Angels and Archangels: what are the differences?

Angels, these celestial beings made of light and love are mentioned in all major religions. They are depicted as noble messengers from heaven who come to us on earth with messages of love from the Creator. They are our daily companions who protect us while letting us know that we have the right to be well and that we are not alone.

Thus, everyone agrees on the importance of angels in our human life. These creatures are above all there to protect us. They strive to make our lives happy and cheerful by standing by our side on the path of spiritual development. But what is the difference between the angels and the archangels of heaven?

Where do angels come from and where are they found?

If we refer to the story of creation, God created angels and they lived with him in heaven. Some speak of them as parts of God, filled with light, but which can appear to humans in material ways. Some people depending on their purity are able to directly see the shape of angels. Others instead see their glows, feel soft touches or perceive their subtle and loving energies. Yet even when you feel no presence, angels can be around you.

These spiritual beings are known to bring joy and lightness to our earthly life. Depending on their specific missions, they can stay by our side at all times and intervene in all situations. Others, on the other hand, must be invoked through our prayers in order to fight for us and protect us from the evil that torments us.

So we have for example the guardian angels who are always very close to us and therefore present by our side on earth. Other angels are with God, where they are most useful or in specific places where they have been called to offer comfort, for example. A particularly large number of angels are found in places characterized by harmony and beauty, represented in monotheistic religions such as Heaven.

The difference between angels and archangels

The term “angel” comes from the Latin “angelus” which itself comes from the Greek “angelos” which literally translates as “messenger or ambassador of God”. Thus, according to the Christian tradition, this word designates the function, not the nature of the creature.

We speak of a hierarchy of angels in heaven and that translates into a categorization of these celestial beings. We then have according to Saint Dionysius the Areopagite nine (09) categories of angel which are:

  • the seraphim made of fire, are the most powerful class of angels serving God and coming closest to him;
  • the cherubim who are the second most powerful class of angels and whose function is to guard the tree of life;
  • the thrones, are described as rigorous and severe spirits, whose mission is to structure the material world in order to make it better;
  • the dominations are specialized in the fight against all types of vices capable of chaining men and preventing them from opening up to the grace of God;
  • the virtues are characterized by their strength, their courage, their generous spirit, whatever the situation;
  • the powers struggle against the attacks of the enemy forces of man by acting as a barrier against them;
  • the principalities have the mission of watching over the spiritual development of man as well as the smooth unfolding of God’s plan of salvation in the latter’s life;
  • the archangels are the great messengers of God who announce, unveil, explain the greatest prophecies intended for the most pious men walking on the spiritual path;
  • angels or guardian angels represent the last class of these beings of light. They are closest to men and we can resort to them at any time, because they are constantly near us.

The archangel is therefore a term used to designate a rank in the hierarchy of spiritual beings in the service of God. The term is composed of the prefix “arch” which means “chief” and which leads us to say that the archangel is the chief messenger of God. While the word angel in short refers to the function of all of his beings, the servants and messengers of God.

Some Archangels of God Known to Humans

In the writings of the Old and New Testaments, three great archangels are mentioned there. It is :

Archangel Michael

Archangel Michael is the knight among the angels. With his flaming sword, he fights against the attacks of the evil one and protects us from all evil powers. Archangel Michael is also the representative of the law.

Archangel Gabriel

Archangel Gabriel is a visionary and mediator who is characterized by great purity and clarity. He transmits messages from heaven to earth through the men chosen by God.

Archangel Raphael

Archangel Raphael is considered a healer of people, but also of the earth, with a very gentle and loving charisma. It protects us and heals our physical and psychological wounds. It also gives incentives so that we can recognize what caused a disease in order to apply the best treatment.

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Angels and Archangels: what are the differences?

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