Joel and I strive to post around three new blog entries each week. It can be a challenge to post only three because nearly every day on the Churchâ€™s calendar, there is typically something cool to share — saint of the day, â€˜this day in Church historyâ€™ anecdote, the latest words of wisdom from our Holy Father, and on and on. No matter how cool a story may be, I simply have to let some things pass by. I could go mad trying to keep up with the Catholic Joneses. So my work-around is to share various anecdotes on our blogâ€™s Facebook page (click here to check it out). Â
I wasÂ prepared to simply share a word or two about todayâ€™s feast on our Facebook page, but then the Holy Spirit prompted me to think again. Today, September 29, is the Feast of the Archangels: Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Angels appear frequently in Scripture, but these big three deliver messages of supreme importance and are the only named angels. A friend connected with me late yesterday and shared how St. Michael interceded big time over someÂ spiritualÂ battle that’s recently plagued her.
Her testimony serves as a reminder that as we grow closer to Christ and His Church, we will be tested and tempted by evil. St. Michael can provide a defense. Â
A Word (or two) on St. Michael
St. Michael, the Archangel, appears in the book of Revelation where he leads the armies of God in battle against the forces of evil.
“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.”Â Â Revelation 12:7-8
Hebrew for â€œWho is like unto God,â€ Michael is typically depicted with a sword, scales, banner, and an incumbent dragon. He is a symbol of victory over evil; a reminder that we Christians will always struggle with the forces of evil in the world.
History of the Prayer
The Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is an abbreviated version of a prayer written by Pope Leo XIII (1810 -1903). He composed it after a frightening vision of the attacks on the Church. Prior to Vatican II, the prayer was commonly said at the conclusion of all daily Masses. In 1994, Blessed John Paul II recommended we bring the prayer back into regular practice to strengthen the Church.
Attacks on the Church â€¦ a need to strengthen the Church â€¦ sound at all familiar?
From the beginning of Jesusâ€™ ministry, Satan knew he had a new enemy and has since organized and prepared his troops for 2000 years in attempt to destroy Christ’s Church. The powers of Satanâ€™s destruction are manifest everywhere. But Jesus Christ promises victory over evil — His power, mercy, and grace will overcome. But we must do our part. Our Church, especially here in America, needs strengthening.
My Patron Saint for 2012
St. Michael the Archangel was the random saint selected for me through the 2012Â Saintâ€™s Name Generator. Throughout this year, Iâ€™ve taken up memorizing his prayer. When Iâ€™m feeling so overcome with fear about Satanâ€™s attacks to our Church and religious freedomÂ acrossÂ the globe, this prayer reminds me that Christâ€™s power will prevail.
During this upcoming Year of Faith, when we feel our faith being challenged, perhaps we should turn to St. Michael the Archangel as our first line of defense?Â Let us pray.
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.