ASK FATHER: A vision and promise from a “archangel”

From a reader…


Dear Father Z, can you advise me on how to react to a Polish friend who had a vivid experience that she was promised by the Archangel Jeremiel that he would protect her?

The reason that I don’t dismiss this out of hand is that she had never heard of such a character and indeed assumed it was the Prophet Jeremiah. The voice was specific about being an Archangel, not an angel.

The circumstances seem important too. She had just successfully completed chemotherapy. In her life she has suffered generously for others and has a ton of problems. Not long ago she took a decision to reform her intimate life and started  going to confession and Mass (TLM).

My concern is that I find only one Biblical reference to an Archangel Jeremiel (2 Esdra) but masses of dodgy new age internet pages about him. On the other hand I know that my friend doesn’t read new age stuff, she’s a very serious person.

Any suggestions ?

We only have three names of archangels revealed and may not use others.

Out of caution for the good of her soul she should reject the apparition. No voice or vision is necessary for salvation.

If it is of God he will not be offended since he’ll know this is done out of prudence.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Fr. Kelly says:

    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. Galatians 1:8

  2. Fr. Kelly says:

    The book called 2 esdras is listed as 4 esdras in the Vulgate and according to the Council of Trent is not in the Canon of Scripture

    Session IV – Celebrated on the eighth day of April, 1546 under Pope Paul III
    Decree Concerning the Canonical Scriptures

    It has thought it proper, moreover, to insert in this decree a list of the sacred books, lest a doubt might arise in the mind of someone as to which are the books received by this council.
    They are the following:
    Of the Old Testament, the five books of Moses, namely, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Josue, Judges, Ruth, the four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, the first and second of Esdras, the latter of which is called Nehemias, Tobias, Judith, Esther, Job, the Davidic Psalter of 150 Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Jeremias, with Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, the twelve minor Prophets, namely, Osee, Joel, Amos, Abdias, Jonas, Micheas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggeus, Zacharias, Malachias; two books of Machabees, the first and second.
    Of the New Testament, the four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; the Acts of the Apostles written by Luke the Evangelist; fourteen Epistles of Paul the Apostle, to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, two to Timothy, to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews; two of Peter the Apostle, three of John the Apostle, one of James the Apostle, one of Jude the Apostle, and the Apocalypse of John the Apostle.
    If anyone does not accept as sacred and canonical the aforesaid books in their entirety and with all their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate Edition, and knowingly and deliberately rejects the aforesaid traditions, let him be anathema.

  3. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I am not sure how universal chapter and verse numbers are, but in the source which I quickly checked, in 2 Esdras 4:36 “angelus qui missus est ad me cui nomen Urihel” (4:1) is presented as quoting “Hieremihel archangelus”. What is one to make of this? (Among other this, as to the status and authority of 2 Esdras.)

  4. APX says:

    I recall Fr. Ripperger also saying the same thing.

  5. Ages says:

    Agree that we should be suspect of apparitions and private revelations, and God will not take offense of prudence.

    But regarding Jeremiel, he is venerated together with the other seven traditional Archangels by name in the Byzantine rite (, so is St. Leo’s ban on venerating the others only for the Latin rite?

  6. ZestyLemonZach says:

    I’m curious as to what point it becomes more than just “reject and move on.” What if St. Bernadette didn’t go back to the grotto because she couldn’t tell weather the lady was Our Lady, a demon, or a hallucination? Same goes for all the approved apparitions.

  7. Ages: Byzantine

    Easterners have a less than systematic approach to some things. For instance, try talking to a Melkite about Purgatory.

    Members of the Latin Church shouldn’t pick and choose from Eastern traditions. We respect them as we would like them to respect us and our traditions. However, just because they do something one way, that doesn’t mean that we can do it that way, too.

    For example, I have seen what I regard as serious mistakes in the design of some new churches today or their redecoration/restoration after wreckovation. Driven by the instinct some younger priests have for expressing the transcendent they turn to the East because the Latin West has been kept from them. They’ve been systematically cheated out of their patrimony as Roman Catholics.

  8. Markus says:

    Bloomington, IL Peoria Diocese.

    St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Altar and sanctuary, North side of church. Built 1865.
    St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Altar and sanctuary South side of church. Built 1870’s.
    Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Altar and sanctuary South side of church. Built 1930’s.
    While desirable, it appears that it also depends upon topography and donated land.

  9. Gab says:

    I checked the Douay-Rheims Bible. No such thing as 2 Esdras 4:36. Ch 4 ends with verse 23 not 36. Other bibles will have it but they are not Catholic.

  10. Legisperitus says:

    Please refer to Fr. Kelly’s comment regarding the “2 Esdras” reference. The book that Protestant sources call 2 Esdras is actually 4 Esdras, which is not canonical Scripture. The canonical, inspired book that we know as 2 Esdras is called Nehemiah in Protestant Bibles (and some Catholic ones). Therefore, the names “Uriel” and “Jeremiel” are not part of Divine Revelation.

  11. B says:

    Regarding the comment about several Archangels being venerated in the Byzantine rite…

    Is this actually in the text of the Mass?

    If not, then it might be a pious observance but not based on what falls within revealed Sacred Scripture.

  12. redneckpride4ever says:

    @Fr. Z

    Your comment triggered my overly curious brain.

    From what I read on Canon Law Made Easy, if a Latin man marries a Melkite woman, either one of them can simply declare they are switching rites.

    However, I ask if doing such is prudent.

    If the Latin man becomes Melkite he can suddenly venerate Uriel despite being raised in a tradition that says we don’t know the name of the 4th archangel. I also doubt he will simply cease belief in Purgatory simply because he switched rites.

    When I went to a Melkite Divine Liturgy I crossed myself right to left out of respect to their customs, but I didn’t magically drop my Latin understanding of theology. In fact when talking to the priest afterwards, he got a laugh when I told him my wife slipped and said the Filioque during the Creed. But I digress.

    Would a mixed-sui iuris couple be best off remaining in their own respective rites?

  13. Imrahil says:

    As for Melkites and Purgatory, I don’t know about Melkites specifically. But I do know that other Eastern Christians, even non-Catholic ones, do have this doctrine called the “aerial toll-houses”; they insist of course with Eastern-Orthodox pride that these are totally not Purgatory even though by the concept they obviously are.

  14. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Gab & Legisperitus,

    Try, for example, p. 1221-22 of Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis Sixti V Pont. Max. Iussu Recognita et Clementi VIII Auctoritate Edita (Pustet: Ratisbonae et Romae, MCMXIV), Imprimatur (on p. [1281]) Fr. Alberus Lepidi O.P. […] & Franciscus Faberi “Vicariatus Urbis Adsessor.” which has the spellings “Uriel” and “Ieremiel” in 4:1 and 4:36 respectively: it is there indeed called “Liber Esdrae Quartus”, scanned and uploaded in the Internet Archive as “Biblia Sacra Vulgata (1914)” on March 5, 2022. Note the top of page [1209] (curiously included twice) for the rationale, concluding “sepositi sunt, ne prorsus interirent, quippe qui ? nonnullis sanctis Patribus interdum citantur, et in aliquibus Bibliis Latinis tam manuscriptis quam impressis reperiuntur.” I ask again, (this time previewing – I hope – completely before posting!), what is one to make of this? (Among other things, as to the status and authority of this book. Clearly the note at the top of p. [1209] does say “extra scilicet seriem Canonicorum Librorum, quos sancta Tridentina Synodus suscepit, et pro Canonicis suscipiendos decrevit”, but it also says what follows.)

  15. Legisperitus says:


    3 and 4 Esdras are traditionally included in an appendix to the Vulgate, along with some other apocryphal texts such as the Prayer of Manasses. This does not make them canonical, inspired, or authoritative. They’re included because they are sometimes useful. (For example, the Mass for the Dead cites 4 Esdras as a reference for the familiar prayer “Requiem aeternam dona eis…”) But a useful appendix does not canon make.

  16. Grant M says:

    ne prorsus interirent= lest they should perish altogether.

    An edition of the RSV that I own notes in its introduction to the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal books that the Council of Trent on April 8, 1546 defined the canon of scripture, but excluded the Prayer of Manasseh and 3 and 4 Esdras. However:

    ‘In the oficial edition of the Vulgate, published in 1592, these three are printed as an appendix after the New Testament, “lest they should perish altogether.” ‘

    It is interesting that the introit to the Requiem Mass paraphrases 4 Esdras chapter 2:

    [34] Therefore I say to you, O nations that hear and understand, “Await your shepherd; he will give you everlasting rest, because he who will come at the end of the age is close at hand.
    [35] Be ready for the rewards of the kingdom, because the eternal light will shine upon you for evermore.

    (Of course, that doesn’t imply canonical status for the the book. For instance, a verse from the poet Sedulius is used in the introit of masses for Our Lady.)

  17. Fr. Kelly says:

    4 Esdras is not a canonical book. The Council of Trent is speaking authoritatively.
    The copy of the Vulgate you have includes it (Not all do) for much the same reason that any apocryphal book would be. It is referred to by some of the Father’s and it is contained in some biblical manuscripts.
    Neither of these facts lend it any authority as canonical scripture.
    For those who want to treat it as such, I refer you back to the Galatians text cited above. St. Paul isn’t kidding.

  18. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I look at it this way.

    If an angel with this name had appeared to a person who was from one of the Rites that accept this book, it would just be a data point, and the whole question would just be, “Is this who he says he is, or a demon, or a human tricking her?”, “Is this a real vision or a delusion or a strong imagination?” and so on.

    But if this is someone from the Latin/Roman Rite, which doesn’t accept this book or this angel name…

    Well, why would God, who has a choice of angels, send this one? Why would God want an angel of his, to cause doubt and confusion about Biblical books and angel names?

    I hate to say it, but it seems like God would rather have an angel not introduce himself by name (which is also fairly common in the Bible) than have any of His little ones go into doubt about the Canon of scripture. He has agreed to be bound in Heaven, and He is the One Who gave that power to the bishops and to St. Peter.

    So we’re left with “demons,” “human trickery,” “delusion,” “strong visual/audial imagination like a lot of writers who ‘see’ and ‘hear’ characters and scenes,” and “the alleged seer is lying.”

  19. IaninEngland says:

    @ Suburbanbanshee:
    Thank you for your common-sense approach to this and just about all the topics where you respond. Your remarks are always worth reading for this reason alone and it is always refreshing to do so. (Mind you, there *are* rather more reasons, as well.)

Think, proof read, preview BEFORE posting!