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Who is Archangel Uriel
by Bonnie Moss 2011-Jan

Many Catholics today are not sure who Archangel Uriel is.

Uriel is one of the seven archangels in the canonical scriptures, the official Bible recognized by the catholic church. Archangels according to Judeo- Christian tradition lead, guide and protect human beings.

Uriel's name means the “ fire of God” in Hebrew. His main task is to protect the chosen people, bring light to Israel and to keep them close to God. He is known for his fiery justice. However, Uriel's name does not appear in the scriptures as recognized by the Catholic church today.

His name appears in apocrypal gospel, writings the Church used to reference in the Middle Ages. In 745, at the Council of Rome, Pope St. Zachary condemned the practise of idolatrous obsession with angels and saints which he deemed heretical. The synod erased many of the angels from the list including Uriel. Pope Zachary reformed the canon of the Catholic church and removed the two apocryphal books that mentioned Uriel, thus stripping Uriel of his place as an archangel and a saint. In the Book of Enoch and Esdras, Uriel is named as the one who warned Noah about the flood. Another book in the Apocryphal writings, II Esdras, he mentions Uriel as teaching him, Esdras, the meaning of evil from God's perspective. This references earned Uriel a place as a saint and venerated along with Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Saints must be sanctioned by the Church, and Zachary retracted Uriel’s endorsement. Zachary encouraged Catholics to venerate the three archangels named in his new canon, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. The Catholic church still honors the three archangels on September 29, declared as their feast day.

Into the 20th century as Spirituality has taken different directions from different movements some known as the New Age. There is a resurgence of belief in angels, seekers turn to them for guidance in their search for spirituality and for protection. Archangel Uriel once again, is considered as one of the four archangels, even among catholics. Whether or not the Catholic church sanctions this does not seem to matter to believers.

Uriel is identified in many ways- as a seraph, a cherub, regent of the sun, flame of God. He is also referred to as archangel of salvation. He is a patron of arts. He definitely has a following of believers who honor him and seek his guidance .

Many Catholics refer to Uriel as St. Uriel, despite Pope Zachary’s restriction over a millennia ago. Fans can easily find St. Uriel medals from Catholic supply stores for personal devotion. Uriel is particularly popular today among Catholics in Poland and parts of South America.This references earned Uriel a place as a saint and venerated along with Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Uriel Archangel and Saint for Many Christians
Outside the Roman Catholic Church, other Christian churches 
still officially honor Uriel as an archangel and saint. 
The Anglican Church reveres the Archangel Uriel as the 
Patron Saint of the Sacrament of Confirmation. 
The Coptic Church celebrates St. Uriel’s official feast day on July 28.
The  Eastern Orthodox Church honors four archangels — Michael, 
Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel — with a feast day in November.

Ref: article by Melissa Roberts- Uriel's History in the Catholic Church
Kirsch, J.P. “Pope St. Zachary.” In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: 
Robert Appleton Company, 1910.
Soule, Julie, “Uriel the Light Bearer. ” Available online through 
the Mystical Visions Website, April 2010.
Wikipedia

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