Raphael is one of the most important archangels in the celestial hierarchy, protector of the young, the wayfarer, and the pilgrim. The fish is one of his attributes. According to legend, the young Tobias set forth on a journey for his ailing father. Raphael (in disguise) joined him and rescued the lad from being devoured by a great fish whose gall would miraculously heal Tobias's father of blindness. Thus, the archangel became also the patron of doctors.
Archangels are usually depicted as young and beautiful figures, the knights of Heaven whose function is the performance of good works. Raphael's rather simple dress is that of the traveler with practical, close-bound leather sandals, and he carries the wanderer's staff. His multicolored wings, however, proclaim his status, as does the jeweled tunic, the cape with its clasp set in precious stones, and his elaborate lace cuffs.