The prayer to St. Raphael, the “angel of happy meeting,” was Flannery O’Connor’s daily prayer and one that she also shared with friends. O’Connor suffered with an illness that limited her greatly and which she knew would be fatal. She was isolated and often lonely, living on the farm in Georgia. Still, she remained focused on “the province of joy,” a place without location in this world and a state in the life to come.
O Raphael, lead us towards those we are waiting for,
those who are waiting for us:
Raphael, Angel of happy meeting,
lead us by the hand toward those we are looking for.
May all our movements be guided by your Light
and transfigured with your joy.
Angel, guide of Tobias,
lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him
on whose unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze.
Lonely and tired, crushed by the separation and sorrows
of life, we feel the need of calling you and of pleading
for the protection of your wings,
so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy,
all ignorant of the concerns of our country.
Remember the weak, you who are strong.
you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder,
in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright
with the resplendent glory of God.