ST. URIEL THE ARCHANGEL
Oh holy St. Uriel, intercede for us that our hearts may burn with the fire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Assist us in co-operating with the graces of our confirmation that the gifts of the Holy Spirit may bear much fruit in our souls. Obtain for us the grace to use the sword of truth to pare away all that is not in conformity to the most adorable Will of God in our lives, that we may fully participate in the army of the Church Militant. Amen.
The Hebrew word for angel means “messenger, envoy”. Uriel is one of the chief archangels, the others being Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. In Hebrew literature, Uriel is associated with light and is referred to as, the one who brings light to Israel. In Hebrew, the word Uriel means “Fire of God”. He is shown with an open hand holding a flame. The open hand signifies an openness to receive God's light. The fire inside his palm is a reminder of the intensity of reception of this light. A book or scroll symbolizes this angel's talents for interpretation.
Uriel is mentioned in the book of Enoch, serving as God’s messenger to Noah. He also appears in II Esdras, where he is sent by God to enlighten Esdras who is in perplexity about the problem of evil and the ways of God (II Esd. 4:1).
St. Uriel is the patron of the sacrament of Confirmation. He carries the Sword of Truth for Soldiers of Christ, which we become through this sacrament. Fire reminds the Christian of the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost and the flames of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
ST. URIEL IN LITURATURE
In John Milton's, Paradise Lost, Uriel is called the "Regent of the Sun" and takes part in the fall of man. According to Milton's tale, Satan is able to trick Uriel into giving him directions down to earth. Satan is seeking revenge for losing the battle after being kicked out of heaven. So he wants to harm God's newest creation, Adam and Eve. He hides his identity from Uriel, ruler of the Sun, by dressing up as a cherub. Uriel gives him directions to the Garden of Eden. But later he finds out he was tricked and slides down to the Garden on a sunbeam. Uriel tells Gabriel and the other angels to protect the first humans. His message apparently came too late to prevent the fall.
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In the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Washington, D.C., there is a magnificent artwork of Uriel on the cathedral ceiling.