O Prince of the Angelic Hierarchies!
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.