Sunday, March 24, 2019

Feast Day of the Holy Archangel Gabriel

In the Apostolic Johannite Church, today is the Feast Day for Archangel Gabriel whose name translates as "God is my strength" or "Power of God" or "Might of God." This archangel is associated with the element of Water, the cardinal direction of West, the color blue, and the number nine.

Gabriel is considered the Messenger of God and is the angel who delivers prophecies or explains visions. Gabriel is also considered the Master or Ruler of the Waters. He is said to be the "first adorer of the Divine Word." It is interesting to note that Gabriel is not referred to as an archangel in the Old or New Testaments. It is in the Book of Enoch where this title is bestowed upon him.

Gabriel appears in the Book of Daniel to explain the vision of the horned ram as portending the destruction of the Persian Empire as well as prophesying the coming of Christ. He foretold the coming of the Precursor, St. John the Baptist, Zechariah (an important figure to Johannite communities). It was Gabriel who appeared to Mary Theotokos and informed her that she would be giving birth to the Son of God; an event known as the Annunciation which is practiced on March 25th. He is also assumed to be the Angel who appeared to Joseph (Christ's stepfather), the three magi, and who supported Christ in the garden. Of the Four Archangels, Gabriel is considered the most responsive to human prayer

Gabriel is often depicted in blue robes and holding a chalice. Being the Messenger of God, Gabriel is also seen with a horn or trumpet. He can also be depicted carrying a lily, a scroll, or a shining lantern. He is most often depicted in artwork of the Annunciation. Being the angel of the waters, Gabriel can also be depicted with the moon.


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