Gabriel (gāˈbrēəl) [key], archangel, the divine herald. In the Bible he appears to Daniel (twice), to Zacharias, and to the Virgin Mary in the Annunciation (Dan. 8.16; 9.21; Luke 1.19,26,27). Christian tradition makes Gabriel the archangel trumpeter of the Last Judgment (1 Thes. 4.16). In Islam, Gabriel revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad, becoming the angel of truth. In art and literature Gabriel is mainly treated as the angel of the Annunciation. In the Annunciation he often carries a lily, properly the symbol of the Virgin. He is often represented on churches with trumpet raised and facing east, ready to proclaim the second coming of Christ. Feast: Sept. 29 (jointly with other archangels).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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