Archangel Gabriel

The Announcer

"And having come in, the angel said to her, 'Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!' "

(Luke 1:28)
Icon of the Annunciation at SMSJ
Painting of the Icon of the Annunciation at St. Mary and St. Joseph Coptic Orthodox Church

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The Honorable Archangel Gabriel

Archangel Gabriel is one of the seven archangels who stand before the Throne of God. Since he stands before the Throne of God, he belongs to the first and greatest order of the heavenly powers.

The Seven who stand before God are known in the Coptic tradition as archangels; Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Soriel, Sedakiel, Sarathiel and Ananiel.

The name Gabriel means “the power of God." Archangel Gabriel's honor is great with God, for he was worthy to announce the Birth of His only Begotten Son to the Virgin Saint Mary. He also announced the birth of Saint John the Baptist to his father Zacharias the priest.

Besides, he announced a few prophecies to Daniel the prophet in the old testament. Therefore the church gave him the title "the announcer" since he announces the mysteries of God and the good news to mankind.

Announcing The Lord's Birth

"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The Virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, 'Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!'
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.'

Then Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I do not know a man?' And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.' Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her."

(Luke 1:26-38)

Announcing Saint John's Birth

The announcement of John the Baptist is recorded in the Gospel according to St. Luke chapter 1. Zacharias was well advanced in years and his wife, Elizabeth, was barren and her time for begetting children had passed. Zacharias was praying and beseeching God persistently to give him a child. The Lord had compassion on him and He hearkened to his petition.

While Zacharias was in the sanctuary, Gabriel the Angel appeared to him and announced the birth of the great prophet John. He said John would precede the Christ as it was said by the prophets, "He shall go before Him."

Zacharias asked the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well advanced in years."

(Luke 1:18)

The angel told him that he was sent from God to announce that to him and it is not seemly for him to doubt. He then told him that he shall be dumb till the birth of the child. On the day of John's circumcision, they asked Zacharias about the child's name. He asked for a tablet and wrote John.

Prophecies to Daniel the Prophet

Archangel Gabriel announced to Daniel the prophet the return of the Israelites from exile, the coming of the Christ for the salvation of the world, and the end of animal sacrifices. God sent archangel Gabriel to interpret some visions to Daniel. As it is written in the book of Daniel:

"Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”

(Daniel 8:15-16)

"Yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision."

(Daniel 9:21-23)

He also prophesied what would happen in the last days in Daniel 10, 11 & 12.

His Feasts

The Commemoration of Archangel Gabriel

+ April 8th - the 30th day of the Coptic month of Paremhotep
+ June 20th - the 13th day of the Coptic month of Paone
+ November 22nd - the 13th day of the Coptic month of Hathor

The Glorious Feast of the Annunciation of the Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ to Saint Mary

+ April 7th - the 29th day of the Coptic month of Paremhotep.

Annunciation of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist

+ October 6th - the 26th day of the Coptic month of Thoout

The Consecration of His Church in Caesaria, Palestine and the Appearance of Many Miracles in it

+ December 31st - the 22nd day of the Coptic month of Koiahk

The Consecration of His Church in Fayoum, Egypt

+ July 3rd - the 26th of the Coptic month of Paone

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Praises and Hymns

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References

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St. Takla

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