In the run up to Saint Valentine’s Day, single people looking for their soulmate are being encouraged to seek the help of a Catholic saint who is famed for his matchmaking prowess.
Saint Raphael is one of seven Archangels. He is known as the patron saint of ‘happy meetings’, after Sarah in the Book of Tobit (found in the Old Testament part of the Catholic bible) got off to a disastrous start in married life with seven husbands dying on their wedding night. Saint Raphael delivered Sarah from an evil spirit blighting this night and taught Tobias how to safely begin their married life together.
Singles are being introduced to the unique gifts of this extraordinary saint through an online resource and “prayer campaign”. Created by the Catholic Enquiry Office, Mgr Keith Barltrop, its Director, explained:
“Many people have testified to the help they have received in finding a life partner through the prayerful help of the Archangel. At this time of year, significant numbers are seeking someone special, or maybe dealing with recent heartbreak. Saint Raphael is there to help.”
Singles are being encouraged to join a special prayer campaign starting on 14th February; they are invited to say the following prayer for nine consecutive days (which in the Catholic tradition is called a Novena):
Saint Raphael, you were sent by God to guide young Tobias in choosing a good and virtuous spouse. Please help me in this important choice which will affect my whole future. You not only directed Tobias in finding a wife, but you also gave him guidelines which should be foremost in every Christian marriage: “Pray together before making important decisions.” Amen.
The online resource includes: top tips from a matchmaking expert, information about the saint, true love stories, greetings from “Simon” (an animated cartoon character), links, freebies and a competition offering the prize of a meal for two.
Recently married, Julie, from London said: “I was hoping to find Mr Right and had been praying for a ‘happy encounter’. I found Saint Raphael a particularly powerful spiritual friend.” Meanwhile, Charlie from Yorkshire said: “It’s not always easy nowadays to meet someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with. You won’t regret praying about your future and another great idea is to pray for your future husband or wife. If you’re looking for some supernatural intervention, Saint Raphael, all the angels and saints are ready to help.”
The Catholic Church teaches that there is a powerful link between the earthly and spiritual realms; it is described as the ‘Communion of Saints’. Asking angels and saints, to pray to God for their needs is part of Catholic life. Many favours have been received through this kind of spiritual activity. Mgr Barltrop added: “It is not the angel or saint who intervenes in our lives through our request but God himself. For example, the online resource features a link to a copy of William Holman Hunt’s painting, The Light of the World , which was inspired by the words: ‘I stand at the door and knock.’ Our friends in the spiritual realm do this kind of spiritual knocking on the gates of heaven on our behalf. If something is for our good and happiness, then God will answer our prayers as we ask. In fact every prayer is answered, but not always in the way that we expect.”
“You might be praying for a tall, dark and handsome person to come into your life, or a beautiful brunette, but God may have prepared someone quite different but wonderful for you. Prayerfully ask Him and find out for yourself,” said Mgr Barltrop.