The precipitating event was my brother going off on a trip to Rome. Solicitous for his safety and well-being, I found a novena to St. Raphael that was for travelers, but mentioned other needs in keeping with the archangel’s mission and name that both involve healing.
Later, I found the same basic prayer in my Blessed Be God prayer book. I don’t have it in front of me to copy it exactly, but it is very similar to this:
Glorious Archangel Saint Raphael,
great prince of the heavenly court,
illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace,
guide of those who journey by land or sea or air,
consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners,
I beg you to assist me in all my needs
and in all the sufferings of this life,
as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels.
I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul
and the ills that afflict my body,
if this favor is for my good and the salvation of my soul.
I started praying the prayer for my brother, but quickly decided it was for both of us, and that is my intention when I pray it now. Whether or not either of us is traveling, I like the thought of St. Raphael protecting our health, both physical and spiritual.
Anyway, I prayed the novena, but then kept praying that particular prayer. That happens to me sometimes…I figure if it was good to pray it for 9 days, it would be good to pray it longer! I do the same with the prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help; it started as a novena, but I never stopped praying it on a daily basis.
For a while, I stopped praying the St. Raphael prayer daily; but in the last few months, I picked it up again. One reason is that I have long trusted only the Great Physician in terms of physical ailments. I seldom visit a medical doctor, though I do frequent the office of a local chiropractor – not the same thing at all, of course! I figured it wouldn’t hurt to also enlist the aid of the archangel who appears to be the Great Physician’s primary aide.
So I’ve become quite attached to St. Raphael. I had a great celebration of his feast today, celebrating it as a class or two higher than it is listed in the liturgical books.
St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for us!