Today Bulgarian Orthodox Church Celebrates St. Archangel Gabriel
On March 26, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of St. Archangel Gabriel.
According to the Old Testament, he was one of the four archangels along with Michael, Raphael, and Uriel. In the New Testament he is one of the seven archangels. The archangels offer the prayers of the people to God and reveal the meaning of the prophetic visions and the course of events, especially the prophecies about the coming of the Son of God Jesus Christ.
Therefore, God sent the Archangel Gabriel to the temple to announce to the prophet Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist and his future service as the Forerunner of Jesus Christ.
The Archangel Gabriel also appeared to the prophet Daniel. In the Christian tradition, especially in Byzantine religious art, the Archangel Gabriel is associated with the Annunciation - the proclamation of the Virgin Mary that she will give birth to the expected Savior of mankind.
Therefore, even outside the scenes of the Annunciation, he is depicted with a green twig or a blossoming lily in his hands - a symbol of the innocence of the Holy Virgin.
In the Catholic tradition, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charlemagne, sent him prophetic dreams and reminded him of his duty to protect Christians throughout the world.
Muslims also honor the Archangel Gabriel under the name of Gabriel as one of the four closest angels to Allah, who is so great that he "fills the whole space from heaven to earth" and protected the Prophet Muhammad from the unbelievers. In some Jewish texts, the Archangel Gabriel is credited with power over the elements: fire, water, and the life force of plants.
According to the apocryphal Book of Enoch, the Archangel Gabriel leads the angels in Paradise. Today, everyone celebrates with names derived from Gabriel, which means "God's power" in Hebrew.
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