Together with St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, St. Michael is one of the main Archangels of the New Testament. The meaning of his name is Hebrew is “who is like God?”, phrased as a rhetorical question, because no one can pretend to be like God. The Archangel Michael is the leader of the army of God against the malign one, and his intercession is a powerful tool: it gives us strength and courage in our fight against forces of evil. The Church Herself invites us to pray to St. Michael.
“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 thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls.
In the Book of Revelation, St. John describes the visions of the Apocalypse that are revealed to him, namely Michael the Archangel slaying the Dragon during the war in Heaven: “And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven” (Revelation 12: 7-8). St. Michael is described as the “commander of the army of the Lord” (Joshua 5:14) who “by his victory established peace in Heaven” (Roman Breviary). His strength, his virtues and his love for God are greater than that of all the other Angels.
In the same way that praying to Saints can feel like a huge comfort, asking for the intercession of St. Michael is a powerful tool. In St. Alphonsus Liguori’s list of motives to pray to the Archangel, the Bishop states:
“[...] St. Michael having much at heart the salvation of his pious clients will not suffer that any one that preserves towards him a particular devotion shall fall into disgrace with God. He will obtain for him the strength to resist the attacks of hell; and if unhappily he falls into some grave fault, as soon as he recommends himself to this powerful protector he will easily procure for him the grace of pardon and of perseverance.”
We can ask for the intercession of St. Michael, so that he may assist in public matters and protect the Church, but we can also call for his help in our own times of need.
St. Michael is referenced In the Old Testament, where he is honored as the “Angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army” (Exodus 14:19). He is said to have been sent by the Lord “to guard (us) along the way and to bring (us) to the place (God) prepared” (Exodus 23:20). Catholic tradition is strongly devoted to The Archangel: he is revered as the protector of God’s People (ie. the Church) and as the Guardian of Nations.
The Archangel St. Michael shares a long history with the country of France, where he appeared many times to lend his help, and of which he is the Patron Saint.
St. Michael is also a Military Saint: he is the Patron Saint of many professions, most notably of Paratroopers, making him a prominent image of Airborne forces around the world.
Liturgy from the Catholic Church states that St. Michael has been given the mission by God to lead souls to Paradise: “The Archangel Michael came with a multitude of Angels; God confided unto him the souls of the Saints, that he might lead them to the Paradise of bliss, alleluia.”(Roman Breviary)
All believers can pray to St. Michael with this devotion from the Roman Missal: “Saint Michael, defend us in battle that we might not perish at the dreadful judgement”.
Therefore, the Archangel Michael can help us at the time of our death, as well as throughout our lives, during our spiritual battles with the malign one. There are many prayers for deliverance and protection addressed to him, since God Himself commanded His Angels to “guard (us) in all (our) ways; they will lift (us) up in their hands, so that (we) will not strike (our) foot against a stone).” (Psalm 91:11-12)
For over a century, a prayer to Michael Archangel was recited after Low Mass. It was composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1886, then was later removed during the Liturgical Reform of Vatican II. However, Pope John Paull II asked that Christians re-embrace the daily practice of this prayer by Pope Leo XIII:
“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 thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls.
We can also address daily prayers of consecration to St. Michael, for ourselves or for our families.
Saint Michael the Archangel is celebrated at many points during the year, the main event taking place on 29 September at the Feast of the Archangels. There are many prayers that can be said on that occasion: we can pray a Novena from the 21 to September 29, as there are many novenas to St. Michael and the other Angels. We can also address our prayer intentions for the sick, the Church, for personal matters, etc.
Furthermore, Saint Michael is celebrated on May 6, the day of his apparition on Mount Gargano (a special hymn is recited or sung on this occasion). He is also celebrated in Orthodox tradition on September 6 to commemorate his miracle at Chonae, and in France on October 16 for his apparition on Mont-Saint-Michel.
Discover this beautiful novena to St. Michael the Archangel with Hozana. Hozana is a social network designed to help you grow your faith with other Christians around the world. With Hozana, you can find numerous spiritual programs that will help you practice daily prayer and enrich your oratory content. Discover and join communities dedicated to the Saints : meditate on the words of the Fathers of the Church, pray daily for the intercession of St. Joseph, learn more about the holy servants of God by spending a week with the Saints, and more!