September 29, 2019
A happy and most blessed feast of the great Archangel St. Michael! Today’s feast is of the first class; it therefore bumps the sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost to the commemoration spot, so important is St. Michael’s feast deemed by Holy Mother Church.
St. Michael is known to us as the prince of the angels and leader of the heavenly armies, and as such he is the great nemesis of Satan. The latter said, “I will not serve” and aspired to defeat God Himself; the very name of St. Michael, by contrast, means “Who is like God?” and he led the good angels in battle against Satan and the fallen angels, casting them out of Heaven forever. He is mentioned by name both in Sacred Scripture (the book of Daniel, the letter of Jude and Revelation) and in the Sacred Liturgy as well. Nearly always portrayed in battle array with a sword or spear in his hand and Satan under his feet, St. Michael is the stalwart defender of Christians against the attacks of the Devil and our constant help in our spiritual battles. He is invoked in the well-known prayer to St. Michael, which we say with the other Leonine prayers after Low Mass and which should be in our hearts frequently besides. Let us not take our angelic friends for granted, but rather let us call upon them always, especially St. Michael, his fellow Archangels and our Guardian Angels, whose feast we celebrate on Wednesday.
The cover photo shows the cavernous Sanctuary of St. Michael at Monte Sant’Angelo, Italy, a place famous for the apparitions of St. Michael that occurred there. The church, set in the recesses of a cave, was never consecrated by human hands, since the Archangel himself consecrated it by his presence.
We wish a happy patronal feast day to St. Michael the Archangel Parish, our apostolate in Scranton, Pennsylvania! They are celebrating with a Solemn High Mass and pancakes today! +
Deus, qui miro órdine, Angelórum ministéria hominúmque dispénsas: concéde propítius; ut, a quibus tibi ministrántibus in cœlo semper assístitur, ab his in terra vita nostra muniátur.
O God, Who hast constituted the services of Angels and of men in a wonderful order, mercifully grant, that they who ever stand before Thy face to do Thee service in Heaven, may also defend our life upon earth.
– the Collect for today
The Prayer to St. Michael
St. 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, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits that prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.