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Raphʹael

.

The sociable archangel who travelled with Tobiʹas into Meʹdia and back again, instructing him on the way how to marry Sara and to drive away the wicked spirit. Milton introduces him as sent by God to advertise Adam of his danger. (See Seven Spirits.)

“Raphael, the sociable spirit, hath deigned

To travel with Tobias, and secured

His marriage with the seven-times-wedded maid.”


Paradise Lost, v. 221–3.

Raphael, according to Longfellow, is the angel of the Sun, who brings to man the “gift of faith.”


“I am the angel of the Sun,

Whose flaming wheels began to run

When God Almighty’s breath

Said to the darkness and the night,

Let there be light,ʹ and there was light,—

I bring the gift of faith.”


Golden Legend: The Miracle Play, iii.

St. Raphael, the archangel, is usually distinguished in Christian art by a pilgrim’s staff, or carrying a fish, in allusion to his aiding Tobias to capture the fish which performed the miraculous cure of his father’s eyesight.

The French Raphael. Eustace Lesueur (1617–1655).

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Raphael