The Chaplet of Saint Raphael the Archangel
By Karen Riobo
The tradition of the Catholic Church is rich in devotions. They help us grow in faith, hope, and love and point us toward the eternal. Many of these devotions--chaplets, novenas, rosaries, and prayers have been inspired and directed by God or Our Lady to different saints and lay people who, in obedience, have promoted them. The only element required for any chaplet is an open heart and blind faith.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
In particular, the Chaplet of Saint Raphael is known to help those enduring an illness or seeking a marriage partner. Asking for the intercession of the Angels is very special. Angels are messengers of God. Tradition has given Saint Raphael the patronage of travelers, the blind, happy meetings, nurses, physicians, medical workers, matchmakers, Christian marriage, and Catholic studies. The faithful seek the intercession of the Archangel Saint Raphael for these specific life events.
The Archangel Saint Raphael in Scripture.
One of the three Archangels mentioned in Sacred Scripture, St Raphael is "one of the seven who stand before the Lord" Tobit 12:15. His name means "God heals."
Saint Raphael is best known for his appearance in the book of Tobit, a book that tells a fascinating story that not only brings hope to the people of God but witnesses to the power of the intercession of the Angels. In a desperate plea to the Lord, Tobit tells God he wants to die; he has suffered misfortunes and has turned blind. His daughter in law (after Tobiah marries her), Sarah, is feeling hopeless because Asmodeus, a demon, killed all of her seven husbands. In His mercy, the Lord sends his messenger, the Archangel Raphael, to aid them both in their oppression.
Saint Raphael accompanies Tobit's son, Tobiah, to bring back Tobit's money from Media. While on the path, Tobiah is attacked by a large fish as he bathes in the Tigris River. Raphael orders him to seize the fish and remove its gall, heart, and liver because they are useful for medicine. Little did Tobiah know that this fish would bring deliverance to his wife to be, and restore his dad's vision. At the Angels' request and mandated by God, Tobiah marries Sarah and uses the fish's heart and liver to drive Asmodeus from the bridal chamber. Returning to Nineveh with his wife and his father's money, Tobiah rubs the fish's gall into his father's eyes and cures him.
Finally, Raphael reveals his true identity and returns to heaven. Tobit 12:11-12 "I shall now tell you the whole truth and conceal nothing at all from you. I have already said to you, 'A king's secret should be kept secret, but one must declare the works of God with due honor.'
Now when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed, it was I who presented the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and likewise whenever you used to bury the dead.
Saint Raphael presented their prayers before the Glory of the Lord, which affirms that he is commanded to help us and journey with us through life.
Due to his role of healing in the Book of Tobit, St. Raphael is traditionally attributed as the Angel of the Lord in John 5:4 tells how an angel occasionally appears at the Pool of Bethzatha in Jerusalem to stir up the water. Whoever first steps into the water when that happens is miraculously healed of any ailment suffered. Given the archangel's name and activity in the Book of Tobit, Christians have considered that Angel at the pool to be Raphael. In light of these biblical passages, Raphael is traditionally viewed as God's Angel of healing.
Healing through the Saint Raphael Chaplet
You are encouraged to ask for healing, not only physical but spiritual, mental, and emotional. God often assigns Raphael to answer people's prayer requests for good health by blessing their medical doctors as they pursue natural means of attaining good health, such as taking medications, having surgery, doing physical therapy. Nothing is impossible for God, and he can also heal supernaturally.
Spiritual healing through the intercession of Saint Raphael may involve overcoming sinful attitudes and actions that hurt people and draws us away from God. Raphael can bring sins to people's attention and motivate them to confess those sins.
Through the intercession of Saint Raphael, God can heal thoughts and feelings. Believers ask for the grace to overcome pornography, alcoholism, and other disorders that may oppress them.
Intercession for Safe Travels
As when Saint Raphael accompanied Tobiah to Media, believers can ask for his protection as they travel; for a safe and successful trip.
Intercession to Meet a Spouse
Saint Raphael is also the patron of happy meetings, as he urged Tobiah to marry Sarah and accompanied them back home to meet Tobit. He has done the same for many believers who have faithfully asked for his help to find a suitable mate to marry and lead a holy family.
Chaplet of Saint Raphael
The chaplet to St. Raphael the Archangel has a set of 9 beads and 3 end beads for a total of 12 beads over and above the medal.
On the medal, pray the following:
You are Raphael the Healer,
You are Raphael the Guide,
You are Raphael the Companion
Ever at human sorrow's aid.
On each of the 3 small beads, say the Hail Mary to Mary, the Queen of angels.
On each of the 9 following beads, in honor of the 9 angelic choirs, one in honor of each choir, (Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Principalities, Powers, Cherubim and Seraphim) say the following prayer:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of Hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your Glory!
Glory be to the Father:
Glory be to the Son;
Glory be to the Holy Spirit!
Conclude the Chaplet with the following prayer:
angel of health,
pray for us."