Of those who are always with God as spirits, He sometimes makes use as Messengers. Those who announce tidings of lesser import are called Angels; those who bring more important messages are called Archangels.
Hence it is that unto the Virgin Mary was sent no common Angel, but the Archangel Gabriel. For the delivery of this, the highest message, it was fitting that there should be sent the highest Angel. Their individual names also are so given as to signify the kind of ministry wherein each is powerful.
Whenever any work requiring great power is to be done, Michael comes forth. Thus from his act and his name we are to understand that no one can do what God alone has the power to do. Hence the old enemy who through pride aspired to be like God saying, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven, I will be like unto the Most High” (Is. 14: 13-14), at the consummation of the world when he shall be left as prey of his own conceit in everlasting punishment, is presented to us as about to engage in combat with Michael the Archangel, according to the words of St. John, “There was a battle with Michael the Archangel” (Apoc. 12:7). Similarly, Gabriel, whose name means Strength of God, is sent to Mary. He came to announce him who although he deigned to assume the appearance of humility, came that he might vanquish the ethereal spirits. Raphael’s name is interpreted to mean Medicine of God, because he touched the eyes of Tobias to heal them and dispelled the darkness of his blindness.
O most glorious Prince, St. Michael the Archangel, be mindful of us: here and everywhere pray to the Son of God for us, alleluia, alleluia.