The 7 Archangels before the Throne of God are believed to form a privileged circle, the closest to the Mighty God. Today we rarely speak of the seven archangels who stand before the throne of God. The Archangel Raphael explicitly told Tobias that he himself did part of this privileged group. – I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who are always before the presence of the majesty of the Lord. (Tobias 12:15).
Also in the Apocalypse reference is made to the seven angels – Grace is with you and peace from Him who is, who was and who is to come, from the Seven Spirits who stand before his throne. (Revelation 1, 4) These seven spirits seem to be the highest Princes of the celestial court.
Although their most important occupation is contemplation and prayer of the Divine Essence, they are also entrusted with special tasks. In fact, St. Paul expressly states that they administer all spirits.
Speaking of the happiness that angels enjoy in paradise and in which the seven holy spirits probably participate to a higher degree, it is said that everything in the universe is a source of joy for the holy angels. They see in everything the fulfillment of what God has ordained.
They know that He receives honor and glory and that they rejoice to see how He is glorified. This is the secret of true joy, it is because we think of ourselves and not of God, that we are troubled and dissatisfied. If only we could have the angelic vision, nothing would upset us and we will always be able to rejoice.
The cult of angels has had a certain diffusion over the last few centuries and has only faded over the last two hundred years. The modern Church has in fact abolished the cult of angels that are not directly mentioned within the Holy Scriptures.
So currently Catholics venerate the three main archangels even if there is no lack of variants that include other names. Several Jewish and Christian sources cite seven major archangels. Of these seven, four are fixed, that is, they are common to the various interpretations.
These four main archangels are – Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. The other archangels who make up the seven vary according to the various interpretations.
According to the Book of Enoch, they complete the list of archangels Raguel, Zarachiel, and Remiel.
According to Pseudo-Dionysius, the Areopagite are instead – Camael, Jophiel, and Zadkiel.
In the twelfth century Pope Gregory I established that the archangels to be worshiped in addition to the four fixed were – Simiel, Orifiel, and Zachariel.
Finally, in the sixteenth century, there was a reform within the Catholic Church that definitively established which archangels were to be worshiped. This reform is still in force despite the abolition of the cult of angels other than Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
7 Archangels Names
The 7 Archangels according to the book of Enoch
Raguel means friend of God. He is the angel of justice and balance. His task is also to punish those who violate God’s law. The archangel Raguel is equipped with a circle of fire with which he torments the fallen angels he meets for eternity.
Zarachiel means command of God. The task of this angel is to choose which guardian angels to send to earth and which children to assign to men.
Remiel, God’s lightning bolt, is a somewhat particular angel because he has under his command 200 fallen and imprisoned angels. His task is to accompany the souls of the dead to Heaven.
The 7 Archangels according to Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
Camael means the one who sees God. The angel Camael expelled Adam and Eve from the Earthly Paradise.
Jophiel means the beauty of God. Together with Metatron, he is the head of the Seraphim.
Zadkiel, God’s favor, is the angel of freedom, grace, and mercy. According to some, it was he, and not Gabriel, who stopped Abraham’s hand during Isaac’s sacrifice. Zadkiel is also a direct subordinate of the Archangel Michael.
The 7 Archangels according to Pope Gregory I
Simiel is one of the seven most important archangels but we have no information about him except that he should be the angel who represents unconditional love.
Orifiel means neck of God and is the protector angel of uncontaminated nature free from human influence.
The 7 Archangels according to the 16th century Catholics and the Orthodox
According to Catholics and Orthodox, Barachiel, Jehudiel, and Salathiel complete the list of seven.
Barachiel means blessing from God, he is like Zadkiel and Zarachiel, the angel of mercy, freedom, and divine grace.
Jehudiel means praise to God. He carries with him a golden crown which he gives to those who overcome great difficulties and great challenges during the spiritual search. For this reason, Jehudiel is the angel of spiritual and scientific research.
Salathiel means God communicates, he has the duty to intercede with God in favor of human beings. He reports the prayers of humans to the Lord.