|Saint Selaphiel the Archangel|
"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).
|Saint and Archangel|
|Eastern Orthodox churches, Folk Catholicism|
Saint Selaphiel the Archangel or Saint Sealtiel, Selatiel (Aramaic צלתיאל Tzelathiel "Prayer of God", Heb. שאלתיאל Shealtiel), sometimes identified with Salathiel from the Second Book of Esdras. He is one of the seven archangels in Eastern Orthodox tradition, and in traditional folk Catholicism.
In 2 Esdras, which is part of the Jewish and Christian apocrypha, the prophet Ezra describes how his mind had become troubled from thinking about how much pain people’s sins cause them, and when he was despairing, archangel Selaphiel “held me, comforted me, and set me up upon my feet” (verse 15), and then talked with Ezra about what was troubling him. Selaphiel also appears in verse 31:6 of the apocryphal Jewish and Christian text The Conflict of Adam and Eve, which describes how God sends him to help rescue Adam and Eve from Satan’s deception, commanding Selaphiel “to bring them down from the top of the high mountain and to take them to the Cave of Treasures.”
Some Christian traditions consider Selaphiel as the angel in Revelation 8:3-4 of the Bible who presents the prayers of people on Earth to God in heaven: "Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand."
Selaphiel is often seen as the Patron Saint of prayer and worship for members of the Eastern Orthodox Church and some Catholic Traditions. In some Orthodox traditions, he is said to help people interpret dreams, break addictions, protect children, preside over exorcisms, and rule over music in heaven. Orthodox Christians will seek his help if their prayer is suffering from distractions, inattentiveness, or coldness. In Catholic Tradition, he is depicted as a thurifer.
A prayer often said in Orthodox and folk Catholic traditions is the simple St. Selaphiel Prayer for Intercession:
O Pure and Holy Archangel St. Selaphiel, you bow before the Almighty Lord offerinng angelic salutations of praise and thanksgiving. Guide us in our prayer. Like you, we would like to unceasingly pray and worship God the right way. May our lives be like incense pleasing to God. While awaiting for the inevitable time of separation from this material world, may we praise the Holy Trinity in the spirit of true love and humility throughout the days of our lives in eternity. Obtain for us these favors (name them) and present to God the Father all these petitions through Jesus Christ our Lord together with the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.
When depicted in iconography by himself or with individual characteristics, he is shown in an attitude of humble prayer, with downcast eyes and arms crossed over his breast. He is also sometimes seen kneeling with incense in a thurifer, praying. Prayer is considered his special attribute,
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- "The heavenly host and our modern life". Holy-transfiguration.org. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
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- "The World of The Angels". Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church. Retrieved December 22, 2005.
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