St. Raphael the Archangel—Offering Great Assistance Under Disguise

St. Raphael is a tremendous saint to remember when a dose of hope or healing is needed.

Rembrandt (1606-1669), “Abraham Serving the Three Angels”
Rembrandt (1606-1669), “Abraham Serving the Three Angels” (photo: Public Domain)

The young man [Raphael] said, “Take courage! God’s healing is near; so take courage!” ―Tobit 5:10b

The archangel Raphael is presented within the beautiful story of Tobit―a biblical novella within the Old Testament. In this story, God sent Raphael down to earth to assist two distraught people, Tobit and Sarah. Tobit was a good and righteous man who had lost his eyesight, causing his small family great anguish. At the same time, many miles away, a distant young relative, Sarah, was also grief-stricken. She had attempted to marry seven different times, but each groom had been struck dead by a cruel demon.

In need of some money due to his blindness, Tobit decided to send his only child, Tobiah, to faraway Media to collect funds he had left with a friend. Tobiah found a reliable traveling companion―a man who called himself Azariah but who was actually the archangel Raphael in disguise.

In the midst of their journey, Tobiah caught an unusual fish. Azariah (Raphael) directed Tobiah to take out the gall, heart, and liver to keep for medicine. Later on, as the two travelers neared their destination, the concealed archangel insisted they pay an en route visit to Sarah’s family. Almost instantly, Tobiah fell in love with Sarah. Although he knew the story of her seven dead husbands, he still asked to marry her. Raphael instructed Tobiah to place the fish heart and liver on some embers in the bridal chamber. The odor of the smoldering heart and liver was revolting to the evil spirit; he fled, and Tobiah was spared.

Raphael, still appearing as Azariah, left the newly married couple behind to complete the journey alone. He collected the money and then returned to the house of Sarah’s parents. The angel, Tobiah, and Sarah then set off for the long trip back to Tobit’s home. When the three arrived, Raphael had Tobiah smear the fish gall into his father’s eyes, which miraculously healed Tobit of his blindness.

The successful marriage along with Tobit’s restored eyesight caused great elation for the two small families. Before leaving Tobit and his family, Raphael revealed his true nature and identity.


A Novena of Days with St. Raphael

St. Raphael is a tremendous saint to remember when a dose of hope or healing is needed. Perhaps you would like to set aside nine days to spend with this great archangel by prayerfully reading one passage below a day. Be sure to share any intentions you might have with St. Raphael, that he may pray for your needs. His feast day is Sept. 29, and St. Raphael is the patron of young people, peacefulness and healing.

  • Day 1) Tobit 2:9–10
  • Day 2) Tobit 3:7–11, 16–17
  • Day 3) Tobit 4:1–4
  • Day 4) Tobit 5:1–13
  • Day 5) Tobit 6:2–18
  • Day 6) Tobit 7:1–11
  • Day 7) Tobit 8:1–18
  • Day 8) Tobit 9:1–3
  • Day 9) Tobit 12:1–15