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The Feast of the Archangel Raphael - ሊቀ መላእክት ቅዱስ ሩፋኤል


This day Pagume 3 is called Finote Semay, roughly translated ‘road to heavens’. Therefore, the rain that falls on this day is considered Holy, blessing of the Christians and protects them from illness and bad fortune. On this day in Ethiopia we can see children rinsing in the rain. Women add drops of the sacred rainwater to their dough as they believe that the injera and dabo(bread) will be blessed.


The Archangel Raphael performed several miracles on this day that the day is celebrated with special vivacity in the churches dedicated to the Angel.


Abba Theophilus the Archbishop of Alexandria; built many churches, and among them was the church, which was on the island outside the city of Alexandria, and was dedicated in the name of the Archangel Raphael. Abba Theophilus the Archbishop finished the building thereof and consecrated it as it were this day. On this day Pagume 3rd whilst the believers were praying in the church, the church started trembling and moving. And they found that the church had been built upon the back of a whale of the sea, on which a very large mass of sand had heaped itself.


Now it was Satan who moved the whale so that he might throw down the church. And the believers and the archbishop cried out together, and made supplication to Our Lord and Savior Eyesus Kirstos, and they asked for the intercession of the Archangel Raphael. And God, the Most High, sent the Holy Angel Raphael, and he drove his spear into the while, saying unto him, “By the commandment of God stand still, and move not thyself from thy place”; and the whale stood in his place and moved not. And this church continued to exist until the time when the Muslims reigned, and then it was destroyed, and the whale moved, and the sea flowed back again.


Tobit, a religious man, who lives in Nineveh is known for hiddenly burring dead Jews in foreign land. But one of the evening after he buried another Jews man he slept around the grave yard. While Tobit sleeps, he is blinded by a bird which defecates in his eyes. His relative Sarah, living in far-off Ecbatana, also prays for death, for the demon Asmodeus has killed her husbands. She was married seven times one after another, but all of her husbands died on the first night of the marriage.


God hears the prayer of both Tobit and Sahara and sent the Archangel Raphael to help them. Tobias the son of Tobit is sent to Ecbatana to recover money from a relative, and the Archangel Raphael, in human shape, waited Tobit on the way and offers to accompany him. On the way Tobit and Raphael catch a fish to eat. The Archangel said "prepare the fish, keep the heart, liver and the gallbladder, but we will roast and eat the other parts" because the burnt heart and liver of this fish can drive out demons and the gall of this fish can cure blindness. Archangel Raphael arrived in Ecbatana and meet Sarah. As Archangel Raphael has predicted the demon is driven out from Sarah when Tobias burnt the heart and liver of the fish, they brought with them.


Tobias and Sarah get married and returned to Nineveh. As Raphael told to Tobias, Tobit's blindness is cured with the gall of the fish. The Arch Angel Raphael departs from them after admonishing Tobit and Tobias to bless God and declare his miracles to the people.


May Archangel Raphael’s Intercession be with us, Amen!


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