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Icon of Gabriel, Archangel (Detail of F40) – S186

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The Holy Archangel Gabriel is one of the seven great Archangels whom the Holy Fathers of the Church believe are of the highest, or Seraphic Order of the Bodiless Hosts, or Seraphim, who stand the closest to the Throne of God.  The names of these are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salatiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel.  Sometimes one more name is added, that of Jeremiel.  When Saint Gabriel appeared to the Prophet Zacharias, he said of himself, “I am Gabriel, who stands before God.”  With the great Archangel Michael, Gabriel is one of the two leaders of the Heavenly Hosts.

In Hebrew, Gabriel means “Man of God.”  In our Holy Church Tradition, we believe that it was this Archangel who appeared and greeted the Virgin Mary at the time of the Annunciation, and told Saint Zacharias of the birth of his son, John the Baptist.  He also told SS Joachim and Anna of the birth of their blessed child, the Theotokos Mary, and instructed the Prophet Moses while still in the wilderness to write Genesis on the origins of the world, which he couldn’t have known otherwise.  Thus we see that he informs God’s people about the salvation of mankind. 

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Egg Tempera


14th c. (Early)


St. Clement's Church, Ochrid, Macedonia