Sunday, May 31, 2009

las vegas my dream holiday




wooa las vegas is the coolest city i ever knew hah someday i will go there amin

gemma gemma








Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lucifer

The fall of Satan/Lucifer, [1] Gustave Doré's illustration for Paradise Lost by John Milton.

Lucifer is a name frequently given to Satan in Christian belief. This usage as a reference to a fallen angel stems from a particular interpretation of Isaiah 14:3-20, a passage that speaks of someone who is given the name of "Day Star" or "Morning Star" (in Latin, Lucifer) as fallen from heaven.[2] 2 Peter 1:19 and elsewhere, the same Latin word lucifer is used of the morning star with no relation to Satan. However, in writings later than those in the Bible, the Latin word has often been used instead as a proper name for Satan.

In Latin, the word "Lucifer", meaning "Light-Bringer" (from lux, lucis, "light", and ferre, "to bear, bring"), is a name for the "Morning Star" (the planet Venus in its dawn appearances).[3] The Latin Vulgate version of the Bible used this word twice to refer to the Morning Star: once in 2 Peter 1:19 to translate the Greek word Φωσφόρος (Phosphoros),[4] and once in Isaiah 14:12 to translate the Hebrew word הילל (Hêlēl).[5] In the latter passage the title of "Morning Star" is given to the tyrannous Babylonian king, who the prophet says is destined to fall. This passage was later applied to the prince of the demons, and so the name "Lucifer" came to be used for Satan, and was popularized in works such as Dante Alighieri's Inferno and John Milton's Paradise Lost, but for English speakers the greatest influence has been its use in the King James Version of Isa 14:12 to translate the Hebrew word הילל, which more modern English versions render as "Morning Star" or "Day Star".

A similar passage in Ezekiel 28:11-19 regarding the "king of Tyre" was also applied to Satan, contributing to the traditional picture of Satan and his fall.


Latin name for the Morning Star

A 2nd-century sculpture of the moon goddess Selene accompanied by Hesperus and Phosphorus: the corresponding Latin names are Luna, Vesper and Lucifer.

Lucifer is the Latin name[6] for the "Morning Star", both in prose and poetry, as seen in works by Marcus Terentius Varro (116–27 BC), Cicero (106-43 BC) and other early Latin writers[7]

Cicero wrote:

Stella Veneris, quae Φωσφόρος Graece, Latine dicitur Lucifer, cum antegreditur solem, cum subsequitur autem Hesperos[8]
The star of Venus, called Φωσφόρος in Greek and Lucifer in Latin when it precedes, Hesperos when it follows the sun.

And Pliny the Elder:

sidus appellatum Veneris … ante matutinum exoriens Luciferi nomen accipit … contra ab occasu refulgens nuncupatur Vesper[9]
The star called Venus … when it rises in the morning is given the name Lucifer … but when it shines at sunset it is called Vesper.

Poets also used the word "Lucifer". Ovid uses this name at least 11 times, as when he wrote:

... vigil nitido patefecit ab ortu
purpureas Aurora fores et plena rosarum
atria: diffugiunt stellae, quarum agmina cogit
Lucifer et caeli statione novissimus exit.[10]
Aurora, awake in the glowing east, opens wide her bright doors, and her rose-filled courts. The stars, whose ranks are shepherded by Lucifer the morning star, vanish, and he, last of all, leaves his station in the sky.[11]

Virgil wrote:

Luciferi primo cum sidere frigida rura
carpamus, dum mane novum, dum gramina canent[12]
Let us hasten, when first the Morning Star appears,
To the cool pastures, while the day is new, while the grass is dewy.


Lucan:

Lucifer a Casia prospexit rupe diemque
misit in Aegypton primo quoque sole calentem[13]
The morning-star looked forth from Mount Casius and sent the daylight over Egypt, where even sunrise is hot.[14]

[edit] The Morning Star in Isaiah 14:12

The Book of Isaiah has the following passage:

When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has ceased! How his insolence has ceased! … How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphon; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: "Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who would not let his prisoners go home?"[15]

The passage expressly refers to a "king of Babylon", a "man" who seemed all-powerful, but who has been brought low. Isaiah promises that the Israelites will be freed and will then be able to use in a taunting song against their oppressor the image of the Morning Star, which rises at dawn as the brightest of the stars, outshining Jupiter and Saturn, but lasting only until the sun appears. This image was used in an old popular Canaanite story that the Morning Star tried to rise high above the clouds and establish himself on the mountain where the gods assembled, in the far north, but was cast down into the underworld.[16][17]

The phrase "O Day Star, son of Dawn" in the New Revised Standard Version translation given above corresponds to the Hebrew phrase "הילל בן־שׁחר" (Helel Ben-Shachar) in verse 12, meaning "morning star, son of dawn". As the Latin poets personified the Morning Star and the Dawn (Aurora), as well as the Sun and the Moon and other heavenly bodies, so in Canaanite mythology Morning Star and Dawn were pictured as two deities, the former being the son of the latter.[18]

In the Vulgate, Jerome translated "הילל בן־שׁחר" (morning star, son of dawn) as "lucifer qui mane oriebaris" (morning star that used to rise early).[19] Already, as early as the Christian writers Tertullian and Origen,[16] the whole passage had come to be applied to Satan. Satan began to be referred to as "Lucifer" (Morning Star), and finally the word "Lucifer" was treated as a proper name. The use of the word "Lucifer" in the 1611 King James Version instead of a word such as "Daystar" ensured its continued popularity among English speakers.

Most modern English versions of the Bible (including the NIV, NRSV, NASB, NJB and ESV) render the Hebrew word as "day star", "morning star" or something similar, and never as "Lucifer", a word that in English is now very rarely used in the sense of the original word in Hebrew, though in Latin "Lucifer" was a literal translation.

[edit] Satan as Lucifer

Satan/Lucifer, another of Gustave Doré's illustrations for Paradise Lost by John Milton.

The Jewish Encyclopedia states that the Lucifer myth was transferred to Satan already in the pre-Christian century, citing in support of this view the Life of Adam and Eve and the Slavonic Book of Enoch[20], where Satan-Sataniel (sometimes identified with Samael) is described as having been one of the archangels. Because he contrived "to make his throne higher than the clouds over the earth and resemble 'My power' on high", Satan-Sataniel was hurled down, with his hosts of angels, and since then he has been flying in the air continually above the abyss.[17]

However, it was among Christian writers that the identification of "Lucifer" with Satan had its greatest fortune. Tertullian ("Contra Marrionem," v. 11, 17), Origen ("Ezekiel Opera," iii. 356), and others, identify Lucifer with Satan, who also is represented as being "cast down from heaven" (Revelation 12:7-10; cf. Luke 10:18).[17]

The Tyndale Bible Dictionary states that there are many who believe the expression "Lucifer" and the surrounding context in Isaiah 14 refer to Satan: they believe the similarities among Isaiah 14:12, Luke 10:18, and Revelation 12:7-10 warrant this conclusion. But it points out that the context of the Isaiah passage is about the accomplished defeat of the king of Babylon, while the New Testament passages speak of Satan.[16]

A passage quite similar to that in Isaiah is found in Ezekiel 28:1-19, which is expressly directed against the king of Tyre, a city on an island that had grown rich by trade, factors alluded to in the text.[21] It too has been applied to Lucifer/Satan, because of some of the expressions contained in it.[22] But, since it does not contain the image of the morning star, discussion of it belongs rather to the article on Satan than to that on Lucifer.

Lucifer (Le génie du mal) by Guillaume Geefs (Cathedral of St. Paul, Liège, Belgium)

The same holds for the picture of Satan in other books of the Old Testament as, for instance, in the book of Job, where Satan, who has been wandering the earth, has a discussion with God and makes a deal with him to test Job.

Joseph Campbell (1972: p.148-149) illustrates an unorthodox Islamic reading of Lucifer's fall from Heaven, which champions Lucifer's eclipsing love for God:

"One of the most amazing images of love that I know is in Persian – a mystical Persian representation as Satan as the most loyal lover of God. You will have heard the old legend of how, when God created the angels, he commanded them to pay worship to no one but himself; but then, creating man, he commanded them to bow in reverence to this most noble of his works, and Lucifer refused – because, we are told, of his pride. However, according to this Muslim reading of his case, it was rather because he loved and adored God so deeply and intensely that he could not bring himself to bow before anything else, and because he refused to bow down to something inferior to him (since he was made of fire, and man from clay). And it was for that that he was flung into Hell, condemned to exist there forever, apart from his love."

This interpretation of the satanic rebellion described in the Quran is seen by some Sufi teachers such as Mansur Al-Hallaj (in his 'Tawasin') as a predestined scenario in which Iblis-Shaitan plays the role of tragic and jealous lover who, unable to perceive the Divine Image in Adam and capable only of seeing the exterior, disobeyed the divine mandate to bow down. His refusal (according to the Tawasin) was due to a misconceived idea of God's uniqueness and because of his refusal to abandon himself to God in love. Hallaj criticized the staleness of Iblis' adoration. Excerpts from Sufi texts expounding this interpretation have been included along with many other viewpoints on Shaitan (by no means all of them apologetic) in an important anthology of Sufi texts edited by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, head of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.[23]

The Sufi teacher Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan taught that 'Luciferian Light' is Light which has become dislocated from the Divine Source and is thus associated with the seductive false light of the lower ego which lures humankind into self-centered delusion.[24] Here Lucifer represents what the Sufis term the 'Nafs', the ego.

Liberal Christian scholars often deny altogether the existence of a personal being called "Satan", rendering the Lucifer story irrelevant.[citation needed] They argue that the name Satan itself (Hebrew: שָׂטָן) merely means "adversary" or "accuser", which may be a personification.[citation needed]

Mentions of the Morning Star in the Bible

In the Latin Vulgate the word "Lucifer" was used twice to refer to the Morning Star: once for "הילל" (hêlēl) in Isaiah 14:12 and once for the Greek word "φωσφόρος" (phosphoros) in 2 Peter 1:19.

"Lucifer" (Morning Star) also appears twice in the Vulgate translation of the Book of Job, once to represent the word "בקר"[25] (which instead means "morning") in Job 11:17, and once for the word "מזרות" (usually taken to mean "the constellations") in Job 38:32; and it appears also in Psalms 110:3 for "שׁחר" (dawn, the same word as in Isaiah 14:12).

Two references to the Morning Star in the Book of Revelation are not represented in the Vulgate by "lucifer". In both cases a circumlocution is used in the original Greek text, instead of the simple term "φωσφόρος", and a corresponding circumlocution is used in the Latin. Thus "stella matutina" is used for "ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ πρωϊνός" in Revelation 2:28, which promises the morning star to those who persevere.

The Vulgate uses "stella matutina" to translated "ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ πρωϊνός" (or, according to some manuscripts, "ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ ὀρθρινός") in Revelation 22:16, where it is Jesus who is described as the morning star. An echo of this Biblical use is found in the Roman Rite liturgy, in which the Exultet chant in praise of the paschal candle refers to Christ as the morning star (in Latin lucifer):

May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Flammas eius lucifer matutinus inveniat:
ille, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum,
Christus Filius tuus qui,
regressus ab inferis,
humano generi serenus illuxit,
et vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum.

Lucifer

The fall of Satan/Lucifer, [1] Gustave Doré's illustration for Paradise Lost by John Milton.

Lucifer is a name frequently given to Satan in Christian belief. This usage as a reference to a fallen angel stems from a particular interpretation of Isaiah 14:3-20, a passage that speaks of someone who is given the name of "Day Star" or "Morning Star" (in Latin, Lucifer) as fallen from heaven.[2] 2 Peter 1:19 and elsewhere, the same Latin word lucifer is used of the morning star with no relation to Satan. However, in writings later than those in the Bible, the Latin word has often been used instead as a proper name for Satan.

In Latin, the word "Lucifer", meaning "Light-Bringer" (from lux, lucis, "light", and ferre, "to bear, bring"), is a name for the "Morning Star" (the planet Venus in its dawn appearances).[3] The Latin Vulgate version of the Bible used this word twice to refer to the Morning Star: once in 2 Peter 1:19 to translate the Greek word Φωσφόρος (Phosphoros),[4] and once in Isaiah 14:12 to translate the Hebrew word הילל (Hêlēl).[5] In the latter passage the title of "Morning Star" is given to the tyrannous Babylonian king, who the prophet says is destined to fall. This passage was later applied to the prince of the demons, and so the name "Lucifer" came to be used for Satan, and was popularized in works such as Dante Alighieri's Inferno and John Milton's Paradise Lost, but for English speakers the greatest influence has been its use in the King James Version of Isa 14:12 to translate the Hebrew word הילל, which more modern English versions render as "Morning Star" or "Day Star".

A similar passage in Ezekiel 28:11-19 regarding the "king of Tyre" was also applied to Satan, contributing to the traditional picture of Satan and his fall.


Latin name for the Morning Star

A 2nd-century sculpture of the moon goddess Selene accompanied by Hesperus and Phosphorus: the corresponding Latin names are Luna, Vesper and Lucifer.

Lucifer is the Latin name[6] for the "Morning Star", both in prose and poetry, as seen in works by Marcus Terentius Varro (116–27 BC), Cicero (106-43 BC) and other early Latin writers[7]

Cicero wrote:

Stella Veneris, quae Φωσφόρος Graece, Latine dicitur Lucifer, cum antegreditur solem, cum subsequitur autem Hesperos[8]
The star of Venus, called Φωσφόρος in Greek and Lucifer in Latin when it precedes, Hesperos when it follows the sun.

And Pliny the Elder:

sidus appellatum Veneris … ante matutinum exoriens Luciferi nomen accipit … contra ab occasu refulgens nuncupatur Vesper[9]
The star called Venus … when it rises in the morning is given the name Lucifer … but when it shines at sunset it is called Vesper.

Poets also used the word "Lucifer". Ovid uses this name at least 11 times, as when he wrote:

... vigil nitido patefecit ab ortu
purpureas Aurora fores et plena rosarum
atria: diffugiunt stellae, quarum agmina cogit
Lucifer et caeli statione novissimus exit.[10]
Aurora, awake in the glowing east, opens wide her bright doors, and her rose-filled courts. The stars, whose ranks are shepherded by Lucifer the morning star, vanish, and he, last of all, leaves his station in the sky.[11]

Virgil wrote:

Luciferi primo cum sidere frigida rura
carpamus, dum mane novum, dum gramina canent[12]
Let us hasten, when first the Morning Star appears,
To the cool pastures, while the day is new, while the grass is dewy.


Lucan:

Lucifer a Casia prospexit rupe diemque
misit in Aegypton primo quoque sole calentem[13]
The morning-star looked forth from Mount Casius and sent the daylight over Egypt, where even sunrise is hot.[14]

[edit] The Morning Star in Isaiah 14:12

The Book of Isaiah has the following passage:

When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has ceased! How his insolence has ceased! … How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphon; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: "Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who would not let his prisoners go home?"[15]

The passage expressly refers to a "king of Babylon", a "man" who seemed all-powerful, but who has been brought low. Isaiah promises that the Israelites will be freed and will then be able to use in a taunting song against their oppressor the image of the Morning Star, which rises at dawn as the brightest of the stars, outshining Jupiter and Saturn, but lasting only until the sun appears. This image was used in an old popular Canaanite story that the Morning Star tried to rise high above the clouds and establish himself on the mountain where the gods assembled, in the far north, but was cast down into the underworld.[16][17]

The phrase "O Day Star, son of Dawn" in the New Revised Standard Version translation given above corresponds to the Hebrew phrase "הילל בן־שׁחר" (Helel Ben-Shachar) in verse 12, meaning "morning star, son of dawn". As the Latin poets personified the Morning Star and the Dawn (Aurora), as well as the Sun and the Moon and other heavenly bodies, so in Canaanite mythology Morning Star and Dawn were pictured as two deities, the former being the son of the latter.[18]

In the Vulgate, Jerome translated "הילל בן־שׁחר" (morning star, son of dawn) as "lucifer qui mane oriebaris" (morning star that used to rise early).[19] Already, as early as the Christian writers Tertullian and Origen,[16] the whole passage had come to be applied to Satan. Satan began to be referred to as "Lucifer" (Morning Star), and finally the word "Lucifer" was treated as a proper name. The use of the word "Lucifer" in the 1611 King James Version instead of a word such as "Daystar" ensured its continued popularity among English speakers.

Most modern English versions of the Bible (including the NIV, NRSV, NASB, NJB and ESV) render the Hebrew word as "day star", "morning star" or something similar, and never as "Lucifer", a word that in English is now very rarely used in the sense of the original word in Hebrew, though in Latin "Lucifer" was a literal translation.

[edit] Satan as Lucifer

Satan/Lucifer, another of Gustave Doré's illustrations for Paradise Lost by John Milton.

The Jewish Encyclopedia states that the Lucifer myth was transferred to Satan already in the pre-Christian century, citing in support of this view the Life of Adam and Eve and the Slavonic Book of Enoch[20], where Satan-Sataniel (sometimes identified with Samael) is described as having been one of the archangels. Because he contrived "to make his throne higher than the clouds over the earth and resemble 'My power' on high", Satan-Sataniel was hurled down, with his hosts of angels, and since then he has been flying in the air continually above the abyss.[17]

However, it was among Christian writers that the identification of "Lucifer" with Satan had its greatest fortune. Tertullian ("Contra Marrionem," v. 11, 17), Origen ("Ezekiel Opera," iii. 356), and others, identify Lucifer with Satan, who also is represented as being "cast down from heaven" (Revelation 12:7-10; cf. Luke 10:18).[17]

The Tyndale Bible Dictionary states that there are many who believe the expression "Lucifer" and the surrounding context in Isaiah 14 refer to Satan: they believe the similarities among Isaiah 14:12, Luke 10:18, and Revelation 12:7-10 warrant this conclusion. But it points out that the context of the Isaiah passage is about the accomplished defeat of the king of Babylon, while the New Testament passages speak of Satan.[16]

A passage quite similar to that in Isaiah is found in Ezekiel 28:1-19, which is expressly directed against the king of Tyre, a city on an island that had grown rich by trade, factors alluded to in the text.[21] It too has been applied to Lucifer/Satan, because of some of the expressions contained in it.[22] But, since it does not contain the image of the morning star, discussion of it belongs rather to the article on Satan than to that on Lucifer.

Lucifer (Le génie du mal) by Guillaume Geefs (Cathedral of St. Paul, Liège, Belgium)

The same holds for the picture of Satan in other books of the Old Testament as, for instance, in the book of Job, where Satan, who has been wandering the earth, has a discussion with God and makes a deal with him to test Job.

Joseph Campbell (1972: p.148-149) illustrates an unorthodox Islamic reading of Lucifer's fall from Heaven, which champions Lucifer's eclipsing love for God:

"One of the most amazing images of love that I know is in Persian – a mystical Persian representation as Satan as the most loyal lover of God. You will have heard the old legend of how, when God created the angels, he commanded them to pay worship to no one but himself; but then, creating man, he commanded them to bow in reverence to this most noble of his works, and Lucifer refused – because, we are told, of his pride. However, according to this Muslim reading of his case, it was rather because he loved and adored God so deeply and intensely that he could not bring himself to bow before anything else, and because he refused to bow down to something inferior to him (since he was made of fire, and man from clay). And it was for that that he was flung into Hell, condemned to exist there forever, apart from his love."

This interpretation of the satanic rebellion described in the Quran is seen by some Sufi teachers such as Mansur Al-Hallaj (in his 'Tawasin') as a predestined scenario in which Iblis-Shaitan plays the role of tragic and jealous lover who, unable to perceive the Divine Image in Adam and capable only of seeing the exterior, disobeyed the divine mandate to bow down. His refusal (according to the Tawasin) was due to a misconceived idea of God's uniqueness and because of his refusal to abandon himself to God in love. Hallaj criticized the staleness of Iblis' adoration. Excerpts from Sufi texts expounding this interpretation have been included along with many other viewpoints on Shaitan (by no means all of them apologetic) in an important anthology of Sufi texts edited by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, head of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.[23]

The Sufi teacher Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan taught that 'Luciferian Light' is Light which has become dislocated from the Divine Source and is thus associated with the seductive false light of the lower ego which lures humankind into self-centered delusion.[24] Here Lucifer represents what the Sufis term the 'Nafs', the ego.

Liberal Christian scholars often deny altogether the existence of a personal being called "Satan", rendering the Lucifer story irrelevant.[citation needed] They argue that the name Satan itself (Hebrew: שָׂטָן) merely means "adversary" or "accuser", which may be a personification.[citation needed]

Mentions of the Morning Star in the Bible

In the Latin Vulgate the word "Lucifer" was used twice to refer to the Morning Star: once for "הילל" (hêlēl) in Isaiah 14:12 and once for the Greek word "φωσφόρος" (phosphoros) in 2 Peter 1:19.

"Lucifer" (Morning Star) also appears twice in the Vulgate translation of the Book of Job, once to represent the word "בקר"[25] (which instead means "morning") in Job 11:17, and once for the word "מזרות" (usually taken to mean "the constellations") in Job 38:32; and it appears also in Psalms 110:3 for "שׁחר" (dawn, the same word as in Isaiah 14:12).

Two references to the Morning Star in the Book of Revelation are not represented in the Vulgate by "lucifer". In both cases a circumlocution is used in the original Greek text, instead of the simple term "φωσφόρος", and a corresponding circumlocution is used in the Latin. Thus "stella matutina" is used for "ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ πρωϊνός" in Revelation 2:28, which promises the morning star to those who persevere.

The Vulgate uses "stella matutina" to translated "ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ πρωϊνός" (or, according to some manuscripts, "ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ ὀρθρινός") in Revelation 22:16, where it is Jesus who is described as the morning star. An echo of this Biblical use is found in the Roman Rite liturgy, in which the Exultet chant in praise of the paschal candle refers to Christ as the morning star (in Latin lucifer):

May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Flammas eius lucifer matutinus inveniat:
ille, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum,
Christus Filius tuus qui,
regressus ab inferis,
humano generi serenus illuxit,
et vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum.

myrthology

ANGELS


The Archangel Michael wears a late Roman military cloak and cuirass in this 17th century depiction by Guido Reni

Angels are usually viewed as messengers of a supreme divine being, sent to do the tasks of that being. Traditions vary as to whether angels have free will. While the appearance of angels also varies, many views of angels give them a human shape. Despite a common popular belief— or at least metaphor— that angels are former human beings, most major religious groups deny such a view, and this position is held only by Latter Day Saints and the Bahá'í Faith.


Latter Day Saint beliefs

Bern Switzerland Temple statue of the Angel Moroni

The Latter Day Saint movement (generally called "Mormons") view angels as the messengers of God. They are sent to mankind to deliver messages, minister to humanity, teach doctrines of salvation, call mankind to repentance, give priesthood keys, save individuals in perilous times, and guide humankind.[12]

Latter Day Saints believe that angels are former human beings or the spirits of human beings yet to be born,[13] and accordingly Joseph Smith taught that "there are no angels who minister to this earth but those that do belong or have belonged to it."[14] As such, Latter Day Saints also believe that Adam (the first man) is now the archangel Michael,[15][16] and that Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.[13] Likewise the famous Angel Moroni first lived in a pre-Columbian American civilization as the 5th-century prophet-warrior named Moroni.

Joseph Smith, Jr. described his first angelic encounter thus:[17]

While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.

He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant....

Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me.

Most angelic visitations in the early Latter Day Saint movement were witnessed by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, who both claimed (prior to the establishment of the Church[when?]) to have been visitated by the prophet Moroni, the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi, John the Baptist, and the Apostles Peter, James, and John. Later, at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, Smith and Cowdery claimed to have been visited by Jesus, and subsequently by Moses, Elias, and Elijah.[18]

People who claimed to have received a visit by an angel include the other two of the three witnesses: David Whitmer and Martin Harris. Many other Latter Day Saints, both in the early and modern church, have claimed to have seen angels, though Smith posited that, except in extenuating circumstances such as the restoration, mortals teach mortals, spirits teach spirits and resurrected beings teach other resurrected beings. [19]


I died as inanimate matter and arose a plant,
I died as a plant and rose again an animal.
I died as an animal and arose a man.
Why then should I fear to become less by dying?
I shall die once again as a man
To rise an angel perfect from head to foot!
Again when I suffer dissolution as an angel,
I shall become what passes the conception of man!
Let me then become non-existent, for non-existence
Sings to me in organ tones, 'To him shall we return.

Archangel Michael: Roman Catholic traditions and views

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Victory of Archangel Michael by Raphael, 16th century.

Archangel Michael is referred to in the Old Testament and has been part of Christian teachings since the earliest times.[1] However, throughout the centuries specific Roman Catholic traditions and views on Archangel Michael (also called Saint Michael by Catholics) have taken shape, as recently as the 19th and 20th centuries. For instance, a specific Prayer to Saint Michael was promoted by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 and as recently as 1994 was reinforced by Pope John Paul II who encouraged the Catholic faithful to continue to pray it, saying: "I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against forces of darkness.”[2][3][4]

Archangel Michael has specific roles within Roman Catholic teachings that range from acting as the chief opponent of Satan to the saving of souls at the hour of death. Roman Catholic literature and traditions continue to point to Saint Michael in contexts as varied as the protection of the Catholic Church to the Consecration of Russia by popes Pius XII and John Paul II regarding the messages reported at Our Lady of Fatima. This article reviews these Roman Catholic teachings and traditions.


The Archangels

Archangel Michael with archangels Raphael and Gabriel, as they accompany Tobias, by Francesco Botticini, 1470.

Angels in general, and archangels in particular, have specific roles within Roman Catholic teachings. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (334-335) states that:[5]

"The whole life of the church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of the angels.... From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession."

The three angels named in the Bible are Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Michael means "Who is like God", Gabriel means "Power of God" and Raphael means "God heals".[6] The feast of these three archangels is celebrated on September 29. Within the hierarchy of the angels, at the highest level, St. Michael is a princely Seraph.[7] The word archangel comes from the Greek words arche (prince) and angelos (messenger). The prophet Daniel (12: 1) called him "Michael the great prince who shall rise at the time of the end."[8]

Christian art often portrays archangels together. For instance Archangels Michael and Gabriel are jointly depicted on Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a Byzantine icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is has been the subject of widespread Catholic devotions for centuries.

Defeat of the Adversary and the Fallen angels

Guido Reni's painting in Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome, 1636 is also reproduced in mosaic at the St. Michael Altar in St. Peter's Basilica, in the Vatican.[10]

In Catholic teachings, Saint Michael is viewed as the leader of the army of God. From the time of the apostles, he has been invoked and honored as the protector of the Church. Scripture describes him as "one of the chief princes" and the leader of Heaven's forces in their triumph over the powers of hell.[11]

Saint Michael defeats Satan twice, first when he ejects Satan from Paradise, and then in the final battle of the end times. In his classic book Lives of the Saints, priest and hagiographer Alban Butler, defined the role of Saint Michael as follows:[12]

"Who is like God?" was the cry of Archangel Michael when he smote the rebel Lucifer in the conflict of the heavenly hosts. And when Antichrist shall have set up his kingdom on earth, it is St Michael who will unfurl once more the standard of the cross, sound the last trumpet, bind together the false prophet and the beast and hurl them for all eternity into the burning pool.

It was Saint Michael who vanquished Satan and drove him out of Heaven. In the Book of Revelation (Rev 12, 7-9) Saint John wrote of Archangel Michael's role in the War in Heaven where he hurls Satan and the Fallen angels out of heaven to earth:[13]

"And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."

Depictions of Saint Michael often portray the scene where Satan, or the fallen angels, are helplessly below the sword or spear of a triumphant Saint Michael whose face often displays intense concentration.[14] In some depictions, the Latin phrase Quis ut Deus? can be seen on the shield of Saint Michael. The phrase means "Who is like God?" and Saint Michael asks it scornfully as he slays Satan, represented as a dragon, or a man-like figure, at times with wings.[15][16]

In Catholic teachings, Saint Michael will also triumph at the end times when Antichrist will be defeated by him.[17] In the Bible, The Book of Daniel states:[18]

"At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people - everyone whose name is found written in the book - will be delivered.

In the Roman Catholic tradition, Saint Michael is the angelic model for the virtues of the spiritual warrior, a paradigm extended to other warrior saints. The conflict against evil may at times be viewed as the battle within. It requires great courage and forebearance to step onto the inner battlefield and strike down whatever internal demons stand on the way to sanctity. The concept of the warrior saint has extended to other Catholic saints, beginning with examples such as Saint George and Saint Theodore of Amasea. [19]

[edit] Saving souls at the hour of death

Archangel Michael reaching to save souls near death, by Jacopo Vignali 17th century.

In Roman Catholic teachings, Saint Michael is one of the angles who are assumed present at the hour of a person's death. In his role as the patron of holy souls, Archangel Michael reaches to souls near death and saves them, hence frusterating Satan. Traditionally, he is charged to assist the dying and accompany their souls to their private judgment, bring them to purgatory and afterward present them to God at their entrance to Heaven.

This is the reason for dedicating cemetery chapels to him, and all over Europe thousands of such chapels bear his name, and at times weekly masses are offered in his honor and in favor of the departed ones in these chapels.[20]

This role of Saint Michael as the guardian of the souls to be redeemd is also reflected in Catholic prayers to the saint, e.g.:[21]

The Holy House of God venerates you
as her guardian and protector;
to you the Lord has entrusted
the souls of the redeemed
to be led into Paradise.

[edit] Weighing soul on Judgment Day

In Catholic teachings, on Judgment Day Saint Michael weighs souls based on their deeds during their life on earth. Saint Michael is often portrayed in art with scales as he weighs souls.[22]

This aspect of Saint Michael's duties is portrayed in Roman Catholic poetry devoted to him, e.g.:[23]

"That you will gather the souls of the righteous and the wicked,
place us on your great scales and weigh our deeds.
That if we have been loving and kind, you will take the key from around
our neck and open the gates of Paradise, inviting us to live there for ever.
And that if we have been selfish and cruel, it is you who will banish us."

This role of Archangel Michael was depicted by Michaelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. In this depiction, angels hold up two books: the smaller book held by Archangel Michael records the names of the blessed, while the larger book is a list of the damned.[24]

Fallen angel

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Statue of the Fallen Angel, Retiro Park (Madrid, Spain).

In most Christian traditions, a fallen angel is an angel who has been exiled or banished from Heaven.

Often such banishment is a punishment for disobeying or rebelling against God. The best-known fallen angel is Lucifer. Lucifer is a name frequently given to Satan in Christian belief. This usage stems from a particular interpretation, as a reference to a fallen angel, of a passage in the Bible (Isaiah 14:3-20) that speaks of someone who is given the name of "Day Star" or "Morning Star" (in Latin, Lucifer) as fallen from heaven. The Greek etymological synonym of Lucifer, Εωσφόρος (Eosphoros, "light-bearer")[1] [2] is used of the morning star in 2 Peter 1:19 and elsewhere with no relation to Satan. But Satan is called Lucifer in many writings later than the Bible, notably in Milton's Paradise Lost (7.131-134, among others), because, according to Milton, Satan was "brighter once amidst the host/Of Angels, than that star the stars among."[3]


Angel of God, my guardian dear
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day/night be at my side
to light, to guard, to rule and guide.
Amen.