Angels are necessary part of our faith. They are said to be the guardians that help us avoid disasters and also help us weigh in things and choose the right path. Of course, there are people who also say that angels go both ways ? the good and the bad. It is up to us to choose which advice we will follow. There are even depictions of angels from both heaven and hell sitting on both sides of the conscience. They are each saying their own tips for the day and influencing the way we think.
Despite this, angels have always been depicted as the good and kind ones that help us along the way. They are even sometimes pictured in artworks as small cuddly ones, the cherubs, that do harmless mischief. They also have the trademark wings, white cloth and halo.
The word angel comes from old French word angele and the old English term engel. These words are said to mean messenger. In the bible, angels act as go betweens. They tell the message of God and what He wants to enforce on earth. The very first biblical figure that made a reference to God is Daniel who referred to angels by their names. He particularly had a scene with Angel Gabriel.
The earliest known depiction of an angel was in the catacomb of Priscilla, which was in existence since the third century. The angel there do not however have wings. There were also angels found in sarchophagus, lamps and reliquaries. One of the most famous example is the Angel in the Sacrifice of Isaac picture in the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus.
Angels eventually had wings. In 1930, a sarcophagus in Istanbul was discovered to have an image of an angel with wings. The time frame for the sarcophagus was set to the time of Theodosius I. According to St. John Chrysostom, the addition of wings into their image is a symbolism of the heights they can reach and the sublimity of their existence.
The most famous of the angels is Angel Gabriel, which is believed to be the leader of all the angels. He is classified as an archangel, which is at the top of the hierarchy. He has been mentioned several times in the bible and is believed to be even the one who delivered the Koran to the prophet Muhammad.
Another famous angel is Raphael, who is said to be the healer. He helps sick people and is generally called upon to help with terminal illnesses and grave wounds.
Angel Barchiel on the other hand is the Angel for the month of February. He is actually not an angel of love but is dubbed as the bringer of hope for mankind.
Angel Michael on the other hand is often depicted as the warrior, defending the heavens from demons. He has a military cloak on and has a profile that is symmetrically perfect.
There is also Metatron, which is very popular in Judaism. This angel is mentioned in Merkabah and Kabbalist texts and beliefs and is considered to be the highest in rank. He is also mentioned in the Talmud.
There are many more mentions of angels since then. In fact, it has become for us a symbol of goodness, of peace and of hope.