OLPH Church
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Byzantine Catholic Church


The Feast of St Michael and All Angels  

The Heavenly Powers, or angels, are spirits sent to serve those who shall inherit salvation (Heb. 1: 14).  They are guardians and guides both to individual human beings and to societies.  The lower ranks are believed to be in charge of the material world:  of its development and evolution.  The choirs of angels are constantly participating in the heavenly liturgy, surrounding God’s altar and singing the Thrice Holy Hymn. 

All the Ranks of the Heavenly Powers are called angels, although each has its own name and position by virtue of their service. The Lord reveals His will to the highest ranks of the angels, and they in turn inform the others. Over all the Nine Ranks, the Lord appointed the Holy Archangel Michael (his name in Hebrew means “who is like unto God”), the faithful servitor of God, as Chief Commander. He cast down from Heaven the arrogantly proud Lucifer and the other fallen spirits when they rebelled against God. The Church places particular emphasis on Michael, and Gabriel, meaning Power of God, because they are mentioned the Bible by name.


According to Church Tradition, and in the church services to the Archangel Michael, he participated in many other Old Testament events.

  1. During the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt he went before them in the form of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Through him the power of the Lord was made manifest, annihilating the Egyptians and Pharaoh who were in pursuit of the Israelites. The Archangel Michael defended Israel in all its misfortunes.
  2. He appeared to Joshua Son of Navi and revealed the will of the Lord at the taking of Jericho (Josh 5:13-16). The power of the great Chief Commander of God was manifest in the annihilation of the 185 thousand soldiers of the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib (4/2 Kings 19:35); also in the smiting of the impious leader Heliodorus (2 Macc. 3: 24-26); and in the protection of the Three Holy Youths: Ananias, Azarias and Misail, thrown into the fiery furnace for their refusal to worship an idol (Dan 3:22-25).
  3. Through the will of God, the Chief Commander Michael transported the Prophet Habbakuk (December 2) from Judea to Babylon, to give food to Daniel in the lions’ den (Dan. 14:33-37).
  4. The Archangel Michael disputed with the devil over the body of the holy Prophet Moses (Jude 1:9).

Gabriel is the herald and servitor of Divine omnipotence (Dan 8:16, Luke 1:26). He announces the mysteries of God and is most noted for announcing to Mary that she is to be the Mother of Jesus (Lk. 1: 26-38).


The Feast of the Chief of the Heavenly Hosts was established at the beginning of the fourth century at the Council of Laodicea, which met several years before the First Ecumenical Council. The Council of Laodicea condemned and denounced as heretical the worship of angels as gods and rulers of the world, but affirmed their proper veneration.


The Feast Day was established in November, the ninth month after March (with which the year began in ancient times) since there are Nine Ranks of Angels. The eighth day of the month was chosen for the Synaxis of all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven since the Day of the Dread Last Judgment is called the Eighth Day by the holy Fathers. After the end of this age (characterized by its seven days of Creation) will come the Eighth Day, and then “the Son of Man shall come in His Glory and all the holy Angels with Him” (Mt. 25:31).


Tradition has it that there are nine ranks of Heavenly Bodies.  The Highest Hierarchy includes: the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones.  The Middle Angelic Hierarchy consists of three Ranks: Dominions, Powers, and Authorities.  The Lowest Hierarchy includes the three Ranks: Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.  There are two types of Angels.

  1. ARCHANGELS (1 Thess 4:16) are messengers of great and wondrous tidings. They reveal prophecies and the mysteries of the faith. They enlighten people to know and understand the will of God, they spread faith in God among the people, illuminating their minds with the light of the Holy Gospel.
  2. ANGELS (1 Pet 3:22) are in the lowest rank of the heavenly hierarchy, and closest to people. They reveal the lesser mysteries of God and His intentions, guiding people to virtuous and holy life. They support those who remain steadfast, and they raise up the fallen. They never abandon us and they are always prepared to help us, if we desire it.

Each person has a guardian angel, and every nation also receives its own guardian angel from God (Dan. 10:13). When a church is consecrated, it also receives a guardian angel.