Raphael – the Hot Angel Who Heals

He healed a blind man, saved a woman from the devil, buried a demon in the desert…Raphael heals and likes hot places.

Recognised in the Bible, Torah and Qur’an (where he’s known as Israfel) as an archangel, very little is known about Raphael.

Some sources say that he’s on the same level as Michael, Gabriel and four other archangels in the angelic hierarchy, where archangel can be either one of the lower tiers of angels or simply a title for the leaders of each of the tiers.

Saint Raphael

Archangel Raphael with Bishop Domonte by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682)

Raphael has been described as the leader of the Hashmallim, the choir of angels who have domination over Earth and the rest of the universe. If that’s true, he’s a bloke with huge responsibilities.

The Book of Tobit in the Bible describes how Raphael disguised himself as a human and escorted a young man named Tobias from his father’s house in Nineve to Media and home again.

Raphael Goes Fishing

During his journey to Media, Raphael and Tobias stop at the Tigris River to wash. Like something worth of Crocodile Dundee or Jaws, a large fish attacks Tobias from the river. Tobias cries out for help, but Raphael tells him to catch the fish instead. The two eat part of the fish for dinner and retain the rest for its demon-banishing and healing qualities.

Raphael the Matchmaker

After catching the fish, Raphael and Tobias arrive at the settlement of a man named Raguel. Raguel’s daughter, Sara, had quite a serious problem – she’d been betrothed to seven men, yet each man was killed by demons on their wedding night. Raphael persuaded Tobias to ask to marry the girl and gave him advice on how to survive the wedding night. Tobias had to pray for the first three days of his marriage; burn the fish’s liver to keep the demon away; spend a night with the girl under the observation of some holy patriarchs; wait for a blessing…and think of nothing but children during the consummation of his marriage, on the fourth day. Evidently she wasn’t the dinner, chocolate and flowers sort.

Raphael in Hot Places

When Tobias burned the fish liver, it drove away a demon called Azazel. Raphael pursued the demon into the deserts of Upper Egypt. According to the Book of Enoch, Raphael bound the demon hand and foot and cast him into the darkness, beneath rough and jagged rocks, where the demon wouldn’t see light until the end of the world – where the light would be be a fire to devour him.

Raphael the Healer

On their return to Nineve and Tobias’ blind father, Raphael told Tobias to rub the fish gall on his father’s eyes to allow the man to see again. This treatment worked.

Some texts state that Raphael revealed his identity before he left the family, while others say he kept it secret.

Archangel Raphael hope

Raphael in Mel Goes to Hell

Raphael is the Director of the Helpful Angels Agency, the temp agency Mel works for. His relationship with Mel is quite complex – they’re not simply a boss and employee. He pops in to her house unannounced for dinner, worries about her (especially when Lucifer starts paying an increasing amount of attention to her) and he definitely owes her a favour for helping him out in the HELL Corporation.

He has good taste in clothes, food, wine and beer. He spends some of his time on Earth, but takes regular trips back up to Heaven.