Concilium Bulletin December 2021
Madrid Senatus: Great things have been happening during the Centenary celebrations: Concilium President’s Address was taken to heart. The practical ideas in it, like 200 new legionaries in the Centenary year, were much appreciated. The Cardinal and 18 priests concelebrated the Centenary Mass attended by active, auxiliary and many former legionaries. The Legion year of celebration has produced a new praesidium and some Parish Priests have asked for praesidia to be set up in their parishes. The 33 days preparation on You Tube was another venture with excellent results. Street contact with the youth and work in the red-light district has restarted. Pilgrim statue visitation is back in full swing. Families are delighted to see the legionaries active once again. During the pandemic legionaries worked on ways to reform and strengthen their praesidia. A lot was learned from discussions with fellow- legionaries.
Bilbao Senatus: The Correspondent for the Senatus of Bilbao has resigned. However, the Officers have made contact with the Concilium and forwarded the agenda for the December Senatus meeting, the first after more than a year. A letter will be sent from Concilium for the meeting.
Barcelona Senatus: The correspondent has also informed the Senatus of her resignation. No contact has yet been made with Concilium.
Rome Senatus: The Senatus returned to monthly meetings in October after 20 months. However, they did keep up contact with attached councils and praesidia by letter every month and sent an Allocutio from the Spiritual Director to each council and praesidia. 2 praesidia, 1 Curia, and 1 Comitium reported at the October meeting. Most councils were unable to meet during the last year. A number of older legionaries died during that period. May they rest in peace. Two young legionaries, who were President of the Senatus at different times have entered the Seminary. The Spiritual Director, Mons. La Rosa gave a very inspiring Allocutio on the Rosary. He also emphasised Frank Duff’s devotion to the Rosary.
Milan Regia: Legionaries in the city are still without meetings, virtual or physical, except for two new praesidia. The Curia in Asti (130kms S W.) is holding its meetings in the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Gate. The Filipino praesidium in Torino is meeting in person and has a new Spiritual Director. Now being the only praesidium in the area, they may attach to Asti Curia. The Curia in Pavia is closed as one of two attached praesidia is closed.
No news from Genova Comitium.
Padova: Last report detailed a serious Covid outbreak in the area, describing hospitals filling up and doctors inside in “Spacesuits” with great despair. Legionaries are unable to hold regular Comitium or praesidia meetings; however, occasionally they meet as on the Frank Duff Anniversary. They request prayers. A letter was received from a legionary in South-Tyrol (close to Austria) expressing concern about the increasing decline in the Legion there and difficulties with the Comitium due to language problems.
Trieste (near Slovenia): A new praesidium of 10 members started here on the 8th Sept. 2021 by a legionary who moved from Rome. The report describes the members working with all their hearts and making progress, having started with a Centenary Mass celebrated by the local Bishop.
Lisbon Senatus: The Senatus received congratulations for the Centenary from Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, Msgr. Americo Aguiar. The National Pilgrimage to Fatima on 23/24th Oct. commemorated the Centenary of the Legion with the theme, “With Mary, towards the future and the Mission”. The programme included cultural elements, with songs, poems and a scenic representation of 100 years of the Legion of Mary, plus a candlelight procession with an image of Our Lady while praying the Mysteries of the Rosary. Archbishop of Evora, Msgr. Francisco Senra Coelho presided over the closing Mass. Cardinal Dom Manuel Clemente presided at a Centenary Mass on the 7th November.
Coimbra Regia: The elections for President, Vice President, (2nd term), Secretary and Treasurer were ratified. The Comitium of Leiria and the Curia of Figueria da Foz have resumed activities. Half the praesidia have taken more time. Funchal Comitium: Bishop Dom Nuno Bras celebrated the Centenary Mass on 7th Nov. Five praesidia resumed meetings. Home, hospital and prison visits were made. The Acies was held. Five Curiae reported telephone contacts with auxiliaries and sick people. Contacts were made with people at the windows of their homes. Other works included: Transport and purchase of medicines on behalf of parishioners; taking people to health consultations; preparation of youths and adults for the Sacraments.
Regia Report: Centenary Masses were held in many parishes, followed by social gatherings at which legionaries, auxiliaries and parishioners were in attendance. The Regia Officers had a very fruitful meeting with the Archbishop. He gave permission for the Acies in 2022 to be held on a national basis adhering to Health Department guidelines. “Can we be Saints” by Frank Duff has been translated and a copy given to each legionary free of charge for the Centenary. Most praesidia and Curiae are back meeting again but not at full capacity. Three praesidia feature in one report. Their apostolate includes preparing children for the Sacraments, home visits with the statue of Our Lady, and aftercare of auxiliaries. A Seminar was held for parents and children preparing for Confirmation. A Curia reported Rosary sessions in youth centres. Following a visit with the Pilgrim statue, a couple who were about to separate, were reunited and bought statue of Our Lady for their home. Contact work was made with people who did not attend Mass. Some have returned to Sunday Mass.
Gozo Comitium: The Bishop of Gozo was the chief celebrant at the Centenary Mass. It was televised and reached a wide audience. At the July Comitium meeting the Bishop spoke of the pastoral plan and spoke about his days as a legionary. The public were encouraged to attend Mass in person rather than watch on TV. Junior and intermediate members who had been meeting virtually, have resumed in person.
Countries under Caretakership of Malta Regia.
ALBANIA: The Legion celebrated 30 years in Albania with a Mass in Skhoder, the location of the first praesidium, on 17th November. All legionaries in the country were invited. The Bishop of Sape Diocese was the chief celebrant. He stressed the importance of the Legion in Albania and praised the faith of legionaries and how they transmit it to others. Skhoder Comitium held a Congress on 24/25 November. All Spiritual Directors and Curiae Officers were in attendance. The life of Frank Duff and his impact on the Legion was discussed.
TURKEY: The Curia in Istanbul is holding in-person meetings since September. 5 praesidia are active. During lockdown weekly meetings took place via Zoom. On the 4th September the Annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady’s house in Ephesus took place and the shrine of Our Lady in Izmir was also visited. The 5 praesidia will present Annual Reports in December and January 2022.
GREECE: There is no presence of the Legion in Greece at this time.
CYPRUS: No reports from Cyprus; however, the Legion is active there. Pope Francis visited the island from 2-4 December 2021.
USA/CANADA AND WEST IINDIES
Boston Senatus: A praesidium of 9 active members, recruited 15 auxiliaries, 4 students for a RCIA course, and encouraged attendance at Mass in a senior housing complex. Most attached councils are gradually doing more apostolic work. Hartford Comitium has 2 new praesidia in formation. The attached Litchfield Curia hosted a Congress in Sept, 2019.
Philadelphia Senatus mourns the death of Bro. Jim Mason, a hard worker in the Maria Legionis office. May he rest in peace. Holy Family Curia had 10 people interested in Legion membership after 2 recruiting drives. Trenton Comitium reports a new praesidium and two others in formation. Pittsburgh Regia reported 1 conversion and a young man interested in becoming a priest.
Arlington Regia: All 5 Comitia, 6 attached Curiae and 10 of the 14 attached praesidia have reported. Fairfax Comitium held a Congress in October. They had a priest-appreciation Picnic with 8 priests present. One council reported having a virtual door to door workshop. They have 6 Patricians groups and are working on establishing 2 more. Washington Comitium had 64 attend a retreat. Potomac Comitium has only one parish currently without the Legion. They are encouraging the study of the “Secret of Mary” booklet and promote parish retreats.
New York Senatus: Restructuring plans await follow up in post-Covid times. 29 attended the August meeting just before the start of new restrictions.
Cincinnati Senatus has requested downsizing to a Comitium; they offered suggestions on restructuring their territory. They had 28 volunteers at a Legion Booth in Montgomery Fair. Of the 250 people contacted, they had 17 follow-ups. A praesidium of 7 members made over 2,000 recruiting efforts this year, had 11 visitors to Legion meetings and gained 39 auxiliaries.
Chicago Senatus produced a beautiful ‘History of the Legion in Chicago since 1933’. The Hispanic Comitium has 11 praesidia and two Curiae, with 202 active and 578 auxiliary members. They visit homes, hospitals and funeral homes, evangelising 45 mourners. A praesidium in Illinois distributes miraculous medals weekly at gas stations, food stores, and surgeries, resulting in Baptism for 3 children. School visitation and a men’s praesidium of 7 members was reported in Minnesota. Legionaries in South Dakota did crowd contact each evening at a music festival.
Los Angeles Senatus encouraged praesidia to meet in person where permitted. A praesidium did park contact to offer the Miraculous Medal. They plan a 5-week consecration preparation to Our Lady to be made, starting on 8th December.
San Francisco Senatus: Some praesidia are doing book barrow apostolate 2 or 3 times weekly. Two lapsed Catholics resumed attendance at Mass. A praesidium promoted a Rosary procession of 120 people. A new praesidium of 6-8 members is underway and Columban drives are planned.
Houston Senatus hosted the Holy Spirit Conference in October with, Fr. Francis Peffley as guest speaker. A PPC project to Louisiana called on 1,000 homes, yielding 500 contacts. About 200 were Catholic; 60 were non-practicing Catholics and 8 follow-ups need to be done. An exhibitor’s table at the Men’s Conference in Austin reported 15 people interested in Legion membership.
Miami Regia: The last meeting was held in March 2020, but praesidia find innovative ways to meet in homes or parks at weekends. A junior praesidium of 3 members, gained 4 new members after being hailed as a “youth group that teaches Marian devotions, and helps struggling kids to read and write.” The reading includes the Handbook. Please pray for correspondents to St. Louis Senatus and Miami Regia who are both ill in hospital.
Toronto Senatus had many participants in the virtual 33 Days True Devotion to Mary preparation and the Centenary Mass in Dublin. 8,000 of the Centennial Bookmarkers were printed and ordered from councils all over Canada. The first new praesidium in Prince Edward Island has started after many years with 7 members. Durham Curia had 2 successful workshops on the Legion and St. Joseph. Scarborough Comitium has 12 praesidia with a senior and a junior Curia attached, and a membership of 307 seniors and 35 juniors. Mississauga Comitium has 295 active and 1,679 auxiliary members. Pilgrim statue visits and nursing home visits are allowed, with restrictions.
Montreal Senatus: Four attached praesidia reported Pilgrim statue work, spiritual contact by electronic means with auxiliaries, friends and work colleagues. Weekly Stations of Cross for Lent and First Friday Adoration were organised. The attached Quebec Comitium has lost 3 attached Curiae. The Curiae in Sherbrooke got positive feedback from their Archbishop after sending him a report. Vancouver Comitium reviewed the map of their territory so as to plan a Legion presence in all areas. Each council has been asked to organise recruitment drives. A new praesidium with 10 active and 20 auxiliary members taught Catechism, and did hospital and home visits when permitted. There are 350 Korean Legionaries in the 6 Korean Curiae attached to the Comitium; these have requested a Korean Comitium for further development.
Edmonton Comitium still meets on Zoom. Two praesidia, each with 6 members reported. One has 3 Praetorians and 45 auxiliaries including 10 Adjutorians. They did 245 nursing home visits, over 1,700 Holy Communion visits, during which they encouraged the importance of Confession. They did street contact to promote conversion, undertook auxiliary visits and run a weekly ‘Echo of God’ ministry. The 4 attached Curiae, 2 of which are in Calgary, meet virtually.
The Senatus of Santo Domingo celebrated their 75th Anniversary of the Legion there which coincides with the Worldwide Centenary. At this Mass, celebrated by the Archbishop, two priests testified on how the Legion of Mary helped their vocation. Many legionaries, active and auxiliary, died due to Covid. The November Mass for the deceased legionaries was widely celebrated.
Senatus of Santiago de los Caballeros is meeting, but attendance is limited and some reports have not yet been furnished.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Regia of Trinidad and Tobago: Minutes of the August Regia meeting show the pandemic restricts many apostolates but they are encouraging continuous prayer. Three praesidia gained new members.
COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico Senatus: The country has been in lockdown for most of 2021. They held a Senatus meeting in October and November, but no reports were submitted by praesidia or councils.
Haiti Senatus: Despite the recent earthquake, home and prison visitation takes place, plus visits to the sick. Legionaries also accompany their priests on sick calls. Other work includes preparing people for the Sacraments. Visitation of councils and praesidia continues and two officers were re-elected. All the foregoing councils reported holding Centenary Mass celebrations with their Bishops or Spiritual Directors providing gracious and inspiring homilies. Restrictions prohibited full attendances, but Masses were live streamed. Outdoor Marian processions, visiting Marian shrines, Centenary Conferences and Workshops on the History of Legion also featured in celebrations.
IRISH PROVINCIAL COUNCILS
Cloyne: The majority of praesidia in South and East Cloyne are back meeting. However, in West Cloyne the most praesidia are still unable to meet and are keeping in touch by phone. The President of the Comitium is keeping in touch with them all. The Centenary Mass was celebrated by Bishop Crean on the 7th September and a large number of legionaries attended the Mass which was also live streamlined. It was hoped to hold a Comitium meeting in November but this was cancelled due to the rise in the number of covid cases and the meeting was to be held over Zoom.
Cork: A children’s Rosary has started in Gurranbraher. They plan to do street contact for the jazz weekend. Their accounts have been audited to December 2020.
Kerry: Due to the diligence and hard work of the Comitium, officers and legionaries, there was an avalanche of prayer during the pandemic. Legionaries unused to computer technology were helped in that regard. The full Legion prayers with Father Derek O’Connell were recited each week. Many tuned into Mary’s Chanel of Grace on Zoom with several making the Consecration on the night of the 7th of September. One praesidium with 9 members concentrated on young people and put particular emphasis on encouraging them to frequent the Sacraments. Many Rosaries were recited at grottos and one praesidium with 13 members recited the Rosary each Sunday in October. Constant phone and email contacts were kept with all legionaries during the pandemic. The Parish Priest in Currow celebrated an anniversary Mass for the Centenary and it was highlighted beforehand in the parish newsletter. A legionary organised continuous recitation of the Divine Mercy from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.
Thurles: At the October meeting Cashel Curia gave its first report since February 2020. A verbal report had been taken from all attached praesidia. Five praesidia already had their Centenary Mass. Fr. O’Rourke, Spiritual Director for 32 years had died during lockdown. May he rest in peace. Not all meetings have resumed and those that have were with reduced numbers due to the size of the meeting-place room. Works reported included restarting nursing home visitation by appointment only, Pilgrim statue visitation and restricted Catholic newspaper work. They promote Perpetual Adoration and the Rosary. In November, members led the recitation of the Rosary in 13 graveyards. At the November meeting it was reported that a meeting had been held to discuss the Centenary. It was suggested to have celebrations from Monday 6th to Sunday 12th June, including photographic exhibitions, talks with special emphasis on youth, essay competitions for Primary and Secondary schools on the Legion and Frank Duff, and Thanksgiving Mass on the 12th June. Tipperary gave a report on the meeting held in February 2021. It was recommended that they get their priests’ permission for getting back to meetings and it was decided that weaker praesidia should amalgamate. Three praesidia have closed.
Birr Roscrea: The praesidium in Kennitty is holding meetings but no further details to hand.
Limerick: The Curia meetings are via Skype with the Legion prayers, Handbook study and the Allocutio. They do not plan to have in-person meetings until the New Year. Two praesidia are meeting and doing limited work, including distributing Catholic literature.
Ross: There are eight praesidia in the Curia. Skibbereen praesidium is holding its weekly meeting. Members are involved in Church work and contact is made by phone and letter with the sick and elderly. The praesidium has just published its Christmas newsletter. Four other praesidia hold meetings in the Church after Mass. Members in Clonakilty praesidium are involved in Church work such as cleaning, stewarding and serving as Ministers of the Eucharist and the Word. Members of another praesidium recite the Rosary each night at the local grotto of Our Lady, and phone elderly neighbours. Two praesidia are not meeting.
Waterford: The celebration of Our Lady’s birthday, 8th September had 53 adults and 6 children present in St. Paul’s church. In his homily, Fr. Sean de Léis spoke on Frank Duff. Suggestions for Centenary celebrations were made at the October meeting.
THE FRUITS OF MARY’S CHANNEL OF GRACE
The Holy Spirit operates always with her
The numbers zooming in each night to Mary’s Channel of Grace have continued to grow steadily. There is a marked increase on Sunday nights, when the Rosary is followed by Rosary & Ramblings, Catholic Chat or Sundays with Frank, but it is the Rosary which ignites the evening. The Rosary is the bedrock on which Mary’s Channel of Grace is built. While other parts of the programme have been changed or replaced, the Rosary has continued every night since May 1st 2020. Mary, Mediatrix of all Graces seems to be pouring out her Graces on this endeavour and on all who support it. And Mary’s supporters are very loyal - on Christmas night last over 100 people zoomed in to pray the Rosary.
Mary is present wherever her Rosary is prayed. Wherever she is, so also is the Holy Spirit. God often permits us to see the Holy Spirit at work. It was great a joy to observe His work up close. Several people have joined the Legion as a direct result of attending the nightly Rosary. New friendships have been formed and contacts made. One such contact led to 16 juniors joining an established junior praesidium which was meeting on Zoom. They took on work such as helping the elderly, cleaning graves, volunteering as altar servers and teaching the Rosary to their younger siblings. Following a visit to the Morning Star Hostel, one junior asked for cash instead of presents for his birthday and through this and other fund-raising ventures he raised €1000 for the hostel.
Feedback received, though not sought, via all the different forms of communication - including word-of-mouth and Mass cards - has pointed to a real nourishing of souls and an outpouring of Grace through participation in the nightly programme. The following is a selection of these comments:-
• The nightly Rosary is a light at the end of the day
• It is a great honour to be part of this
• Fridays with Frank gave me a great insight into Frank Duff
• Thanks Fr. Colm for Rosary & Ramblings. It is great catechesis, which I reflect on during the week.
• Love the Patricians - always interesting topics and great papers from our priests
• Fr. Emmet has a great gift for leading Adoration
• Great talk from Br. Bruno on work/life balance
• What a joy to be joining legionaries from the four corners of the earth praying the Rosary
• Mary’s Channel of Grace is full of energy
• Mary’s Channel of Grace gives me hope
• Wonderful to hear Sr. President Mary Murphy speak about joining the Legion
Monrovia Curia: A letter has been received giving the joyful news that despite major difficulties over the past four years 13 praesidia with good membership are meeting regularly and a number of Curia meetings have been held. On 28th November 2021 the Curia Officers met to plan for 2022 and they forwarded the names of the current Curia Officers.
Banjul Curia: The activity of Legionaries has been greatly limited by Covid.
Maula Senatus: St. Dennis’ Curia reports home and hospital visitation. A junior Curia organised a youth Retreat in the Parish of St. Dennis. St. Patrick’s Curia arrange Sunday school for 150 Children. Legionaries prepared 20 students for the Sacrament of Baptism, 50 for First Holy Communion and 35 for Confirmation. St. Peter’s Regia reported planting trees to help conserve the environment. Other works include visiting the sick, bereaved families and lapsed Catholics.
Blantyre Senatus: Legionaries visited 68 cohabiting couples, 47 of which have now received the Sacrament of Matrimony. 100 Catechumens were instructed by legionaries, 18 were prepared for First Holy Communion and 30 received the Sacrament of Confirmation. Visits are made to the sick and non-practicing Catholics and the homes of children who lost their parents. A village Chief was baptised into the Catholic Church after being visited by legionaries. The Senatus officers were invited to Blantyre Secondary School to encourage the youth to remain committed to the Catholic Church after reports of many turning to Pentecostal Churches.
Lagos Regia: The Regia has 29 Comitia with 207 senior Curiae and 158 junior Curiae comprising of 2,514 senior praesidia, 1,843 junior praesidia and 12 directly attached praesidia totalling 40,369 senior members and 33,615 juniors, 29,193 Praetorians, 1,430 Adjutorians and 4,209 auxiliaries. They have 1,247 Catechists across various councils. Works include visiting brothels, prisons and a leper colony. Homes, hospitals and maternity hospitals are also visited as well as the elderly and children without mothers. Their works also include caring for children during Mass, teaching of the Catechism, Marriage instruction, distribution of Catholic literature and promoting, Enthronements of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Between October 2018 and November 2019, legionaries prepared 3,602 candidates for First Holy Communion and 2884 candidates for Confirmation. 1,900 children and 1,761 adults received the Sacrament of Baptism, 635 marriages were rectified, and 118 lapsed Catholics were brought back to the faith. During this period 4 legionaries were ordained to the priesthood, and two took their final religious vows.
Enugu Senatus: Virgo Clemens Comitium: Asata Enugu is comprised of 14 senior Curiae, 8 senior praesidia and 1 junior Curia, all directly attached. 149 infant baptisms were recorded, 299 adults were received into the Church, 539 received First Holy Communion, 26 lapsed Catholics were brought back to the Sacraments and 74 marriages blessed. 400 senior legionaries were recruited, 4 senior praesidia and 1 senior Curia established. 4,000 Rosary Beads and 2,000 miraculous medals were distributed to people on Our Lady’s birthday.
Onitsha Regia: Awgu Comitium with 10 senior Curiae, 9 senior praesidia and 1 junior Curia reported 13 pagans converted, 56 catechumens received into the Catholic Church. 234 infants baptised and 57 lapsed Catholics brought back to the Sacraments. 13 family disputes were settled and 41 marriages solemnized. 188 candidates received First Holy Communion and 12 received the Sacrament of Confirmation. 176 adults were fully initiated into the Catholic faith. 134 legionaries were recruited. A new Comitium was established, and 12 former legionaries returned to the Legion.
Jos Regia: Maiduguri Comitium Borno State has 1,557 members. Works include home and Hospital visitation, Catechism instruction, crowd contact, care for children at Mass, care for junior praesidia, family Rosary and Marriage counselling. 317 were recruited into the Legion. 196 Baptisms took place and 211 Confirmations. Five separated brethren and 1 Muslim were converted and 14 lapsed Catholics brought back to the faith.
Ikot Ekpene Regia: Queen of Apostles Curia, Ikot Osurua reported 14 infants baptised, 4 couples receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony, 22 adults Baptised and 15 Catechumens receiving First Holy Communion. Calabar Comitium revived 3 weak praesidia. Queen of Peace Comitium, Abak: Two lapsed Catholic returned to the Church; 3 couples received the Sacrament of Matrimony; 30 Catechumens received their First Holy Communion, and 19 Catholics were confirmed.
Ibadan Senatus: The Senatus Annual Report to September 2021 reveals the formation of 27 new senior praesidia, 2 junior praesidia, 2 Curiae and one Comitium. It also states that ‘the present insecurity in Nigeria has posed serious limitations on our evangelisation drive’. Warri Regia reported 102 marriages blessed, 73 lapsed Catholics returned and 55 conversions.
Abuja Senatus: Kari Comitium reported 18 marriages rectified, 43 lapsed returned to the Sacraments, five conversions, and the formation of six praesidia and one Curiae. Two auditors are available in the Annual Reports of praesidia and council.
Lusaka Regia: Since January Zambia has been in lock down. The country is slowly starting to reopen. A meeting between the Regia officers and a legionary from Nairobi Senatus was held in September. They discussed the opportunities and challenges they face. The meeting was very informative and both parties learned a lot from each other.
Dar-es-Salaam Regia: Following resumption of meetings, the Regia is arranging to visit all attached praesidia and councils. They are also in touch with the Legion in distant areas on behalf of the Concilium. Rombo Comitium has over 4,000 senior and 3,170 junior members. Hai Moshi Comitium: Works reported on include home and hospital visitation, encouraging couples to marry in the Church and preparing adults and children for the Sacraments.
Senatus of Uganda: The Centenary Mass took place on the 7th September in Nsambya Parish where Edel Quinn started the first praesidium in Uganda and was broadcast on TV, radio, and online. The Vexillum which Edel brought to that first meeting in Uganda was placed on the Legion altar at the Mass. There were 20 Spiritual Directors present including one from South Sudan. Legionaries were encouraged to organise a Mass of thanksgiving in each diocese.
KENYA: The Centenary Mass was celebrated in Holy Family Minor Basilica Nairobi where Venerable Edel Quinn set up the first praesidium in 1936.Each parish throughout the country is organising a local Centenary Mass. A new Curia with 10 attached praesidia was set up in Meru Diocese. Fr. Fredrick Mugambi has agreed to translate the Handbook into Kimeru to help legionaries to read and understand the Legion system. All members have been challenged to recruit at least one new member for the Centenary and to pay particular attention to youth.
SAINT RAPHAEL - ARCHANGEL
Saint Raphael is known as the angel of healing not least spiritual healing. The Hebrew name Rafa’el means “God heals”. He is also known as the patron saint of travelers, the blind, happy meetings and Christian marriage.
He appears in the Old Testament Book of Tobit, in which he disguises himself as a man named Azarias and accompanies Tobias on his journey to Media, aiding him along the way. During the course of the journey, the archangel’s protective influence is shown in various ways, including the binding of a demon in the desert of Upper Egypt. In chapter 3 (Tob 3:24-25) he is mentioned as follows: “This time the prayer of each of them (Tobit and Sarah) found favour before the glory of God, and Raphael was sent to bring remedy to them both.” Chapter 12 refers to his healing powers (Tob 12:14-18): ‘I was sent to test your faith, ·and at the same time God sent me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ever ready to enter the presence of the glory of the Lord.’ They were both overwhelmed with awe; they fell on their faces in terror. But the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid; peace be with you. Bless God for ever. As far as I was concerned, when I was with you, my presence was not by any decision of mine, but by the will of God; it is he whom you must bless throughout your days, he that you must praise.’
The Gospel of John (Jn 5:1-4) refers to the pool of Bethesda, where the multitude of the infirm lay awaiting the moving of the water, “… for at intervals the angel of the Lord came down into the pool, and the water was disturbed, and the first person to enter the water after this disturbance was cured of any ailment he suffered from.” Because of the healing role assigned to St. Raphael, this particular angel is associated with the archangel.
Saints Michael and Gabriel and Raphael share the same feast day on September 29th.