The name “Raphael” in Hebrew means “Divine healer”.
The Bible identified three archangels, namely, Gabriel, Raphael and Michael. Among the three, St. Raphael is probably the least known. This is likely due to the fact that St. Raphael is only found in the in the book of Tobit in the Old Testament which non-catholics considered as not canonical, while Gabriel and Michael feature prominently in the New Testament.
St. Raphael is a powerful intercessor whom we should not forget, especially during times when we are most in need of healing.
Raphael in the book of Tobit he reveals himself as a healer of mind, body and spirit. The first part of the biblical story narrates the life of Tobit, a righteous Jewish man who took upon himself the burial of the dead even when it was forbidden by his Assyrian captors. Tobit became blind after bird droppings fell into his eyes. The blindness lasted for several years and sent Tobit into a deep anguish, creating in him a desire to die.
At the same time there was a woman named Sarah who was tormented by a demon. She married seven times, but each time her bridegroom was killed by the demon on their wedding night, before the marriage could be consummated. She too was deeply depressed and wished for death.
St. Raphael was sent to both. He brought about their healing by accompanying Tobit’s son, Tobias, on a journey to find a special kind of fish liver with healing properties. Raphael was disguised as Tobias’ travel guide, and in this tradition he is often invoked by pilgrims.
Prayer to St Raphael the Archangel for Healing
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.