April 8th (March 26th Old Calendar)
The herald of the incarnation of the Son of God, St. Gabriel the Archangel, is one of the seven great angels who stand before the throne of God. He revealed to Zacharias the birth of St. John the Baptist, and said of himself, "I am Gabriel that stand in the presence of God" (Lk. 1:19). His name, Gabriel, signifies "man of God." Speaking about the Annunciation, the holy Fathers comment that an angel with such a name was sent to signify who He was, and of what nature He was, who would be born of the most pure Virgin. Jesus would be the Man of God, the strong and mighty God. Others have found that it was this same Gabriel who announced the conception of the Virgin Mary to Joachim and Anna, and that it was he who taught Moses in the wilderness to write the Book of Genesis. The holy Fathers considered Gabriel to belong to the foremost and highest order of the heavenly powers, the seraphim, since the seraphim stand closest to God. The names of these seven are: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Selathiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel. Some would add Jeremiel to this number. Each has his own particular service, but all are equal in honor. Why did God not send St. Michael? For the reason that St. Michael's service is the suppression of the enemies of God's truth, while St. Gabriel's is the annunciation of the salvation of the human race.
Supreme Leader of the heavenly Hosts,/ we implore thee that by thy prayers thou wilt encircle us/ unworthy as we are,/ with the protection of the wings of thine immaterial glory,/ and guard us who fall down before thee and fervently cry:/ Deliver us from dangers,/ for thou art the commander of the Powers above.
Supreme Leader of God's armies and minister of the divine glory,/ prince of the Bodiless Angels and guide of men,/ ask what is good for us and great mercy,/ as Supreme Leader of the Bodiless Hosts.
O Archangel, thou art the glorious intercessor and minister/ of the Splendid, Holy, All-accomplishing, Ineffable and Awesome Trinity./ Pray that we may be delivered from all harm and torment,/ that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O protector of thy servants.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
2049 Argyle Ave. Los Angeles, California 90068