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By Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th., Church Militant, April 11, 2022

Heavenly hierarchy

Few Catholics today can name all nine choirs of angels — let alone in order of hierarchy.

An ancient source on angels, Celestial Hierarchy, is from St. Dionysius the Areopagite or “Pseudo-Dionysius.” Some believe he was St. Paul’s disciple mentioned in Acts 17:34 and the first bishop of Athens, whose feast day is Oct. 3.

Seventh-century Father and Doctor of the Church St. John Damascene cited “Dionysius the Areopagite” on the nine choirs of angels’ being divided “into three groups” or hierarchies. Pope St. Gregory the Great drew upon this source in the previous century, as did subsequent Doctors of the Church — like St. Bonaventure in the 13th century. …

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