Archangel Gabriel has a remarkable position as one of the few cultural figures who plays an important role in more than one major religion. He is refered to in the Old Testament as appearing to Daniel. In Christian tradition he appears to the Virgin and to Zachariah. In Islamic tradition he is renowned for dictating the Holy Koran to the Prophet Mohammed.
The frequent references to Gabrial in literature and Art mean more than any other Gabriel defines most people's idea of what an angel is. In particular the potent image of Angel Gabriel announcing the impending birth of the Messiah to Mary has inspired generations of artists in the process creating one of the most iconic images of Western culture.
This blog collects together a collection of links and information about the references to Archagel Gabriel through the centuries.
or 'why history doesn't always have to repeat itself..'
A short story by Francesca Giles
(c) 2008 Francesca Giles
“Why do you keep shouting at me she pleaded?” He glared and yelled abuse again. Accusations that cut her to the quick, touching her own vulnerability.
“You make me just want to walk out of here” he spat. He knew this would hurt her.
She felt pretty desperate. These words took her straight back to the first time she had parted company on bad terms. That event in her life 50 years ago can only be described as a tragedy and he was one of the few people who knew the effect it had on her life.
Her insecurities, her sadness and her grief. Her usual reaction would be to beg him not to go. What if she never saw him again? Sometimes history does repeat itself and she could not let this happen again. Her thoughts were rushing through her mind, together with pictures and images of the past. It was like a waking nightmare, and she was unable to utter a single word. Too late, the front door slammed and he was gone.
A state of confusion and panic set in, evoking all the terrible emotions of the past. She could see this as a pattern in her life. It must be her fault.
She deserved to be punished…….or did she? Had she really done anything wrong? Was she to blame?
Out of this confusion emerged an incredible calm, almost like a ‘letting go’. The silence that fell on the house was soothing.
Her thoughts slowed as waves of warmth seemed to be washing over her. As she regained her poise and dignity she could sense something quite wonderful emerging. Just the thought that she was not to blame. Could this truly be the reality? If she was asked the question, she would reply that she was not a victim.
She refused to accept the identity of a victim. Some pretty awful things had happened in her life, but she was not a victim. If she said it often enough it must be true. Her thoughts were very quiet but an idea was emerging. These things did happen in her life, but maybe she was not to blame?
She was suddenly jolted out of her silence. The front door was being closed gently. The sense of calm remained. He had returned.
She braced herself slightly, preparing for another outrage, or would it be the cold steely approach she had seen many times before. She was surprised as she looked into his face, into the eyes that she had loved for so long. Beyond those eyes and into his soul, his very being. She liked what she saw and was not surprised by what she heard as he said………….”I met an Angel and I have brought him home with me”.
Situated on a wooded hill 11 kilometers northeast of Kutaisi, the beautiful monastery and academy of Gelati was founded by King David the Builder in 1106. The academy, the original building of which is still standing, drew scholars from throughout eastern Europe and was a great center of neo-Platonist metaphysical philosophy between the 12th and 15th centuries. The Cathedral of the Virgin, completed in 1125 received additions in the 13th and 14th centuries. The interior of the church is filled with light coming from the large windows and many colorful frescos grace the walls. The pride of the church and one of Georgia's greatest works of art is an extraordinary mosaic composed of 2.5 million pieces of stone. Created in the 1130's, it features the Virgin and Child with the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Outside the church, to the southwest, is a sacred spring that is known to have been a pagan holy place before the arrival of Christianity. Gelati was ravaged by the Ottoman Turks in 1510 and further damaged by the Lezghians in 1579 but King Bagrat III subsequently restored the church and monastery. Russia annexed Georgia in 1801 and while Gelati lost all royal patronage from this time forward, pilgrims continued to visit the sacred place. In 1922 the Communists closed the monastery and pilgrimages were forbidden. The church was reconsecrated in 1988 and has again become a favorite place of pilgrimage for Georgian persons.
11th century church at pagan holy place, monastery of Gelati, Kutaisi
The original pencil drawing "Gabriel" is not for sale. However, original pastel paintings by Miriam A. Kilmer are available for sale at Foxhall Gallery. Please contact Jerry Eisely by phone (202-966-7144), fax (202-363-2345), or email email@example.com.