St. Gabriel, The Messenger

June 29, 2021

The Annunciation by Leonardo Da Vinci
And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the U′lai, and it called, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was frightened and fell upon my face. But he said to me, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.” - Daniel 8:16-17 RSV-CE

Today September 29 is the feast day of St. Gabriel the archangel. 

The Hebrew word for angel "mal'akh" (מַלְאָךְ) means messenger as does the the Greek word "ángelos" (άγγελος).  So it makes sense that the Catholic Church has made St. Gabriel the patron of messengers, telecommunication workers and postal workers.

St. Gabriel first appears in the Hebrew bible as a translator of visions (Daniel 8:16-17 above). If the dream was a message, Gabriel's clarifies that message by interpreting the dream.

In the book of Enoch (which is not cannon but read by both the Church fathers and at least two of the disciples), Gabriel is an avenger - a role he also plays in Daniel as well. In the Talmud, it is Gabriel who delivers a message to Queen Vashti urging her to disobey her King - thereby paving the way for Esther and the preservation of the Jews.

Nowhere, however, is Gabriel's role as a messenger more important than when he addresses the Blessed mother in Luke 1:26-38:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.  And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her,

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

-Luke 1:26-38 - Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition
While I am not a telecommunications worker, I do think that blogging and a digital downloads shop falls somewhat under that heading, so I am planning to prayer to St. Gabriel for help with both of these ventures! 


  1. I haven't visited for a while, so will be catching up when I can. I really do enjoy your articles, Barbara, and like this one on Gabriel. I was visited by an angel (no wings) for three consecutive nights as a child. He sat at the foot of my bed, clearly wanting to talk, but I was so scared that I kept saying, 'go away!' I know they visit me still, and call of them especially to help my children with their issues, and they often make themselves known to me as birds.

    1. Thank you for sharing this Tosca. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Not sure why exactly but am quite sure they are still with you. I have had some very interesting experiences with birds but have not thought of them as angels. I like that idea very much! Blessings <3


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