The Angel Raphael

Chaplain to the Tobit Family


  • Neal Dunnigan Cork Community Chaplaincy Services



Raphael, Tobit, Chaplain, Spiritual Care, Exegesis


The Book of Tobit features the most well developed account of an angelic apparition found in the Bible. The deuterocanonical Old Testament story of Tobit focuses on how the distress of the righteous Tobit and his family is soothed by the divine presence in the disguised form of the angel Raphael (“God heals”). This article reviews the literary and historical context of the story. It then examines the story’s characterization of Raphael in contrast with contemporary archetypes of spiritual care. The analysis contrasts Raphael’s interactions with the most common spiritual care interventions, and uses textual analysis to expose recurring spiritual care themes.

Author Biography

Neal Dunnigan, Cork Community Chaplaincy Services

Neal Dunnigan is a professed brother in the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans, and lead chaplain at Cork Community Chaplaincy Services. He is board certified as a healthcare chaplain by the Chaplain Accreditation Board and has a Crisis, Trauma, and First Response certificate from the Spiritual Care Association.


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How to Cite

Dunnigan, N. (2022). The Angel Raphael: Chaplain to the Tobit Family. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 10(2), 195–209.