Archangel Michael

Patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police, and sickness

Hebrew: "Who is like God?"

St. Michael is one of the principal angels; his name was the war-cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against the enemy and his followers. Four times his name is recorded in Scripture:

  1. Daniel 10:13 sqq., Gabriel says to Daniel, when he asks God to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem: "The Angel [D.V. prince] of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me . . . and, behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me . . . and none is my helper in all these things, but Michael your prince."
  2. Daniel 12, the Angel speaking of the end of the world and the Antichrist says: "At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people."
  3. In the Catholic Epistle of St. Jude: "When Michael the Archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses", etc. St. Jude alludes to an ancient Jewish tradition of a dispute between Michael and Satan over the body of Moses, an account of which is also found in the apocryphal book on the assumption of Moses (Origen, De Principiis III.2.2). St. Michael concealed the tomb of Moses; Satan, however, by disclosing it, tried to seduce the Jewish people to the sin of hero-worship. St. Michael also guards the body of Eve, according to the "Revelation of Moses" ("Apocryphal Gospels", etc., ed. A. Walker, Edinburgh, p. 647).
  4. Apocalypse 12:7, "And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon." St. John speaks of the great conflict at the end of time, which reflects also the battle in heaven at the beginning of time. According to the Fathers there is often question of St. Michael in Scripture where his name is not mentioned. They say he was the cherub who stood at the gate of paradise, "to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24), the angel through whom God published the Decalogue to his chosen people, the angel who stood in the way against Balaam (Numbers 22:22 sqq.), the angel who routed the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35).

Following these Scriptural passages, Christian tradition gives to St. Michael four offices:

  1. To fight against Satan.
  2. To rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death.
  3. To be the champion of God's people, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages.
  4. To call away from earth and bring men's souls to judgment.

Regarding his rank in the celestial hierarchy opinions vary; St. Basil (Hom. de angelis) and other Greek Fathers, also Salmeron, Bellarmine, etc., place St. Michael over all the angels; they say he is called "Archangel" because he is the prince of the other angels; others (cf. P. Bonaventura, op. cit.) believe that he is the prince of the seraphim, the first of the nine angelic orders. But, according to St. Thomas (Summa Ia.113.3) he is the prince of the last and lowest choir, the angels. The Roman Liturgy seems to follow the Greek Fathers; it calls him "Princeps militiae coelestis quem honorificant angelorum cives". The hymn of the Mozarabic Breviary places St. Michael even above the Twenty-four Elders. The Greek Liturgy styles him Archistrategos, "highest general" (cf. Menaea, 8 Nov. and 6 Sept.). 1

Micheal the Archangel

Micheal the Archangel
Artist Unknown 1

Prayer to Saint Michael

Saint 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 you, Oh 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. 3

Micheal the Archangel

Micheal the Archangel
by Guido Reni 2

St. Michael Slaying a Dragon

St. Michael Slaying a Dragon
by Peter Paul Rubens 3

The Chaplet of Michael, the Archangel

The history of this Chaplet goes back to a devout Servant of God, Antonia d'Astonac, who had a vision of Michael, the Archangel. He told Antonia to honor him by nine salutations to the nine Choirs of Angels. St. Michael 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, the Archangel

O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.

Note: Say one Our Father and three Hail Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine Choirs of Angels.

  1. By the intercession of Michael, the Archangel 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 Michael, the Archangel 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 Michael, the Archangel 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 Michael, the Archangel and the celestial Choir of Dominions,
    may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unrul passions. Amen.
  5. By the intercession of Michael, the Archangel 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 Michael, the Archangel and the celestial Choir of Virtues,
    may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
  7. By the intercession of Michael, the Archangel and the celestial Choir of Principalities,
    may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
  8. By the intercession of Michael, the Archangel 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 Michael, the Archangel 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.

Note: Say one Our Father in honor of each of the following leading Angels: Michael, the Archangel, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and our Guardian Angel.

Concluding prayers

O Glorious Prince Michael, the Archangel, 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 Michael, the Archangel, 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 Michael, the Archangel, 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. 2

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