On November 8 in the Holy Orthodox Church we celebrate the Synaxis of the Supreme Commanders Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, and of the other bodiless and heavenly orders, the Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Authorities, Principalities, Archangels and Angels.
Dionysius the Areopagite, a disciple of the Apostle Paul who was taken up into the third heaven (II Cor. 12:2), described the nine orders of angels in his book, On the Celestial Hierarchies. The Apostle Paul says all angels are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14). The leader of all the angelic hosts is the Archangel Michael. When Satan fell away from God and drew a part of the angels with him to destruction, then Michael stood up and cried out before the faithful angels: “Let us stand aright! Let us stand with fear! Let us attend!” and all of the faithful angelic heavenly hosts cried out: “Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God of Sabaoth! Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory!” The Archangel Gabriel proclaimed the news of the conceptions of John the Baptist and our Lord Jesus Christ to their mothers, Elizabeth and the Ever-virgin Mary (Luke 1). The Archangel Raphael healed Tobit of his blindness (Tobit 11) and freed his daughter-in-law, Sarah, from a demon (Tobit 6). Every nation has its guardian angel, as does every Christian. We must always remember that whatever we do, in open or in secret, we do in the presence of our guardian angel.By their holy intercessions, O God, have mercy upon us. Amen.