THE ARCHANGEL SAINT MICHAEL
The Archangel Michael is the Prince of the Angels, the protector of the chosen people and the symbol of powerful divine assistance towards Israel. He’s mentioned three times in the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Daniel, where he is indicated as the defendant of the Hebrews and the supreme head of the heavenly army who defends the weak and the persecuted. “But at that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people: and a time shall come such as never was from the time that nations began even until that time. And at that time shall thy people be saved, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Dan 12, 1).
His name means “Who is like God?”. In fact at that cry, he cast down from Heaven the arrogantly proud Lucifer and the other fallen spirits when they rebelled against God. We find the description of the battle and his victory in Chapter 12 of the Apocalypse: "And there was a battle in heaven; Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. And they did not prevail neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast down, the ancient serpent he who is called the devil and Satan, who leads astray the whole world; and he was cast down to the earth and with him his angels were cast down. And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, Now has come the salvation, and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ for the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, he who accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb and through the word of their witness, for they did not love their lives even in face of death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens. and you who dwell therein. Woe to the earth and to the sea because the devil has gone down to you in great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time".
The Christian tradition gives the Archangel the following offices: the first is the fight against the devil. The second is the task to rescue the souls from the power of Satan, especially at the hour of death. Then he protects souls at the moment of judgment and guides them to Heaven. Tradition also gives Saint Michael the task of weighing souls after death. That is why he is sometimes represented holding a pair of scales as well as a sword. Moreover in the first centuries of Christianity, Saint Michael was also linked with a caring characteristic, specifically caring for and healing the sick.
ST MICHAEL ON MOUNT GARGANO (ITALY)
The apparitions of St Michael are numerous and spread across the ages and many monasteries, cathedrals, court and churches are dedicated to the Chief Commander of Heaven. In Apulia (Italy), on Monte Gargano, the town of Monte Sant’Angelo contains the most famous shrine dedicated to the Archangel Saint Michael. From remote times this is a place of pardon and prayer, famous in the entire Christian world.
The origin of his shrine on Gargano (Italy) goes back to the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 6th century and is connected with four apparitions of the Archangel, that took place in the course of the centuries. The first apparition is dated 490. The Archangel Michael himself deigned to set up and consecrate the church, that is a grotto of calcareous rock.
The Church celebrates the feast of Saint Michael together with Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael on 29 September.
OF ST MICHAEL
Sacred Scripture distinguishes nine groups of angels: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels and Angels (Isa. 6:2; Gen. 3:24; Col. 1:6; Eph. 1:21; Rom. 8:38). The history of the Chapelet of St Michael goes back to the Servant of God, Antonia of Astonac, who had a vision of the Archangel. He told her to honor him by nine salutations to the nine Choirs of Angels. He promised that whoever would practice this devotion in his honor would have, when approaching Holy Communion, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for those who would recite the Chaplet daily, he promised his continual assistance and that of all the holy angels during life.
The Chaplet of Saint Michael
O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, etc.
Say one Our Father and three Hail Mary after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine Choirs of Angels
1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen.
2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection. Amen.
3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen.
4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominions may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions. Amen.
5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. Amen.
6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven. Amen.
9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven. Amen.
Say four Our Father, respectively in honor of St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and our Guardian Angel.
O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue, deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day. Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence. This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
LITANY IN HONOR
OF THE ARCHANGEL SAINT MICHAEL
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Angels, Pray for us
St. Michael, Pray for us
St. Michael, filled with the wisdom of God,
St. Michael, perfect adorer of the Incarnate Word,
St. Michael, crowned with honour and glory,
St. Michael, most powerful Prince of the armies of the Lord,
St. Michael, standard-bearer of the most Holy Trinity,
St. Michael, guardian of Paradise,
St. Michael, guide and comforter of the people of Israel,
St. Michael, splendour and fortress of the Church Militant,
St. Michael, honour and joy of the Church Triumphant,
St. Michael, light of Angels,
St. Michael, bulwark of orthodox believers,
St. Michael, strength of those who fight under the standard of the Cross,
St. Michael, light and confidence of Souls at the hour of death,
St. Michael, our most sure aid,
St. Michael, our help in all adversities,
St. Michael, herald of the everlasting sentence,
St. Michael, consoler of Souls detained in the flames of Purgatory,
St. Michael, whom the Lord has charged to receive Souls after death,
St. Michael, our prince, St. Michael, our advocate,
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
V. Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ. R. That we may be made worthy of His promises.
Let us pray.
Sanctify us, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus, with Thy holy blessing, and grant us, by the intercession of St. Michael, that wisdom which teaches us to lay up treasures in Heaven by exchanging the goods of this world for those of eternity, Thou who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
ACT OF CONSECRATION
TO THE ARCHANGEL ST MICHAEL
Oh, most Noble Princeof the Angelic Hierarchies,valorous warrior of Almighty God,and zealous lover of his glory, terror of the rebellious angels, and love and delight of all the just, my beloved Archangel Saint Michael, desiring to be numberedamong your devoted servants,today I offer and consecrate myself to you, and place myself, my family and all I possess under your most powerful protection.
I entreat you not to look at how little I, as your servant have to offer, being only a wretchedsinner, but to gaze rather with favorable eye at theheartfelt affection with which this offering is made, and remember that if from this dayonward 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.
Accompany me then to the throne of God to sing with you, Archangel Saint Michael and all the Angels, praise, honour and glory to the One who reigns for all eternity.
PRAYER TO ST MICHAEL
Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defence against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And you, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.