Gabriel is one of the archangels mentioned in the Bible . Along with the archangel Michael , he is one of the most important angels both in the Abrahamic religions and in the modern spirituality of the new era . Its name means’ He [God] Ël is my strength ‘or’ force [God] him. ” He is almost always represented in his role as messenger, for having been the bearer of the news of the magical incarnation of Jesus Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary . Her image represents purity and she announces it through her white clothing, one or several lilies in her hands, and her androgynous and delicate appearance.
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- 1 The Archangel Gabriel according to the Bible
- 1 Appearance to Daniel
- 2 Apparition to Zacharias
- 3 Appearance to Mary
- 2 Angel of mercy
- 3 Prayer to Saint Gabriel
- 4 Attributes of Gabriel
- 5 Sources
The archangel Gabriel according to the Bible
The angel Gabriel is a messenger who was commissioned to deliver various important messages in the name of God. Gabriel appears to at least three people in the Bible : to the prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:16); to the priest Zacharias to prophesy and announce the miraculous birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:19), and finally he appears to the Virgin Mary to tell her that she would conceive and give birth to a son (Luke 1: 26-38).
Gabriel was greeted with fear at all three appearances, and he had to start his conversations with words of comfort and encouragement for Daniel, Zacarias, and Maria. It is possible that Gabriel was also the angel who appeared to Joseph in Matthew 1:20, but this is not certain, since the name of the angel is not mentioned in the Scriptures. What we do know is that Gabriel is one of the good and holy angels of God. He has a favorable position as an angel “standing before God” (Luke 1:19), and was chosen to deliver important messages of God’s love and special grace to those chosen to be part of God’s plan.
Appearance to Daniel
Gabriel’s first appearance in the Bible is when he appears before the prophet Daniel after the prophet had a vision. Gabriel’s role is to explain the vision to Daniel (Daniel 8:16) The appearance to Daniel was like that of a man (Daniel 8:15; 9:21). When Gabriel visited Daniel the second time, he came to him “flying swiftly as at the hour of the evening sacrifice” (Daniel 9:21). By saying that Gabriel came “flying”, you could indicate that he had wings, however the wings are not mentioned. It is also clear that Gabriel’s appearance on the contrary was frightening, since Daniel fell on his face when standing before him (Daniel 8:17), and was sick a few days after his experience with the angel and with the vision (Daniel 8:27).
In Daniel chapter 10 we see another interaction between the prophet and “one with the likeness of the son of man” (verse 16); however, this messenger is not given a name. The angel says that he has come to help Daniel understand his vision, so it is quite possible that this passage is also referring to the angel Gabriel. Considering the language used in the passage, it is also possible that there are actually two angels with Daniel, the one who is speaking to him and the other who is strengthening him so that he can respond (Daniel 10:16, 18). The angel also refers to a battle that takes place in heavenly places. This angel, who logically we can suppose to be the angel Gabriel and the angel Michael, apparently were involved in the battle with a series of demonic kings and princes,
Gabriel says that he was sent from heaven as a concrete answer to Daniel’s prayer. Gabriel had come out to bring the answer as soon as Daniel began to pray (Daniel 10:12). But Gabriel met opposition along the way: “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days” (Daniel 10:13), and really prevented him from reaching Daniel as quickly as he was supposed to have. Here we have a glimpse of the spirit world and the battles that are going on behind the scenes. Holy angels like Gabriel are doing the will of God, but other spirit beings who only want evil in the world are opposing it.
Apparition to Zacharias
The message that Gabriel delivered to the priest Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was in the temple while Zacharias was ministering to the Lord. Gabriel appeared to the right of the altar of incense (Luke 1:11), a symbol of prayer, and told Zacharias that his prayers had been heard (verse 13). Elizabeth, the barren wife of Zacharias, was to conceive and give birth to a son; This miraculous boy would be called John, and he would fulfill the prophecy of the coming of Elijah (verse 17; cf. Malachi 4: 5). Gabriel’s announcement was received in disbelief, so Gabriel left the unbelieving priest speechless until the day of the boy’s circumcision (Luke 1:20, 59-64).
Apparition to Mary
Gabriel’s appearance to Mary was to announce the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. The mother of the Messiah had the grace of God assured (Luke 1:30), and she was told that her son was going to fulfill the Davidic covenant: “This will be great, and he will be called Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end “(verses 32-33). In response to Mary’s question about how it would happen since she was a virgin, the angel Gabriel said that the conception would be the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in her, and therefore “the holy being that will be born will be called the Son of God “(verse 35).
Angel of mercy
He is the angel of the Incarnation and Comfort, and in the Christian tradition Gabriel is always the angel of mercy while Miguel is rather the angel of judgment. At the same time, even in the Bible, is from Gabriel, the power of the angel of God, and it is important to note the frequency with which such words as: “great”, “may”, “power”, and “force” appear in the passages referred to above. The Jews seem to have particularly insisted on this trait of Gabriel’s character, and he is remembered by them as the angel of judgment, while Michael is called the angel of mercy. Thus, they attribute to Gabriel the destruction of Sodom and the Sennacherib hosts, however they also remember him as the angel who buried Moses, and as the one sent to mark the figure Tau on the forehead of the chosen one (Ez, 4).
In later Jewish literature, the names of angels were considered to have a peculiar efficacy, and the British Museum has containers with inscriptions of spells in Hebrew, Aramaic and Sirius in which the names of Michael, Raphael and Gabriel appear. These vessels were found in Hillah, the place of Babylon, and constitute an interesting relic of the Jewish obsession. In Christian apocryphal literature the same names appear, cf. Enoch, IX, and the Apocalypse of the Virgin Mary .
As has been emphasized, Gabriel is mentioned only twice in the New Testament , but it is not reasonable to suppose with the Christian tradition that it is he who appeared to Saint Joseph and the shepherds, and also that it was he who “strengthened” our Lord in the garden (cf. The hymn for Lauds on March 24). Gabriel is generally called only archangel, but the expression used by Saint Raphael, “I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven who attended before the Lord” (Tob XII, 15) and the own words of Saint Gabriel, “I am Gabriel who assists the sight of God” (Lc, 1, 19 ), have led some to think that these angels must belong to the highest rank; but this is generally explained by referring to his rank as the greatest of God’s messengers, and not placing them among the Seraphim and Cherubim (cf. St. Thomas, I, Q. CXII, a.3; III, Q. XXX, a .2, ad 4um).
Saint Gabriel is represented with a scented lily stick, which he presented to Mary Most Holy in the Annunciation representing the Sublime Immaculate Purity of the Virgin Mother.
Prayer to Saint Gabriel
Our Lord God, we implore your mercy so that having known your Incarnation by the announcement of the Archangel Saint Gabriel, with his help we also obtain its benefits. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The archangel Gabriel is almost always represented in his role as messenger, for having been the bearer of the news of the Incarnation. Her image represents purity and she announces it through her white clothing, one or several lilies in her hands, and her androgynous and delicate appearance. The flower that he gives to Mary represents purity, virginity, innocence, love and harmony, the virtues that both the archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary embody. The genuflection with which he delivers these virtues and the news of the Incarnation of the Son of God adds humility to these virtues. When her clothes are white, she communicates transparency and cleanliness of spirit, important qualities when it comes to communicating on a spiritual level. Both represent flawless communication through the spirit. Sometimes it is represented with a trumpet.
Archangel Gabriel is said to blow the trumpet on Judgment Day to awaken sleeping souls. Sometimes this role is also assigned to the archangel Michael, but in art and literature the person in charge of playing the trumpet is almost always the archangel Gabriel. Archangel Gabriel is said to inspire artists, singers, dancers, poets, writers, and all kinds of creators as people who cultivate purity. That is why he is often represented with a parchment or a pen in his hand. Archangel Gabriel imparts the ability for communication.