Saint Michael the Archangel: Defender of the People of God

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Due to their invisible nature, the existence of angels may not be obvious to humans. They are called angels (Greek for “messenger”) because, according to the Bible, they carry out missions by order of God. In order to accomplish these missions, they may sometimes take on corporeal form, as in the case of Gabriel, in Luke 1:26. Raphael is said to be an angel of healing (Tobit 12, John 5:2-4).

The Bible mentions seven orders of celestial beings: Angels, Powers, Principalities, Domains, Thrones, Seraphim and Cherubim. Based on references throughout the Bible, the Church teaches that everyone has a guardian angel.

Michael (“Who is like God”) is well known as the archangel who was empowered by God to cast Lucifer out of heaven.

According to Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, Lucifer belonged to the highest sphere of celestial beings. He became so impressed with his own beauty, intelligence, power, and position that he began to desire for himself the honor and glory that belonged to God alone. This pride represents the actual beginning of sin in the universe, preceding the fall of Adam and Eve. To have been cast out by a lowly archangel was a real humiliation for Lucifer. The story is similar to that of David and Goliath, in 1 Samuel 17.

Building on Revelation 12, Christian art portrays St. Michael as a knight-warrior, wearing battle armor and brandishing a sword or spear, while triumphantly clinging to a serpent or other depiction of Satan. In the Catholic tradition, Saint Michael has four duties: To continue to fight against Satan and the other fallen angels; to save the souls of the faithful from the power of Satan especially at the hour of death; to protect the People of God, and to lead the souls of the departed from this life and present them to God for the particular judgment, and for the final judgment, at the end of time.

According to some accounts, on October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a vision in which Satan asked God for permission to destroy the Church, within 100 years. God granted the request. The story is similar to Job 1:9.

The vision prompted the Pope to compose this prayer, to recite throughout the Church: “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 You, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Divine Power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits that roam the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. “

Satan was unable to destroy the Catholic Church in the 20th century. But the battle between God and Satan is always within the Church and society, in one form or another. A careful examination of the events of the past 100 years reveals many divisions within the Church. There is an increase in evil, the culture of death, violence, the two world wars, abortion, sexual sins, homosexual unions, pornography, damage to the family, the spread of atheism and secular humanism, euthanasia, scandals in clerical and religious life. life, among others.

Each of us has had our own battles with Satan, trying to turn us away from eternal life with God. 1 Peter 5:8 urges us to “Be sober and watchful, for your adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion from place to place seeking whom he will devour.”

Prayer, the sacraments and the Word of God are an essential part of what Saint Paul calls “the armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11). Whenever we pray, we wrestle “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against wicked spirits” (Ephesians 6:12).

God calls each of us to defend the Christian faith by living it daily, in word and deed. We need the patronage of Saint Michael, the Archangel.

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