The LORD GOD in His majesty, wisdom, and providence created both visible and invisible beings. Angels are spiritual beings created by GOD, and are normally invisible to the human eye. They are created to fulfil a specific purpose in the universe. In Scripture, we read of exceptional cases when human beings encountered these beings usually in some guise, for example when Abraham offers hospitality to 3 strangers (Genesis 18), when Gideon is called to be a mighty warrior (Judges 6), and when Tobit meets the Archangel Raphael in the guise of a travelling companion (Tobit 5).

While not dogmatic in nature, according to tradition, the Angels are classified into 9 Choirs. This classification has its origins from St. Paul’s writings: “far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (Ephesians 1: 21) and “For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him.(Colossians 1: 16) The Old Testament adds “Cherubim” and “Seraphim” in multiple places, and the Archangels are named in both the Old and New Testament. St. Thomas Aquinas also discussed the 9 choirs in his Summa Theologica.

*Do note that only St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael are named. We should not be naming the other archangels or our Guardian Angels. Naming the angels is an exclusive right to GOD. GOD is the Creator and Maker of all. All sovereignty belongs to Him.

According to Dr. Peter Kreeft, the nine choirs are ordered as such:

The first three levels see and adore God directly:

The seraphim, the highest choir, comprehend God with maximum clarity, and therefore their love flames the hottest. (“Seraphim” means “the burning ones.”) Lucifer (“Light-bearer”) was once one of them. That’s why he’s still very powerful and dangerous.

The cherubim contemplate God too, but less in himself than in his providence…(“Cherubim” means “fullness of wisdom.”)

The thrones contemplate God’s power and judgments. (Thrones symbolize judicial, juridical power.)

The next three choirs fulfil God’s providential plans for the universe, like middle management personnel:

The dominations or “dominions” (…”authority”), command the lesser angels below them.

The virtues receive their orders from the dominations and “run” the universe, so to speak, especially the heavenly bodies. (“Virtue” used to mean power, might, or energy.)

The powers serve the virtues by fighting against evil influences that oppose the virtues’ providential plan.

The last three choirs directly order human affairs:

The principalities care for earthly principalities, that is, cities and nations and kingdoms.

The archangels (such as Gabriel) carry God’s important messages to man.

Ordinary angels are the “guardian angels,” one for each individual.”

St. Francis of Assisi is known as the Seraphic Father as he received his stimata, the wounds of Christ, from the Seraphim.

The Church of St. Michael has with us a powerful intercessor and defender in our patron Archangel Michael. We also pray that our Guardian Angels lead us unto the paths towards God. We look forward to the glorious reunion with GOD, the saints and the angelic host, while we recognise in humility our humanity as Sirach 3: 20-22 says, “For great is the might of the LORD; He is glorified by the humble. Seek not what is too difficult for you, nor investigate what is beyond your power. Reflect upon what has been assigned to you, and do not be curious about His many works, for you do not need to see with your eyes what is hidden.”


By Brian Bartholomew Tan