Tobit 12:15-17

"I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One."  They were both alarmed; and they fell upon their faces, for they were afraid. But he said to them, "Do not be afraid; you will be safe. But praise God for ever."

Tobit is a "entertaining angels unaware" story.  Raphael is sent from heaven in response to Tobit's prayer for help and in response to a woman's plea for deliverance from a demon.  He comes under an assumed name and, as is the custom with angels in such stories, engineers things toward a happy ending with wedding bells and lots of mushiness (not unlike "It's a Wonderful Life").  Tobit discovers, at the end of the story, that God was with him while he was doing all his good deeds and that everything was ordered to his good (even his sufferings).  It's a fairytale-like foreshadowing of another Visitor who was not recognized when he came.  Only in that story, it was he who did the suffering and entered into the Happiest of all Happy Endings.  Raphael worked for him.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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