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Quick Facts on Raphael

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 597
Simple meaning:
God has healed

Characteristics of Raphael

  • Mystical
  • Wise
  • Eccentric
  • Intuitive
  • Imaginative
  • Philosophical
  • Solitary

Etymology & Historical Origin - Raphael

Raphael is a name of Hebrew origin from Rafa’el meaning “God has healed”. In the Bible, Raphael was one of the seven archangels and specifically the angel of, you guessed it, healing. The angel Raphael figures in prominently in the Book of Tobit, from the Apocrypha (the “hidden” treasures of the Bible which are included in only some editions). God sends Raphael to “heal” a couple of people who are praying for death due to their misfortunes. For more information on Raphael from the Bible, see literary characters below. Another famous bearer was the 16th-century Italian Renaissance painter Raphael Sanzio (known simply as Raphael). Depending on the language the name can be spelled either Raphael or Rafael. Rafael is primarily the Spanish and Portuguese spelling while Raphael is used mainly among English, German and French speakers. In fact, today, the name is quite popular in France (almost a Top 10 choice) and it also ranks high in Austria and Belgium.

Popularity of the Name Raphael

In the United States, the Spanish form of Rafael is more popular than the traditional English spelling of Raphael, and for the most part, this has always been the case. The angelic name Raphael has always maintained a position on the American charts, at least since the late 19th century (which is as far back as our data goes). If you look at the chart, though, Raphael has never been a particularly popular or trendy choice – rather this one has maintained consistent yet moderate usage. Even though Raphael has its roots in Hebrew, the name feels very French or Spanish for added ethnic currency. We’d definitely put this one in the “cosmopolitan cool” category. Raphael has a certain confidence and kindness. We like the name’s meaning and see Raphael as a “healing” force. A great choice for the son of a doctor (the Archangel Raphael is, in fact, one of the patron saints to physicians). Raphael is a name with a lot going on: it’s Biblical, it’s angelic, it’s multi-cultural, it’s handsome, it’s intelligent and it’s pretty neglected. We’d recommend Raphael as a name to consider if you’re looking for something both traditional yet not super common. Plus Rafe and Rafa are cool nicknames.
Popularity of the Boy Name Raphael
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Raphael

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Raphael

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Raphael

    Raphael (Paradise Lost) Raphael is the gentle archangel who comes to Adam and Eve in John Milton’s 1667 epic masterpiece, Paradise Lost, to warn them again against the sin of eating from the tree of knowledge. Raphael appears to Adam and Eve in all his heavenly, luminous glory, spouting six wings, yet he manifests his connection with humankind by sitting down and eating with them. He also strives to tell the story of the celestial battle between God and Satan in language that will be understandable to them, and to impart to them the reasons for the creation of mankind. He is ready to answer all of Adam’s questions, while at the same time gently pointing out the need for Adam to focus on his own life and purpose. Raphael also warns Adam not to be so smitten by Eve’s beauty that he might even put her above himself. Raphael even goes so far as to sanction Adam’s questions about the love lives of angels, although he doesn’t give out much information on that subject. Unlike his brother angels, Michael and Gabriel, Raphael has nothing of the militaristic about him; his is a disposition that reaches out in a social way, ready to connect sympathetically and to point kindly to the right path. Well, we all know how that turned out, don’t we? After all that, Adam and Eve went ahead and blew it. And when God banished them from the Garden of Eden, you may be sure it wasn’t Raphael whom He sent to do the job!

    Raphael (The Bible) Raphael shows up most prominently in the “hidden” Book of Tobit from the Bible. In the story, Tobit goes blind after some birds poop in his eyes (no, we’re not kidding) which causes him so much despair, he prays for death. At the same time, but in a separate faraway place, another woman named Sarah also prays for death. Her despair is caused by a lust demon who keeps killing her husbands on their wedding night before she can consummate her marriage (she has seven of them, and the evil demon kills them all). Married seven times and still a virgin! God hears their separate prayers and sends Raphael, the angel of healing. Disguised as a man named Azarias, Raphael accompanies Tobias (Tobit’s son) on a journey to retrieve money for his father. Along the way, a giant fish jumps out of the water and nearly kills Tobias (no, we’re still not kidding), but with the aid of Raphael, the fish is killed and they remove the heart, liver and gall bladder for future medicinal needs. At the end of their travels, Tobias meets Sarah and they fall madly in love and marry. Not to be discouraged by the fate of her other seven husbands, Tobias (with instruction from Raphael) burns the fish heart and liver so the smoke drives the evil husband-killing demon away. Sarah and Tobias then return to Tobit and rub the fish gall bladder in his eyes which miraculously restores his eyesight. Everyone is happy and no one is praying for death anymore, all thanks to Raphael (oh, and God, of course)!

  • Popular Songs on Raphael

    Popular Songs on Raphael

    Raphael - a song by Carla Bruni

    Raphael - a song by Hugh Blumenfeld

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Raphael

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Raphael

    Raphael (Mike Venezia) - From the wonderful book series called “Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists”, this one presents a biography of Raphael for young kids and aspiring artists alike! Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Raphael and the Noble Task (Catherine Salton) - Raphael is a griffin, one of the ferocious stone creatures sworn to guard the Cathedral from harm. Yet Raphael feels a mysterious longing for something more -- a Noble Task, one that will bring meaning to his life. When a baby is abandoned at the Cathedral door, Raphael believes he's found his Noble Task at last. But Raphael soon learns that caring for the child brings danger and sacrifice as well as love. And when the baby's mother returns, only to find that her child is missing, Raphael must set things right by performing an act of enormous courage: an act that depends not only on a legend kept secret for generations but that will demand of him all of his heart and soul to prevail. More than twenty illustrations bring the characters of the Cathedral to life in this unforgettable adventure, destined to be cherished as an enduring Christmas classic. Recommended for ages 10+

    Raphael: Art Profiles for Kids (Juliet Mofford) - Although Raphael is best remembered today for his Madonna and Child paintings, he was in great demand during his lifetime to paint dukes, counts, and fashionable ladies. Popes, cardinals, and noblemen wanted Raphael to paint frescoes on their walls, design their villas, and decorate their chapels. Raphael spent his childhood in a palace surrounded by art, music and poetry. Called Prince of Painters, he represented the ideal Renaissance Man, expressing the beauty, humanism, and culture that defined the age. Less familiar, yet revealed in this book, is Raphael s love of archaeology and his determination to preserve ancient Roman monuments. His life and art display a knowledge of classical architecture and philosophy. Raphael continually worked to improve his drawing and painting skills. He learned techniques from other artists that he incorporated into his unique style, and he ran a successful studio for younger artists. His remarkable portraits reveal much about each sitter s personality. Raphael was amazingly productive in his short life and remains one of history s most admired artists. Recommended for ages 10+

  • Famous People Named Raphael

    Famous People Named Raphael

    Famous People Named Raphael - Raphael (Italian artist/painter); Raphael (Spanish singer); Raphael Saadiq (musician); Raphael Holinshed (16th century historian); Raphael Matos (Brazilian racecar driver); Raphael Semmes (notable captain in the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War); Raphaël Jacquelin (French pro golfer); Raphaël Wicky (Swiss soccer player)

  • Children of Famous People Named Raphael

    Children of Famous People Named Raphael

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Raphael - Robert De Niro (actor); Juliette Binoche (French actress)

Personality of the Boy Name Raphael

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Variations of the Baby Name - Raphael

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