The Catholic Church recognizes the existence of only three Archangels, or the three mentioned in the Scriptures: Michael (“Who is like God?”), Gabriel (“God’s Power”) and Raphael (“God’s Doctor”).
The Sacred Scripture then, attributes a particular mission to each Archangel.
Michael is the warrior who fights against Satan and his emissaries (Jn 9, Ap 12, 7, cf. Zec 13: 1-2), the defender of those who love God (Dn 10, 13.21), the protector of the people of God (Dn. 12, 1).
Gabriel is one of the spirits closest to God, before his heavenly throne (Lk 1, 19), the one who revealed to Daniel the secrets of God’s plan (Dn 8, 16; 9, 21-22), announced to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist (Lk 1, 11-20) and to Mary that of Jesus (Lk 1, 26-38).
Raphael stands before the throne of God (Tb 12, 15, see Rev 8: 2), accompanied and protects Tobias in his perilous journey and healed his father from blindness and his future bride from the influence of evil.
In general, therefore, the task of the three Archangels, in addition to contemplation of God, is to communicate His Will to man in various ways, to be an inspiration for human beings, and the catalysts of divine grace for them.
In 2013, Pope Francis consecrated the Vatican City State to St. Joseph and St. Michael the Archangel, recognizing once again his role as defender of the Faith and of the Church.
Christian iconography depicts Gabriel as a young winged cherub, who often carries a lily in his hands, as a symbol of the Annunciation to Mary.
In ascending order, the choirs or classes are 1) Angels, 2) Archangels, 3) Principalities, 4) Powers, 5) Virtues, 6) Dominations, 7) Thrones, 8) Cherubim, and 9) Seraphim.
Below is a beautiful prayer to the Archangels that highlights the role each Archangel has been given by God and how that role can help us when we need them the most.
Heavenly King, You have given us archangels
to assist us during our pilgrimage on earth.
Saint Michael is our protector;
I ask him to come to my aid,
fight for all my loved ones,
and protect us from danger.
Saint Gabriel is a messenger of the Good News;
I ask him to help me clearly hear Your voice
and to teach me the truth.
Saint Raphael is the healing angel;
I ask him to take my need for healing
and that of everyone I know,
lift it up to Your throne of grace
and deliver back to us the gift of recovery.
Help us, O Lord, to realize more fully
the reality of the archangels
and their desire to serve us.
Holy angels, pray for us.