Today’s “Yiorti” is a special one, we are celebrating and honouring our Archangels.
The Synaxis of the Chief of the Heavenly Hosts, Archangel Michael and Gabriel and the Other Heavenly Bodiless Powers: Archangels Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Selaphiel, Jehudiel, Barachiel, and Jeremiel.
Of the Brigadier, two of them, Michael and Gabriel are the most mentioned. The angels are the messengers of God. Their purpose is to convey God’s messages to people.
Gabriel in Hebrew means “Power of God”. He is also called the Angel of Truth and it is said that he will be the one who on the Day of Judgment will call the living and the dead to face the final judgment. He is also the one who chooses which enlightened souls in Paradise will be reincarnated on earth with a Divine mission and spends the 9 months of pregnancy with them to prepare them for their mission. He was the one who burned Sodom and Gomorrah. He was the Archangel who God sent to the Virgin Mary to convey to her the joyful message of the birth of Christ.
Archangel Michael is depicted holding a sword or scepter in his right hand. They are both symbols of the power God has given him. His name means “He Who Looks Like God”. Archangel of Mercy and Repentance, Leader of the Order of Archangels and Angels, often appears as General of the Angelic armies against evil. A beloved Archangel, not only by Jews and Christians, but also by Muslims. According to Christian tradition, Michael carries the souls of the dead before God to be judged.
We also celebrate this feast in Zakynthos on the 8th of November of every year it is dedicated to the name Angelo. The female version of the name is not celebrated on this day traditionally in Zakynthos. She is celebrated later on in the month on the 21st of November the date of The Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos.
On June 11, 1954, Archangel Michael, patron saint of the Air Force was established and they too make tributes on this day to their protector. Here’s a tribute to our armed forces may our Archangels be with them always.