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And again Mrs. Hemans asks:

“ Are ye forever to your skies departed ?

Oh! will ye visit this dim world no more?
Ye, whose bright wings a solemn splendor darted

Through Eden's fresh and flowery shades of yore?"

Catholics in the fulness of their triumphant faith realize that these fears are groundless. Angels are as busy to-day with the affairs of men as in the Eden-time, and the folk-lore of Scotland and Ireland is leavened with them. In Catholic Germany the legends regarding the Angels are numerous and very beautiful. Longfellow has embalmed one in his prologue to the “Golden Legend"; the scene is the air around the Strasburg cathedral.

In Italy, as in France and Spain, we meet traditions of these marvellous creatures at every town.

The angels were very near to the tender heart of dear Father Faber, for they flit among his pages as birds amid the leafage of luscious June.

“There are three gorgeous hierarchies, subordinate the lower to the higher, the lower illuminated by the higher and the highest by God Himself. In each hierarchy there are three congenial choirs of various gifts and holiness and power, whose names the Apostles have recorded for us, and of whose diversified functions and loveliness the traditions of theology have much to tell. Each angel, say some theologians, is a species by himself. But in some respects there is an unkindliness about this view; for then many million species of God's reasonable creatures were extinguished with Lucifer, so far as their means of worshipping their good Creator are concerned. Others say that in each choir there are three species, differing from each other in ways of which it is not easy for us to form a conception; while the grace of each angel is distinct and singular. Thus, as it were, by twenty-seven steps, through thrice nine rings adumbrating the Most Holy Trinity, we mount upwards through the angelic kingdom, mingled with the elect sanctity of earth, until we reach the Royal Throne of the angelical vice-gerent, which Lucifer forfeited by his fall, and which is now occupied, some conjecture by St. Michael, some by St. Joseph, in reward for his office of foster-father to the Incarnate Word. See to what a height we have mounted! And if we look back on the magnificence we have traversed, especially those nine oceans of living intellectual light and angelic holiness, how bewildering is the prospect, how entrancing, one while the music, one while the glad silence that reigns all around.

“Higher still. Beyond the vice-gerent's throne come the seven mighty chosen angels that stand ever before the throne of

God. *

* O what delights does not the Incarnate Word find in the mighty beings and deep spirits and magnificent worship of these glorious creatures. If science could walk the coral depths and explore the sunless caverns of the whole Atlantic and Pacific, the Arctic and Antarctic oceans; if it could note and class and learn the genera and the species of shells and weeds and living things innumerable, a more various fertile world would not be opened to the discoverer than the almost inexhaustibly rich natures and stupendous graces and amazing glories of these seven spirits who are the chosen neighbors of the Throne of God. The soul of the Incarnate Word explores them with consummate complacency, crowns this worship by His blissful acceptation and vouchsafes to receive from their clean thuribles the earthly smelling incense of our human prayers."

By poets and painters Michael is often represented in the armor in which he so frequently showed himself to the chosen people, and also as being typical of his military character. He tramples Lucifer under his feet, holding in his left hand a green palmbranch, and in his right hand a lance, on the top of which is a banner as white as snow, with a red cross in the middle. The church dedicates two days in his honor. The festival of May 8th is to commemorate the apparition of this glorious spirit to the Bishop of Siponto, commanding him to build a church in his honor upon Mt. Gargano, now called Monte San Angelo, in the Neapolitan kingdom. The truth of this vision is vouched for by the chronicle of Sigebert and the traditions of the churches of that country. Its date is 493.

The second festival, in which is included all the angels, is kept on the 29th of September, and has been always observed with great solemnity. On this day the church, built in obedience to the vision spoken of above, was dedicated. On the same day, in 610, Pope Boniface IV. also dedicated a church in Rome to the same archangel. Several other churches in the West were at different times dedicated to St. Michael on this day. Sozomen tells us that Constantine the Great built a famous church in honor of this glorious archangel,' called Michaelion, and that in it the sick were often cured and other wonders wrought through the intercession of St. Michael. The historian himself often experienced relief there, and mentions others whom he knew. It was enacted in the laws of Ethelred in England, in the year 1014, " that every Christian who is of age fast three days on bread and water, and raw herbs, before the feast of St. Michael, and let every man go to confession and to church barefoot. Let every priest with his people go in procession three days barefoot, and let every

1 Butler's Lives, September.

one's commons for three days be prepared without anything of flesh, as if they themselves were to eat it, both in meat and drink, and let all this be distributed to the poor. Let every servant be excused from labor these three days, that he may the better perform his fast, or let him work what he will for himself. These are the three days, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, next before the feast of St. Michael. If any servant break his fast, let him make satisfaction with his hide (bodily stripes), let the poor freeman pay thirty pence, the king's thane a hundred and thirty shillings, and let the money be divided to the poor.”] Michaelmas day is mentioned among the great feasts of the Saxon Chronicle in the year ion, in the Saxon Menology of the ninth century, and in the English Calendar. The Greeks make mention, in their Menæ, of an apparition of Michael at the ancient Colossæ in Phrygia. Michael is to be invoked at the hour of death. His name signifies "Who is Like God?" being the watchword of the conquering hosts. He is constantly referred to as the protector or prince of the Hebrews, the protector of the Jewish Temple as he is now of the Church of God and her supreme head. He is piously believed to have been the guardian of our Saviour's Humanity and in the apportionment which some pious beliefs make of the seven sacraments to the charge of those “who upon their brows the seven planets wear," it is said that he has special care over the sacrament of the Eucharist, inciting to devotion to it, and preventing sacrilege, and that he so revealed himself to St. Eutropius and several others. He is regarded as the shadow of the Father.

The gentle Gabriel, whose name signifies the strength of God, the angel of the Annunciation, as also of the dreaded day of judgment, is represented with a trumpet in his hand or a lily which he holds in his right hand, the left being occupied in pointing to a mirror marked with spots of various colors. To him the sacrament of Baptism is assigned. He is the prince of the kingdom of the Medes, the shadow of the Son, the guardian of our Lady, and thence, naturally, the lover of sacrifice and the inspirer of prayer. His feast day is March 24th, very appropriately.

Raphael, the tender-hearted—the gracious one—is the shadow of the Holy Ghost. His sacrament is Extreine Unction. He is a guide to the traveller, eyes to the blind, medicine to the sick. He is represented as having a fish in his mouth, in his left hand is a box, and he holds Tobias by his right. His dress is generally a close-fitting habit, such as travellers wore, or such as physicians of the time assumed. His name signifies the “healing of God." He is supposed to be the prince of the Persians, and his feast is

1 Sir Henry Spelman's Councils, and Johnson's Collection of the Canons.
2 Butler's Lives, September.

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celebrated in October. How radiant with the glory of heaven must he not have appeared when he revealed himself to Tobias as one of the seven who stood before the Throne—so that father and son fell on their faces and so remained for three hours!

These are the only ones whom the Church venerates by name, and with Uriel, mentioned in Esdras, these four are all who are named in Scripture. But St. Boniface tells us that in a council held at Rome under Pope Zacharias in 745, it was decided that the names and attributes which tradition had given to the other three might be recognized by the pious.

Uriel is called the strong companion, and is represented in Christian art as holding a drawn sword in his right hand, the sword resting across his breast, his left hand full of flames. He is the angel of Confirmation.

Sealtiel, the praying spirit, said to be the angel who appeared to Hagar in the wilderness, is depicted with bowed head and downcast eyes, and hands clasped upon his breast. He is the patron of priests and their sacrament, Orders.

Jehudiel, the remunerator, is pictured holding a golden crown in his right hand and a scourge of three black cords in his left; he is supposed to be the angel whom God said He would send before the children of Israel to lead them out of Egypt. His charge is the confessional.

Barachiel, the helper; he it was who rebuked Sara when she laughed. He is painted with the lap of his cloak filled with roses, and is the protector of the married.

The termination el of their names implies power, strength, and is synonymous with that by which we call the Almighty-God.

Madam de Stael was once asked, in a spirit of badinage, how it was that the angels were always spoken of in the masculine and appear in the guise of men? She promptly replied:

“ Because the union of power with purity constitutes all that we mortals can imagine of perfection."

But, alas, when Titus fills the valleys of the Kedron and Himmon with his myriad army, and from the heights of Olivet hurls destruction into the doomed city, no angel in celestial armor dight sweeps from the blue Judean sky to draw an unconquerable sword in its behalf! The time for the fulllment of the awful curse called down upon themselves before the judgment seat of Pilate has come -henceforth the once chosen of God have neither country nor worship. Over people and temple is written "Ichabod." 1

Doubtless there were some among them who remembered their scoffs, long years past, at the prophecy of the son of the carpenter.

1 The glory has departed.

VOL. XIII. -44

It is not surprising that, in the ages when art was the handmaid of religion, few painters thought of portraying their queen without her attendant train of angels. Botticelli has an exquisite picture in the Florence gallery of the Blessed One writing her “Magnificat.” Her babe is in her lap and her face is the reflection of the words she spoke in such sweet and humble exaltation to Elizabeth. But the shadow of the future is in the faces of the angels who look on with a love thrice tender from the pity of itas if wondering that she should forget the sword of Simeon. Who has not been held awe-struck by the masterpiece of the Dresden gallery-nay, of the world! The Madonna di San Sisto ? Surely the Sanzio's brush was guided by an angel's hand! She seems transfigured, the Virgin Mother, at once entirely human and entirely divine; the impersonation of love, of purity, and of benign power. So lightly is she poised upon the air that she needs no other support. But what is it she sees with those dark, dilated eyes, as she gazes into the infinite? Is it that beyond those myriad angels whose adoring faces melt into the softest clouds of distance she recognizes the horror of that mountain top? Does she realize that closely as she may clasp Him to her breast and kiss His rounded limbs and hush His infant slumbers now, the day will come when rough and cruel hands, instinct with the hatred of Lucifer, will hold Him from her-He, whose eyes so like her own, the baby Face reflecting her beauty as in a mirror, seem stricken as by the same terrific vision ?

There is a modern Holy Family, by Möller, which appeals to the devotion of all serious hearts, in which the group rests by the wayside and an angel stands before them playing upon a violin, the music of which, with the sight of the Spirit, is audible only to the Boy, while the Mother and St. Joseph watch his wrapt expression wonderingly, tenderly.

The visions of angels vouchsafed to saints would fill a volume by themselves were they all collected. Suarez recounts many revelations regarding these celestial beings, and he it is who says that at the last day our Saviour Judge will be borne by the choir of thrones, "those beings of overwhelming restful strength and loveliness, resplendent and inexpressible.” Surin always saw these thrones around the Blessed Sacrament at Mass, as did Angela di Foligno, who also tells us that their numbers are countless.

"There seems a strong inclination,” says Father Faber, “to connect the choir of thrones in some special manner with the Blessed Sacrament. When St. Mary Magdalen di Pazzi goes through the nine choirs to obtain some special grace from each, she

says she has recourse to the thrones to put her into the arms of the Incarnate Word, especially in His sacramental union with His espoused souls. Angela di Foligno after her vision calls the

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