Raphael by interpretation is: The Medicine of God. Consider therefore the three remedies bestowed upon us by Raphael which are, as it were, medicines to heal our sickness. First of all Raphael the physician would deliver us from infirmity of soul by inducing within us the bitterness of contrition. This is attested by the Book of Tobias, where we read how Raphael telleth Tobias to anoint his father's eyes with gall; and how, when it was done, Tobit did see. Could not Raphael have done the anointing himself? Nay, for an Angel cannot give repentance, but only show the way thither. For by gall we are minded of that bitterness of contrition which is healing for the interior eyes of the soul, as saith the Psalm: He healeth those that are broken in heart: for if we would have spiritual insight, surely contrition is the best eye-salve. In Chapter two of the Book of Judges we are told that the Angel of the Lord ascended to the Place of Weepers, and said to the people: I made you go up out of Egypt; and I have done unto you thus and thus, naming many great and good things: and all the people wept, so that they called the name of that place Bochim (that is, the Place of Weepers). Dearly beloved, all day long Angels do set before us the good things of God, and put us in remembrance of them, to wit: Who is it that created thee? who is it that redeemed thee? how doest thou? whom hast thou offended? If ye consider these things, ye have no recourse except tears of repentance.
Secondly, Raphael would deliver us from the devil's bondage by putting us in remembrance of the passion of Christ. This is set forth in Chapter six of the Book of Tobias under a figure of the heart of the fish which, when it is burning, drives away all kinds of evil spirits. And again in Chapter eight, where we are told that Tobias placed the heart on live coals and the evil spirit fled into the utmost parts of Egypt, and the Angel bound him. What is this? Could Raphael bind an evil spirit only when the heart of a fish is set on fire? Did the Angel need a fish to enhearten him with great strength? Not at all! There is nothing worthwhile here except we take it mystically. Now the fish is a long-used symbol of Christ, because its letters in Greek are the initials of these words: Jesus Christ, Son of God, the Saviour. And so we may understand by the heart of the fish that there is nothing today to free us from the bondage of the devil except the passion of Christ, which same proceedeth from the depth of himself, namely, his Heart burning with love. For the heart is the fervent fountain of all life. The Heart of Christ, whence his passion proceeded, is the source of a charity which burneth with love, and so is the cause of devotion in us. But thy memory is often to thee coals of fire. If therefore thou wilt place the Heart of Christ within thee, upon the dead coals of thy memories, and let them burn with the flames of that Heart, at once the devil will leave thee. Yea, he will be rendered harmless, as though he were bound.
Thirdly Raphael would deliver us from the wrath of God, incurred by sinning against him, and this he would do by inducing in us greater earnestness in prayer. Consider how the Angel Raphael, according to Chapter twelve of the Book of Tobias, said: When thou didst pray, I did bring the remembrance thereof before the Holy One. For in such fashion the Angels do all that they can to reconcile us to God. The devils are the fallen angels who accuse us before God. But the holy Angels excuse us, namely, when they bring before God those prayers which they have already stirred us up to offer more devoutly. Thus Chapter eight of the Apocalypse saith: The smoke of the incense ascended up before God out of the Angel's hand. For those sweet-smelling savours are the prayers of the saints. Wouldst thou appease God whom thou hast offended? Pray with devotion. And Angels will offer thy prayer to God in order to reconcile thee to God. It is related by Luke that Christ, being in an agony, prayed more earnestly, and that there appeared an Angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And all this was done for our sakes, for he had no need of such comfort. Yea, it was done to show us how the Angels assist those who pray earnestly, and how they freely help and strengthen all who pray, and how they do offer our prayers to God. - The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XV extended the feast of Saint Raphael to the universal Church.