Sunday, October 24, 2010

For We are the Children of Saints: The Archangel Raphael and Marriage

The subject is taken from the Book of Tobit in the Old Testament Apocrypha. The blind Tobit sent his son Tobias out to collect some money; the boy was accompanied by the Archangel Raphael in disguise. Raphael helped him to catch a fish, the heart, liver and gall of which were used by Tobias to drive away a demon and cure his father's blindness. Here the boy and angel are shown travelling together, the fish being dragged between them. The flowers in the foreground are cabbage poppies, and in the middle ground is a herd of cows.--From the National Gallery (UK).

After catching the fish, the angel Raphael and Tobias continued on their journey to the home of Raguel, a kinsman of Tobias.  Raphael told Tobias to marry Sara, Raguel's daughter.  Tobias was nervous about it because seven men had married her and each had died when he went in unto her.  But Raphael reassured him and told Tobias that the devil has power over those who do not fear the Lord; that he must go in unto Sara but be continent from her for three nights while they prayed together to God and then all would be well. Tobias did this, explaining to Sara what they must do and saying, "For we are the children of saints, and we must not be joined together like heathens that know not God."

Prayer for the Wise Choice of a Spouse

Glorious Saint Raphael, Patron and lover of the young, I feel the need of calling to you and of pleading for your help. In all confidence I open my heart to you to beg your guidance and assistance in the important task of planning my future. Obtain for me through your intercession the light of God's grace so that I may de­cide wisely concerning the person who is to be my partner through life. Angel of Happy Meetings, lead us by the hand to find each other. May all our movements be guided by your light and transfigured by your joy. As you led the young Tobias to Sara and opened up a new life of happiness with her to holy marriage, lead me to such a one whom in your angelic wisdom you judge best suited to be united with me in marriage.

Saint Raphael, loving Patron of those seeking a marriage partner, help me in this supreme decision of my life. Find for me as a help‑mate in life the person whose character may reflect some of the traits of Jesus and Mary. May he (she) be up­right, loyal, pure, sincere and noble, so that with united efforts and with chaste and unselfish love we both may strive to perfect ourselves in soul and body, as well as the children it may please God to entrust to our care.

Saint Raphael, Angel of chaste courtship, bless our friendship and our love that sin may have no part in it. May our mutual love bind us so closely that our future home may ever be most like the home of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Offer your prayers to God for the both of us and obtain the blessing of God upon our marriage, as you were the herald of blessing for the marriage of Tobias and Sara.

Saint Raphael, Friend of the young, be my Friend, for I shall always be yours. I desire ever to invoke you in my needs. To your special care I entrust the decision I am to make as to my future husband (wife). Direct me to the person with whom I can best cooperate in doing God's Holy Will, with whom I can live in peace, love, and harmony in this life, and attain to eternal joy in the next. Amen.

In honor of Saint Raphael: Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory be.

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