Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ARCHANGEL

A chief or ruling angel. The term occurs twice in the New Testament (Jude 5:9; I Thessalonians 4:16) and has two meanings in the Catholic vocabulary. In its wider sense, an archangel is any angel of higher rank, so that St. Michael is an archangel although he is the prince of the Seraphim. But more strictly, archangels are those angelic spirits who belong to the eighth or second last of nine choirs of angels. As distinct from guardian angels, archangels are messengers of God to men in matters of greater significance. Thus Raphael delivered Tobias' wife from demonic obsession (Tobit 12:;6, 15) and traditionally is identified with the angel who moved the waters of the pool, where Christ worked his miracle (John 5:1-4). Gabriel was the angel of the Annunciation. St. Michael is the leader of the heavenly host, who fought and won against the rebellious spirits (Revelation 12:7-9).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Church Fathers: The Other Greek Apologists April 19
Mysteries, again and again! April 17
Tips for getting comfortable with evangelization April 17
The Shroud of Turin on Display (and an odd canonical case against it) April 16
The Vatican says the LCWR is acting Catholic. And that's news. April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16