O Prince of the An­gelic Hier­ar­chies!

Malta Independent - - LETTERS - Fr Mario At­tard OFM Cap

On Thurs­day the Church cel­e­brated the Feast of Saint Michael the Ar­changel.

St Michael the Ar­changel is not a saint in the tra­di­tional sense but rather is an an­gel – and the leader of all the an­gels in God’s army. This is what the ti­tle ‘Ar­changel’ means, that he is above all oth­ers in rank. How­ever, Michael the Ar­changel is still called a saint be­cause he re­sides in heaven in com­mu­nion with God. Both the Bi­ble and Chris­tian tra­di­tion in­struct us that Michael the Ar­changel has four main re­spon­si­bil­i­ties: first, he com­bats Satan; sec­ond, he ac­com­pa­nies the faith­ful to heaven at their hour of death; third, he de­fends Chris­tians and the Church and fourth, he calls peo­ple from earthly life to their heav­enly judge­ment.

Scrip­tural data por­trays St Michael in two in­stances. The first is when he helped the prophet Daniel and the sec­ond is re­lated to the end of times, when he will de­fend the “chil­dren of thy peo­ple”. St Michael is also men­tioned in the let­ter of St Jude where he is pre­sented as guard­ing the tombs of Moses and Eve and has fought with Satan over the body of Moses. The ul­ti­mate ref­er­ence is found in the Book of Rev­e­la­tions where St Michael and his an­gels bat­tle against the dragon. How beau­ti­ful and tri­umphant is the can­ti­cle af­ter they pow­er­fully de­feated the dragon: “that an­cient ser­pent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the de­ceiver of the whole world” (Rev. 12:9) and his an­gels and cast them out from heaven and threw them “down to the earth” (Rev 12:9).

“Now the sal­va­tion and the power and the king­dom of our God and the author­ity of his Christ have come, for the ac­cuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who ac­cuses them day and night be­fore our God. And they have con­quered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their tes­ti­mony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Re­joice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, be­cause he knows that his time is short!” (Rev. 12: 10-12).

Let us con­se­crate our lives to St Michael to mark his feast day and that he may con­tinue pro­tect­ing us against Satan’s at­tacks on us, our fam­i­lies, our coun­try and our world.

I en­treat you not to look at how lit­tle, I, as your ser­vant, have to of­fer, be­ing only a wretched sin­ner, but to gaze, rather, with favourable eye at the heart­felt af­fec­tion with which this of­fer­ing is made, and re­mem­ber that if from this day on­ward I am un­der your pa­tron­age, you must dur­ing all my life as­sist me, and pro­cure for me the par­don of my many griev­ous of­fences, and sins, the grace to love with all my heart my God, my dear Saviour Je­sus and my Sweet Mother Mary, and ob­tain for me all the help nec­es­sary to ar­rive to my crown of glory. De­fend me al­ways from my spir­i­tual en­e­mies, par­tic­u­larly in the last mo­ments of my life. Come then oh Glo­ri­ous Prince and suc­cour me in my last strug­gle, and with your pow­er­ful weapon cast far from me into the in­fer­nal abysses that pre­var­i­ca­tor and proud an­gel that one day you pros­trated in the ce­les­tial bat­tle. As Pope Fran­cis re­minds us when he con­se­crated the Vat­i­can City State to St Michael on 5 July 2013, “Michael fights to re-es­tab­lish divine jus­tice; he de­fends the Peo­ple of God from its en­e­mies and above all of the en­emy par ex­cel­lence, the devil. And Saint Michael tri­umphs be­cause it is God who acts in him.” Let us re­new this con­se­cra­tion by daily pray­ing to St Michael the Ar­changel:

Saint Michael, de­fend us in our daily bat­tle so that we may not per­ish in the Last Judge­ment. Holy Michael, the Ar­changel, de­fend us in bat­tle. Be our safe­guard against the wicked­ness and snares of the devil. May God re­buke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heav­enly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spir­its who wan­der through the world seek­ing the ruin of souls. Amen.

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