Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel – Mar 26 I The Strong One, the Divine Messenger of God
Each of the Great Feasts of the Church is followed by a commemoration or synaxis of some holy one who figures in the events of the Feast. So, on Mar 26, the day after Annunciation to Blessed Virgin Mary, it would be apt to commemorate the Holy Archangel Gabriel, the leader of the heavenly hosts, who was chosen and sent by the Lord, to announce to Blessed Virgin Mary, that through her to all mankind, the great glad news of the incarnation of Christ, the Son of God. ‘Gabriel’ means hero of God, Man of God, or strength of God, who announced that Virgin Mary will give birth to the Son of God, Who taking on of flesh, the assuming of our human nature by God, the Word in order to rescue mankind, from the clutches of death and transfer them into the eternal existence of His glory.
Archangel Gabriel stand before the Throne of God, as a favoured angel. Hence, he belongs to the first and greatest order of the heavenly powers. Archangel Gabriel’s honor is great with God, for he was worthy to announce the Birth of His only Begotten Son to the Virgin Saint Mary. Angel Gabriel performed a service announcing the mysteries of God and Good News to mankind in the mystery of Salvation, hence the title the ‘Announcer’ or Angel of Revelation. Gabriel is also referred to as the Christmas Angel and is exclusively presented as a bearer of God’s messages to man and thus celebrate his role in the Annunciation.
Angel Gabriel plays an important role in the religious texts of the Abrahamic or Semitic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Christians, Jews and Muslims, all believe that Gabriel delivered news of the upcoming births of three famous religious figures: Jesus Christ, Isaac, St John The Baptist. The holy Fathers consider that Gabriel belongs to the foremost and highest order of the heavenly powers, the seraphim, since the seraphim stand closest to God. And so, he is one of the seven seraphim closest to God.
- Archangel Gabriel, a faithful servant of the Almighty God, remained with the Virgin Mary when she was a child in the Temple of Jerusalem, and watched over her throughout her earthly life.
- Gabriel, the Archangel, announced to the Virgin Mary the glorious and joyous Incarnation of the Son of God from Her womb.
- He told St. Joseph to take the Theotokos and the Child to Egypt.
- He appeared to St. Anna with the news that she would give birth to the Virgin Mary.
- He appeared to the Priest Zachariah, foretelling the birth of the Forerunner of the Lord, St. John the Baptist.
- Archangel Gabriel strengthened Him, when the Lord prayed in Gethsemane before His Passion (Luke. 22:43).
- It was Archangel Gabriel from whom the Myrrh-Bearing Women heard the joyous news of Christ’s Resurrection (Mt.28:1-7, Mark 16:1-8).
- He also announced the future Incarnation of the Son of God to those of the Old Testament; as it was, he who taught Moses in the wilderness to write the first five books of the Old Testament.
- He announced the coming tribulations of the Chosen People to the Prophet Daniel (Dan. 8: 16, 9: 21-24).
Angel Gabriel is commemorated by the Eastern Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox and Catholic Churches on Mar 26 and other dates.