The Devil's real name?


Hi, firstly I just want to say that I realise that this question is probably not something that’s a “need to know” issue for Catholics. I’m sure that salvation doesn’t depend on knowing the answer to this, but it’s bugged me for a while, so I’d love to know what (if anything) the church says on this.
The question is this:
Before his fall what was the Devil’s name? - I’d always thought it was lucifer until I read a little about the whole translation issue regarding a passage in Isaiah(?) regarding a reference the planet Venus, aka day star or morning star, and a translation of this from Hebrew word “Hillel” into Latin “Lucifer” (lux-farre) aka “light bearer”.
So was the angel who became the devil always called satan/satanel/ha-satan or lucifer, or something else before his rebellion and fall?
Thanks for any insights and I’m sorry if this was the wrong section to post this question. Thanks.

God bless.


Here is a link to an article at New Advent from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

As you have correctly surmised, whether we know his name or not, recognizing him and his influence (and avoiding both) is vital to the life of a Christian.


If we’re to be really, really technical about it, we do not really know the name of the chief fallen angel. This creature is called “the satan” because, rather than being a proper name, it is a transliteration of his function, which is to accuse (“ha’satan” means “the adversary”) and is more properly a title than a name.

The name “Lucifer” is also technically not a revealed name of the fallen angel, because, as you correctly infer, it’s due to carryover from the Vulgate’s translation of “helel”, i.e. daystar, morning star. As a common noun, or title, “lucifer” is properly applied to Christ, and he is addressed as such in the Easter Vigil liturgy. And as proof that “lucifer” was not originally a devilish name, there have been Christians in the early centuries of the Church who were named Lucifer, named undoubtedly after Christ, not the devil.


Before Satan’s fall he was called Lucifer, in Hebrew Hillel. God bless you.


At a talk an exorcist gave, he told a story about a woman who had been possessed for two years. Almost all of the demons were cast out, but one remained. The exorcist asked the demon “Are you Lucifer?” There was a long pause and then the demon said “I was once called by that name, but no longer.”


Just recently, my son asked me why all the angels we know about have names that end in “el” (Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, etc.), except for Lucifer. I didn’t have an answer for him, but now I do - thanks!

My understanding is that the terminal “el” in Hebrew refers to God (or Lord - as in Elohim).

“Michael” translated from Hebrew means “Who is like God”
“Gabriel” means “Strong man of God”
“Raphael” means “God has healed”

So “Hillel” as an angel’s name, must mean something in reference to God. I googled it and got “praise” and “shining gloriously”, but no direct translation as to how it relates to God.

Any suggestions?


Hillel relates to God, as does Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and my Sephardic (Hebrew) surname, which also ends in “el.” I can’t remember what Hillel translates into though. I’ll have to ask my friend David the next time I see him. He just gave me the translation of the word Hillel at a get together a couple of Sundays ago. God bless you.


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