How did you meet the love of your life?
Perhaps a classmate introduced you to his cousin over 40 years ago, when you needed a date to the prom. Or the two of you met during your barangay’s seniors night, when the host teased you about winning the same prize at a bingo game. It could have happened while you were standing in line at your favorite coffee shop, when the friendly barista suddenly introduced you to a regular customer. Or maybe one of your close friends set you up with a co-worker knowing you two would hit it off. Or for the modern ones, maybe you met at a dating app that a friend recommended you to try.
Some say it’s fate, some believe it’s serendipity, but maybe these matchmakers are St. Raphael in disguise, helping you meet your soulmate! (Read: 3 Powerful Prayers to the Archangels)
St. Raphael, whose name means “God heals” in Hebrew, is probably the least known archangel in the Bible. This is due to the fact that he was only mentioned in the Book of Tobit in the Old Testament, where he disguised himself as a human to help two young lovers, Tobiah and Sarah, overcome their problems and unite in prayer. (Read: How This Couple Beat ‘Wedding Mishaps’ Amid Taal, COVID-19 Disasters)
Angel in Disguise
According to the story, God sent Archangel Raphael to Earth to help Tobit and Sarah with their personal issues. Tobit, a righteous man, was distraught because of his blindness, while Sarah was a young woman who had married seven times—only to have each groom killed by a jealous demon on their wedding night. (Read: 3 Powerful Prayers to the Archangels)
In need of funds, the blind Tobit sent his son Tobiah to the city of rages in Media to collect the money he left with a friend. As he is unfamiliar with the place, Tobiah found a guide, Azariah, who was really St. Raphael in disguise. While gathering food, they caught an unusual fish. Azariah ordered Tobiah to take out its gall bladder, heart, and liver, as they would be useful to him in the future.
When they were near Media, Azariah insisted that they pay a visit to Sarah’s family, since she was a distant relative of Tobit. As soon as Tobiah set eyes on Sarah, he instantly fell in love and asked her to marry him, partly due to Azariah’s encouragement. And so they were wed, but because of Sarah’s affliction with the demon, Tobiah was afraid to consummate the marriage. Azariah instructed him to place the heart and liver of the fish in embers for the incense, for the smoke was supposed to drive away the demon that was tormenting Sarah. Tobiah obeyed, and after doing so, asked his wife to get up and pray with him. The demon fled and Tobiah was spared. (Read: 5 Powerful Prayers for Marriage and Relationships)
When they returned to Tobiah’s home, the angel instructed him to use the gall bladder to cure the blindness of Tobit. Later, he revealed his true identity: “Who am I? I am angel Raphael, and my place is among those seven who stand in the presence of the Lord.” (Tobit 12:15)
Touched By An Angel
St. Raphael was responsible for delivering Tobiah to Sarah, as this was what God intended. He not only helped rid the woman of the demon but also taught the couple how to begin their married life in accordance to God’s will. He led Tobiah to his soulmate, Sarah, and encouraged the two to live their married life in prayer. He also healed Tobit by giving him the ability to see. (READ: Readers share their encounter with their guardian angel)
Due to this story, St. Raphael is considered the patron saint of travelers, the blind, nurses, physicians, Christian marriage, and also Catholic studies. In modern Catholic culture, Catholic singles can invoke St. Raphael when they are looking for their soulmate. His feast day is on September 29, when grouped with other archangels. However, some communities celebrate him every October 24.