St. Michael as Protector; St. Michael’s Prayer

angelSeptember has traditionally been a month that many Christians dedicate to St. Michael and the other Guardian Angels. September 29th is the date of Michael-mas, the celebration of “this glorious Prince of the heavenly hosts”.

Michael-mas is even mentioned as being one of the great feasts of the Saxon Chronicles of the 800’s. It was the ecclesiastical law of the time “that every Christian, who is of age, fast three days on bread and water and raw herbs, before the feast of St. Michael, and let every man go to confession and to church barefoot”.

Constantine the Great (272-337) built a church called the Michaelion about four miles from Constantinople, where the sick were reportedly often cured and other miracles were common thanks to St. Michael. Other churches would be dedicated to him as time went on; on Mount Gargano in Italy, one Adrian’s Mole in Rome.

In more recent times, Pope Leo XIII (Pope from 1878-1903) ordered Catholic priests all over the world to address a special invocation to the Archangel Michael, at the end of Mass.

Many believe St. Michael to be a fierce defender of God, and he has often been represented in paintings as a warrior, clad in armor from head to foot, defeating Satan with his spear.

This protector and defender of the Church is tasked with assigning every human a guardian angel, and teaching those angels how to guide and defend us. Those devoted to St. Michael are said to gain the courage and strength necessary to resist the base temptations, and will come to fight the devil when a devoted Christian is in danger of sinning.

St. Michael is said to also come to the aid of the dying, and defend them in the hour of death, when the attacks of devils are said to be at their most violent. Hence the saying, “May St. Michael receive this soul under his protection”.

St. Alphonsus believed in calling on St. Michael to help battle all temptations:

Hail, bright Archangel! Prince of heaven!
Spirit divinely strong!
To whose rare merit hath been given
To head the angelic throng.

There is also the prayer of St. Michael:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen

Read more about St. Michael here.