Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday: Angel Profile (Uriel)

If the stories are to be believed, Uriel may be one of the most dangerous archangels. According to The Book of Angels, Uriel is the “most fanatical and pitiless” of God’s servants. A presider over Tartarus (the underworld), Uriel is said to have punished an escaping demon by impaling it on the gates then disemboweling it.

Other incidents of Uriel using force include allegedly wrestling with Jacob at Peniel and destroying the hosts of Sennacherib (II Kings 19:35, II Maccabees 15:22).

Uriel’s name means “fire of God,” and he is considered, according to A Dictionary of Angels, Including the Fallen Angels, as “one of the leading angels in noncanonical lore and ranks variously as a seraph, cherub, regent of the sun, flame of God, angel of the presence, preside over Tartarus, archangel of salvation, angel of repentance, archangel of salvation, prince of lights, angel of vengeance, angel of thunder and terror.” The Book of Angels mentions Uriel’s ability to control storms, including lightning and hail, and fire.

Although Uriel is “often identified as one of the four primary angels, along with Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael...He is not part of the official Catholic canon, but he is prominent in Jewish texts and apocryphal writings.” (The Encyclopedia of Angels). Uriel is credited with, among other things, giving man the cabala, although Metatron is said to have done so.

The second book of the Sibylline Oracles describes Uriel as one of the “immortal angels of the undying God” who will “break the monstrous bars framed of unyielding and unbroken adamant of the brazen gates of Hades and cast them down straightway, and bring forth the judgment all the sorrowful forms...”

According to A Dictionary of Angels, the “most recent appraisal of Uriel is the one offered by Walter Clyde Curry in Milton’s Ontology Cosmology and Physics, where, on p. 93, Professor Curry says of Uriel that he ‘seems to be largely a pious but not too perceptive physicist with inclinations towards atomistic philosophy.’”

One of the tallest angels, second only to Metatron, Uriel is said to carry a longbow and also a sword, which “he imbues with divine flame.” Abbot Anscar Vonier, in The Teaching of the Catholic Church, says of Uriel that he is “supposed to be the spirit who stood at the gate of the lost Eden with the fiery sword.”

Other names for Uriel include Nuriel, Uryan, Jeremiel, Vretil, Suriel, Puruel, Phanuel, Jehoel, and Israfel. According to Enoch I (Ethiopic Enoch), he is ruler over the following archangels: Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Zerachiel, Gabriel, and Remiel.

In 745 C.E., a church council in Rome reprobated Uriel. His status was reinstated and he is now St. Uriel, his symbol “an open hand holding a flame.”


Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels, Including the Fallen Angels.
New York: The Free Press, 1971, pp. 298-299

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Angels.
New York: Checkmark Books, 2004, pp. 360

Lewis, James R. and Oliver, Evelyn Dorothy. Angels A to Z.
Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1996, pp. 403-404

Thompson, Ruth; Williams, L.A.; Taylor, Renae. The Book of Angels.
New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2006, pp. 86-93


Uriel first appears in Serpent Fire, the second book in the Angels of Death series. Originally sent by the Seraphim to kill Samael, Uriel instead rescues the former chief of satans. For disobeying a direct order, Uriel and Samael are targeted for assassination by the despotic Seraphic trio of Kemuel, Seraphiel, and Jehoel. The highest-ranking archangels, they rule through fear and severe punishment, even execution.

Determined to save Samael, Uriel seeks the help of Metatron, Gabriel, Xariel, and Karla (Azrael). Although no one knows why, the three Seraphim seem particularly concerned about Samael and want him dead, even though he has no angelic powers.

Uriel maintains a symbiotic relationship with a cobra tattoo on his back which can come to life. The cobra’s true form is of a Chalkydri, but if it transforms, Uriel will die.

Uriel’s eyes and hair are in contrast: (ice) cerulean blue and (fire) honey-blond. His wings are like fire and he wields a flaming sword. He first introduces himself to Samael as Brian Morant, an investigative reporter for Regional Aviation, a local magazine. Although Uriel tends to get drunk easily (or appears so), he has remarkable recuperative powers. His guilty pleasure is reading murder mysteries.

No comments: