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VALIANT ONES-A name used in the Old Testament Book of Isiah (33:7) that is unclear in its original Hebrew meaning but may denote angels.

VARCAN-An angel mentioned in Thomas Heywood's 1623 work The Hierarchy of the Blessed Angels, said to possess authority over the sun. This, of course, makes him one of several angels with this supposed power, including Uriel, Galgalliel, and Michael.

VENGEANCE, ANGEL OF-The title used for a group of angels who exact some form of vengeance or retribution upon sinners; they are, like all angels, entirely at the service of the Lord, fulfilling their often grim duties only at the express command of God and never through some personel desire. Perhaps equatable with the angels of destruction and even the angels of wrath, the angels of vengeance are said in Jewish lore to number 12. Among those mentioned by name are some of usual and most powerful personages of the heavenly host-Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Metatron, and Uriel-along with some lesser-known angels, such as Nathaniel, Jehoel, and Zagzagel.

VICTOR-The angel who, in Irish lore, appeared to St. Patrick (d.461) in the hopes of convincing the saint to return to Ireland and bring with him the light of the Christian faith. While a youth in Roman Britain during the early fifth century, Patrick had been kidnapped by Irish raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. After years of seritude he underwent a personel conversion and, through the intercession of a voice, managed to escape back to his homeland. Some legends declare the voice to have been the angel Victor. The angel came to Patrick several years later, imploring him to go back to the Irish, not as a slave but as a missionary. Patrick apparently heeded the words of Victor and so became one of the world's most famous and beloved saints.

VIRTUES (choir)-One of the nine choirs of angels as listed by the sixth-century theologian Dionysius the Areopagite. The virtues are ranked fifth in the heavenly host and belong to the second triad of angelic orders, with dominations and powers; as members of the second triad, they take part in the duties given to the three choirs, namely the ordering of the universe. The virtues specifically preside over the elements of the world and the process of celestrial life. Thus all heavenly bodies-from the stars and planets to the galaxies themselves-are kept in their divinely appointed routes and progress. On earth the angels maintain a watch over nature, marking and guiding every facet of natural life; rain, wind, snow, etc. In legend, two angels from this choir served as the angels of the Ascension, appearing at the moment of the Ascension of Christ. The virtues are called in the Hebrew the malakim and the tarshishim.

VRETIEL-Another spelling for the angel Vrevoil.

VREVOIL-Also Vretiel, Vretil, and Pravuil, an important archangel in the celestial hierarchy who keeps the sacred record of all of the knowledge and the deeds of the Lord. Perhaps to be identified with the archangel Uriel and similar in function to the ancient Egyptian god Thoth. Vrevoil is described in the Second (Slavonic) Book of Enoch as being the swiftest in wisdom of all the archangels. it was Vrevoil who was supposedly commanded by the Lord to bring forth the books from the heavenly treasury and to dictate to Enoch unceasingly for thirty days and thirty nights; in the end, Enoch, using pen and ink provided by the angel, would write 366 books concerning virtually every form and kind of knowledge.

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