Angelic Council (Ангелскй Собор). Orthodox icon of the seven archangels. From left to right: Jegudiel, Gabriel, Selaphiel, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, Barachiel. Beneath the mandorla of Christ Emmanuel are representations of Cherubim (blue) and Seraphim (red).
Angels are part of many world religions - amongst them Judaism, Bahai, Zoroastrianism, Islam and Christianity. By the Middle Ages Christianity had broke angels down into 9 categories: Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Dominions, Thrones and Archangels. The latter being the greatest in the hosts of the heavenly and also the ones held in common with both Judaism and Islam.
Although Gabriel the Messenger is the best know from the Christmas story, St Michael is the most important in both the Orthodox and Roman church. He is the Defender of the faith, the chief warrior against Satan and heresies. He is often depicted defeating Lucifer during the great battle that led to his fall.
Here in Roma the best known - and certainly most visible - statue of St Michael stands atop Castel San Angelo. Legend says that a vision of the Archangel sheathing his sword appeared over the Castel signaling an end to the plague that had devestated the city in 590 AD. The current bronze - created by the Flemish sculptor Peter Anton von Verschaffelt in 1753 - commemorates that event.
28 settembre - San Prospero