SERAPH

The new PVC Seraph hook & loop patch is ready for requisition.

"The Seraph" is what I call my logo.  But what is a seraph?

What Are Seraphim?

A seraph is an angel belonging to the classification of angels known as seraphim. Seraphim are the highest order of angels in the celestial hierarchy (there are 9 orders, or "choirs" of angels).

Ancient Knowledge

Information about angels is tenuous at best. Most of what we know comes from the canonical books of the bible and from some of the greatest theologians in human history. Other information that may be more dubious in terms of veracity comes from non-canonical ancient texts and should be treated with caution. Beyond those sources, no other information about angels should be even remotely trusted. Obviously, as with all religious matters, faith (or mere curious desire to believe) is a prerequisite for believing anything that is said about angels or believing in the existence of angels at all. And finally, the fact is that for Catholics and Christians, the details about angels are not important whatsoever, but to some people such as myself, they are intriguing and provide a small window of insight into the nature of the spiritual realm.

Whether you believe or are merely curious, this is what I know about the seraphim and why I think they are rad.

Just FYI: below you'll read a lot of symbolic language that is meant to convey spiritual truths through earthly metaphors. The writers of ancient texts used this kind of language to help people understand abstract things in a relatable way. Keep that in mind.

Immaterial Beings With Six Wings?

So first of all, Seraphim have six wings as described in the book of Isaiah. That's pretty rad, as we normally think of angels as humanoid creatures with two wings. However, the nature of these wings is mysterious, because angels are entirely spiritual and immaterial beings. Angels are not dead humans, nor humanoid in any capacity at all. So, if a being is entirely spiritual and has no physical form, yet a defining attribute is their six wings, it leads one to wonder at the purpose of an angelic wing and what the "anatomy" of a spiritual being represents in an immaterial realm.

Highest Rank Among Angels

Seraphim, being the highest rank of angelic creature, stand nearest to God's throne in heaven. Seraphim receive instructions from God Himself, and they are charged with the authority to direct and guide the other choirs of angels to achieve these directives to accomplish God's will.

One thing about God that really helps you understand salvation history is that He delights in sharing. One manifestation of this is that God created 9 choirs of angels, each with different purposes and specialties, to participate in accomplishing His divine will. God could just do everything himself, but he prefers to share the accomplishment of everything with his creatures. (That includes us humans!)

Eternal Immolation 🔥

As with many, many words used in ancient texts, "seraph" has various possible origins. The most likely is the Hebrew word saraph which means "to consume with fire". Because of this name, it's been speculated that seraphim are eternally engulfed in holy flame which does not harm them like the flame Moses saw that did not harm the burning bush. The origin of this flame has been speculated to originate from the seraphim's close proximity to God's holy presence.

I don't remember where I heard this (probably a Catholic Answers Live discussion), but it was brought up that Lucifer, the fallen angel known as Satan, might be a fallen seraph; because seraphim are engulfed in holy flame, this would explain the fire typically associated with hell, and because all creatures in hell are cut off from God, that would hint as to why the fire in hell brings torment if the fire's origin was God's holy presence.

A Battle Cry For A Name

There are only 3 angels of whose names we are confident, and one of them is a seraph: Saint Michael the Archangel. He's a personal favorite of mine, and he's also my confirmation saint. Michael the Archangel is mentioned by name 4 times and may be implicitly referenced several other times throughout canon.

The other 2 angels are Gabriel, the messenger, and Raphael, the healer. They are also mentioned by name and implicitly several times in various places in canon.

The name Michael in Hebrew translates to "Who is like God?". It has been speculated that Michael received his name when he yelled these words in defiance of Satan during the angelic rebellion. As it's written that Michael lead the war against Satan and the rebelling angels, it stands to reason that his name ("Who is like God?") had something to do with the rebellion itself:

And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: and they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:7-9)

Saint Michael is an awesome seraph not only because of his name and his role in scripture, but also in his apparitions and his depictions. He's the patron saint of those who go into battle, and he is often shown in paintings standing on top of Satan and stabbing him with a sword or spear.

You definitely don't want to be on his bad side.

So, to wrap it up: if you think seraphim are cool, you're in the right place. When I look at my SERAPH patch, I think about these mighty spiritual beings that continually triumph over evil, and I aspire to fight the good fight like them.

 

 


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