Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the “medicine of God” I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask of you the favor (here mention your special intention), and the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Then Raphael called the two of them privately and said to them, “Bless God and acknowledge him in the presence of all the living for the good things he has done for you. Bless and sing praise to his name. With fitting honor declare to all people the deeds of God. Do not be slow to acknowledge him Tobit 12:6
The Hebrew name Raphael means “God has healed.” Everything we know about St. Raphael comes from the book of Tobit in the Old Testament. Raphael was sent to earth, disguised as a human, to bring physical healing to Tobit and spiritual healing to Sarah and Tobias’ future marriage. For this reason, St. Raphael is known as the patron saint of marriages/finding a spouse and of healing. He doesn’t heal on his own, but brings God’s healing - both physical and spiritual.
St. Raphael also has a very special place in my heart, and in my marriage. When my husband and I were dating and seriously beginning to think about marriage, there was one particular sin that he was chained to that I knew he had to overcome before we could have a healthy marriage. I decided to secretly pray a novena to St. Raphael for finding one’s spouse, with this specific intention in mind. (https://www.scribd.com/document/57744559/Prayer-for-the-Wise-Choice-of-a-Marriage-partner)
Those nine days were filled with hard conversations, weary prayers, and fear of the unknown. But they were also filled with a supernatural trust that the Lord would heal and open his heart. Little to my knowledge, my novena miraculously ended on St. Raphael’s feast day, and my husband made the heroic decision to give up that particular bad habit. We have now been married for 2 years, and while it certainly hasn’t been easy, I always look back to that day as a source of hope and healing. Not only did St. Raphael intercede to spiritually save our marriage bed, as he did for Tobias and Sarah, but also gave my husband a physical strength and healing as well.
Yet there are definitely times when I am slow to acknowledge Him, and forget to sing Him praise, as Raphael instructed Sarah and Tobias. I can’t be slow to bless God for all He has done for our marriage, but instead must declare what He has done for us, even in the hard times. So here I am, gratefully declaring. St. Raphael, pray for us!
Reflection: Have you ever read the Book of Tobit? It’s a relatively short and fascinating story that’s easy to read. Carve out 20 minutes today to read it. If you don’t have a Bible, you can read it here - http://www.usccb.org/bible/tobit/1