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St. Michael the Archangel


Feastday: September 29
Patron: of grocers, soldiers, doctors, mariners, paratroopers, police, and sickness

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St. Michael the Archangel, also known as Saint Michael the Archangel or simply Archangel Michael, holds a significant place in the Roman Catholic tradition. He is an Archangel, associated with courage, protection, and divine intervention.

Biblical and Historical Roots
St. Michael's presence can be traced back to early Jewish writings, particularly in texts from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. In these ancient texts, he is depicted as the chief among angels and archangels, responsible for guarding and caring for Israel.

Guardian Prince of Israel
In Jewish tradition, St. Michael is often referred to as the guardian prince of Israel, a protector who stands ready to defend God's chosen people. He appears in the Book of Enoch as one of the seven archangels, alongside Uriel, Raguel, Raphael, Sariel, Gabriel, and Remiel. These archangels are described as standing before the glory of the Lord.

Defender of the Faith
St. Michael's role as a defender of faith and a warrior against evil is most vividly portrayed in the New Testament, particularly in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 12:7-12). Here, he engages in a cosmic battle against Satan, casting the adversary out of heaven and preventing him from accusing humanity before God. St. Michael's triumphant role in this battle marks a significant shift from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

The Epistle of Jude
In the Epistle of Jude, St. Michael is cited as an example of righteous judgment and opposition to evil. He is contrasted with heretics, as he did not hesitate to rebuke Satan over the body of Moses, saying, "The Lord punish you!" This passage underscores St. Michael's unwavering commitment to God's divine justice.

In Our Catholic Tradition
Within our Roman Catholic tradition, St. Michael the Archangel holds a special place. He is often invoked as "Holy Michael, the Archangel" or "Saint Michael" in prayers and liturgies. While not formally canonized as a saint, he is revered as a celestial being with immense significance.

Four Main Roles in Catholic Teaching
We recognize that St. Michael has four "offices" or roles.

  • Leader of the Army of God: St. Michael is seen as the commander of heaven's forces, leading the angelic host in their battle against the powers of darkness. He serves as a model of spiritual warfare, reflecting the ongoing struggle between good and evil.
  • Angel of Death: St. Michael is regarded as the angel of death, accompanying the souls of departed Christians to heaven. At the moment of death, he offers the souls an opportunity for redemption, thwarting the devil's attempts to claim them.
  • Weigher of Souls: St. Michael is often depicted holding balanced scales, symbolizing his role in weighing souls during the Last Judgment. This signifies his involvement in the divine judgment of humanity.
  • Guardian of the Church: St. Michael serves as the guardian of the Church and the Chosen People. Throughout history, he has been revered by military orders of knights and is considered the patron saint of various cities and countries.

Prayers and Devotions
Catholics frequently turn to St. Michael for protection and guidance. The "Prayer to Saint Michael" specifically implores his defense against the forces of darkness. The "Chaplet of Saint Michael" consists of nine salutations, each dedicated to one of the choirs of angels, and serves as a way to honor and seek the intercession of St. Michael.
St. Michael the Archangel plays a crucial role in our Roman Catholic tradition as a defender of faith, protector of souls, and a symbol of divine justice. His presence and intercession are sought after in times of spiritual warfare and challenges, making him a revered figure in Catholic devotion and liturgy.

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