Barachiel

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"The Angelic Council" ("Ангелскй Собор"). An Eastern Orthodox Church icon of the "Seven Archangels." From left to right: St Jehudiel, St Gabriel, St Selatiel, St Michael, St Uriel, St Raphael, St Barachiel. Beneath the mandorla of Christ Emmanuel are representations of Cherubim (blue) and Seraphim (red).

Barachiel (Heb. ברכיאל "Bārkiʼēl", Lightning of God; Arabic: بُراقيل "Burāqīl") is one of the seven Archangels in Eastern Orthodox tradition.

In the Third Book of Enoch he is described as one of the angelic princes, with a myriad of some 496,000 ministering angels attending him. He is counted as one of the four ruling seraphim, and counted the prince of the second heaven and of the order of confessors. He is described in the Almadel of Solomon as one of the chief angels of the first and fourth chora.[1] He is regarded as the angel of lightning.[2]

Iconography[edit]

In iconography Barachiel is sometimes shown holding a white rose against the chest, or with rose petals scattered on the clothing particularly the cloak.[3] The scattering of rose petals was to symbolize or represent God's sweet blessings showering down on people. In Roman Catholicism, Barachiel is depicted holding a bread basket or a staff, both of which symbolize the blessings of children that God bestows on parents.[4]

Patronage[edit]

Barachiel's responsibilities are as varied as the blessings for which the archangel is named, Barachiel is also the chief of the guardian angels and it is written that Barachiel may be prayed to for all the benefits which the guardian angel is thought to confer if one is not praying to the guardian angel directly, but as an intercession. He is seen as an official Saint in Eastern Orthodox tradition as well as some folk Catholic traditions, in particular a patron of family and married life. [5]He is also seen as the angel assigned by God to watch over converts (also called "adopted children of God") to assist them in their lives. [6]

Barachiel is also traditionally associated with the month of February and the Zodiacal sign Pisces.[7] He is also sometimes described as being the ruler of the planet Jupiter and the zodiacal sign Scorpio.[1]

Biblical Texts[edit]

The third Book of Enoch describes archangel Barachiel as one of the angels who serve as great and honored angelic princes in heaven, and mentions that Barachiel leads 496,000 other angels. He is considered one of the seraphim class of angels who guard God's throne, as well as the leader of all the guardian angels.[8]

Prayers[edit]

A general prayer to St. Barachiel common in Orthodox and some folk Catholic traditions is as follows:

O Powerful Archangel, St. Barachiel, filled with heaven’s glory and splendour, you are rightly called God’s benediction. We are God’s children place under your protection and care. Listen to our supplications (name them). Grant that through your loving intercession, we may reach our heavenly home one day. Sustain us and protect us from all harm that we may possess for all eternity the peace and happiness that Jesus has prepared for us in heaven. Present to the God the Father all these petitions through Jesus Christ our Lord together with the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels, including the Fallen Angels. New York: The Free Press, 1967, ISBN 9780029070505
  2. ^ Bunson, Matthew. Angels A to Z. New York:Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1996. ISBN 0-517-88537-9.
  3. ^ Roeder, Helen (1956). Saints and Their Attributes. Chicago: H. Regnery Co. LCCN 56013630. 
  4. ^ http://angels.about.com/od/AngelsReligiousTexts/p/Meet-Archangel-Barachiel.htm
  5. ^ http://angels.about.com/od/AngelsReligiousTexts/p/Meet-Archangel-Barachiel.htm
  6. ^ http://findingthewaytotheheart.blogspot.com/2010/12/the-holy-archangels-prayers-asking-for.html
  7. ^ Sisung, Kelle S., editor. Angels A to Z. New York: Gale Research, Inc. 1996. ISBN 0-7876-0489-5.
  8. ^ http://angels.about.com/od/AngelsReligiousTexts/p/Meet-Archangel-Barachiel.htm