Historical story

First Name Raphael:Origin, History, Etymology and Meaning

As its meaning indicates, "God has healed", Raphael is the archangel of healing and the Bible cites his interventions with Tobias, healing his father from blindness. This first name does not achieve the success of Gabriel, but it is discreetly present in the civil status from the 1970s to finally invest the first places of the most chosen first names since the beginning of the 21st century. Party on September 29.

Origin and etymology of the first name Raphaël

Of Hebrew origin; means "God heals". It is composed of Rapha-, "heal", which is also a male given name in the Bible, and -el, God. Raphael is the angel mediator of the benefits of God, He heals men and it is he who, in human form, guides the young Tobias on his journey, providing him with the remedies that restore sight to his old father and deliver demon his future wife Sarah. It is this role of protective guide that led to assimilating Raphael to the guardian angel, whose cult developed in the 16th century. Patron saint of pharmacists, he is celebrated on September 29, with Michel and Gabriel who often accompany him in iconography.

Use and popularity of the first name Raphaël

Unlike Michel and Gabriel, Raphaël kept a somewhat confidential character until the 1960s, when it is much more widely chosen, ranking among the top fifty male given names at the start of this century. He dragged Rafael after him. The other variants are marginal, as is its female version.

Italian Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio, 1482-1520) was a Renaissance painter, influenced by Michelangelo and Vinci. Concerned with classic balance, his style combines finesse of line and delicacy of colors. Famous for his Madonnas (Madonna of the Goldfinch, 1506; Madonna of the Chair, 1515), he also illustrated historical scenes (the Battle of Ostia). Official painter to Julius II and Leo X, he decorated several rooms in the Vatican. Major artist of the accomplished Renaissance, he will be the reference of mannerism, classicism and academicism.

Closer to us, we can mention the French singer Raphaël or the Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal.

To go further

- 2000 first names and their history, by Omer Englebert. Albin Michel, 2015.

- The Book of My First Name - Raphaël. First, 2017.