of characters referred to as "angels" also exist in smaller religious traditions usually regarded as occultist or superstitious. A reference to seven archangels appeared in an 8th or 9th-century talisman attributed to Auriolus, a "servant of God" in north-western Spain. He issues a prayer to "all you patriarchs Michael, Gabriel, Cecitiel, Uriel, Raphael, Ananiel, Marmoniel.[13]

The Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches of the Byzantine tradition venerate seven archangels and sometimes an eighth. Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Selaphiel (Salathiel), Jegudiel (Jehudiel), Barachiel, and the eighth, Jerahm