Written by Asterion
Translated by Gabriel A.
Yechudiel or Iehudiel is one of the most important archangels of the tradition, but he was silenced or forgotten in general, except for certain areas of Orthodoxy and Catholicism. The name Yechudiel means in the Hebrew language “The Glory of God” or “the one who glorifies God.”
He is also named in certain documents Jhudiel, Yhudil, Jehudiel, Jegudiel, Iegudiil, Egudiil, Gudiil, Evgudiel or Evgudiil. In certain Catholic confessions, Yechudiel is called St. Jehudiel, and he is considered the archangel to whom Friday corresponds. In the Kabbalistic tradition, both his name and attributes are under the sign of Chesed and the planet Jupiter, of Mercy, Justice, Wellness and of Divine Glory.
He is counted among the Seven Archangels in the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church. According to the Orthodox tradition, “Egudiil has an apron and he is ready to serve. He is the protector of those who work in the service of others.” In the traditional icons he is portrayed holding a golden crown in his right hand and in his left hand a spear or whip made of three strands or three strings. Generally, the crown has seven leaves or three gems. The crown represents the rewards of the righteuos work, and if we look at the numbers associated with it, we will discover its hidden meaning. The seven leaves have seven pieces of the crown are the Seven Virtues: Love, Faith, Soul Strenght, Hope, Intelligence, Moderation, Justice, virtues which man has to practice in order to glorify God. The three gems have a double meaning: it is the Holy Trinity, the manifestation of God, but also the ways in which the Seven Virtues must be cultivated: with the thought, the word and the deed. God’s glory is done through the Seven Virtues in a complete way, not in part. For example, if we talk about faith and do good deeds, but inside ourselves we do not believe it, it is of no use. Or if we have faith in us, and we are talking about faith, but we do not act properly, or we refuse to show our faith, we get nothing. If we talk about love and think about love, but we do not love our neighbor, the virtue of love runs away from us, and we become unhappy. And so, if we love with the word and the deed without loving with the mind and the soul, the same thing will happen. The crown also represents the fruits of our work with the Seven Virtues: by loving others, we will acquire love in exchange; having faith in God, we will gain greater trust in ourselves; trying to be noble in every moment and helping those around us in hard times, will give us greater strength in the really difficult moments; hoping for what is best, with faith in God, we will have our hopes fulfilled; being intelligent and wise as much as possible, we will gain more intelligence and wisdom; being balanced, our lives will not experience excesses of any kind, and if we are righteous and correct in everything that we think, we say and do, we will be treated with fairness and sincerity by others and by God .
Yechudiel is the patron of work and effort, and these things involve both reward and loss. His whip is as unpleasant as his crown is pleasing, and his three strands correspond to sins made with thought, word and deed. Every failure to observe a principle brings us an imbalance and makes us vulnerable to correction. Lying is failure to comply to the Law of Truth, hatred is the failure to comply to the Law of Love, deception is the failure to comply with the Law of Justice, and the more we violate one of these laws, the more the right to enjoy the fruits of our work will be taken.
(Jehudiel, circa 1650 – Source)
Under his protection are those who glorify the name of God in any way, whether they do it through words, writing, thought or deeds, but also leaders of any kind, whether political, economic (kings, presidents, judges) or spiritual (popes, bishops, hermits). In the old days, the heads of the communities, the kings and the emperors were the first to give praise and glory to the Lord, because their role in this world was being God’s humble substitute in the leading of men. Yechudiel’s crown signifies royalty and nobility, mercy and the sovereignty, and the whip marks the hand of iron, the justice and the punishment. A king must be as good as God, and like Him, judging right and punishing or rewarding where it is needed. Also, his symbols remind the rulers that they themselves are subject to the Divine Laws, being able to ascend to the heights of glory or to fall into oblivion and disgrace. King David and later his son, Solomon, are examples in which virtue is rewarded with wisdom, wealth and power, and weakness and insubordination are severely punished.
Yechudiel is also the patron of those who punish human actions. Before judging a man as being evil, we need to think if this man is compelled to do what he does because of his duty. Judges, policemen, prosecutors, lawyers and law enforcement officers are under the protection of this archangel, and we must not forget that due to human nature, there is also a need for dichotomy and severity. In the old days, the executioners also benefited from his protection, and the Divine Service was aware that the killing of a man was not the fault of the executioner who performed a simple order. Those who practice the capital punishment now belong to the same category. Here, of course, we are not discussing whether the death penalty is good or bad, simply by the guilt of those whom the service forces them to execute, regardless of the desires they have their beliefs about the condemned. In the old days, there was no executioner who was not taught to curb the torment of his victims as quickly as possible, cutting his head as quickly as possible.
This archangel also protects those who work and those who ask for help in the work they do. Especially those who have a very hard work can ask for help in order to make the burdens more bearable, and those who have dangerous labor can ask God for protection through Yechudiel and the angels in his service. Yechudiel’s duty is to guard the fulfillment of laws, their correct application, the reward of good and right, and the punishment of those who violate them. His distinctive signs show wealth, abundance and nobility (golden crown), but also discipline, rigor and punishment (whip), bestowed upon each one by merit. We can ask for his help whenever it is necessary, when we want to cultivate within us the power of divine virtues, when we want to learn better how to pray and how to glorify the Creator and when we feel that we are oppressed or wronged. We can call him when we are in trouble or in despair, or when our joy and praise is beyond our powers and we want to share it with everyone but we have no one nearby with whom to share it.
We can call this wonderful archangel with the following prayer:
“By the name of God the Most High EL, I call you glorious and merciful archangel Yechudiel to help me in this hour in which I need your righteousness and your presence here and now. Amen!“