Commemorated on July 13, March 26, November 8
The Sobor of the
ArchAngel Gabriel is celebrated on the day following after the
Annunciation/Blagoveschenie, ie. 26 March. This feast is celebrated a second
time 13 July. The reason for its being established probably served the
dedication in the XVII Cent. of a church at Constantinople, constructed in the
name of the Holy Archi-Strategos / Chief of the Heavenly Hosts.
The Archangel Gabriel was chosen by the Lord to make the
blest-announcement to the Virgin Mary about the Incarnation of the Son of God
from Her, to the great rejoicing of all mankind. Therefore on the day after the
feast of the Annunciation – the day itself on which the All-Pure Virgin
Herself is glorified, we give thanks to the Lord and we venerate His messenger
Gabriel, who contributed to the mystery of our salvation.
Archistrategos (Leader of the Heavenly Hosts) Gabriel acted in service to the
Almighty God. He announced to Old Testament mankind about the future
Incarnation of the Son of God; he inspired the Prophet Moses during the writing
of the Pentateuch books of the Bible, he announced to the Prophet Daniel about
the coming tribulations of the Hebrew People (Dan. 8: 16, 9: 21-24); he
appeared to Righteous Anna with the news of the birth from her of the
Ever-Blessed Virgin Mary. The holy Archangel Gabriel stayed constantly with the
Holy Virgin Mary when She was a child in the Jerusalem Temple and afterwards
watched over Her throughout all Her earthly life. He appeared to the Priest
Zachariah, foretelling the birth of the Forerunner of the Lord – John the
Baptist. The Lord dispatched him to Saint Joseph the Betrothed: he appeared to
him in a dream, to reveal to him the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of
God from the All-Pure Virgin Mary, and warned him of the wicked intentions of
Herod, ordering him to flee into Egypt with the Divine-Infant and the Mother of
God. When the Lord before His Passion prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane to the
extent of sweating blood, according to Church tradition, to strengthen Him there
was sent from Heaven the Archangel Gabriel, whose very name signifies
"Strength of God" (Lk. 22: 43).
Women heard from the Archangel the joyous news about the Resurrection of
Mindful this day of
the manifold appearances of the holy Archangel Gabriel and of his zealous
fulfilling of the Divine Will, and confessing his intercession before the Lord
for Christians, the Orthodox Church calls upon its children with faith and with
fervour to have recourse in prayer to the great Angel.
(The account about
the Sobor-Assemblage of the Bodiless Powers is located under 8 November.)
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.