Though September 29 is the feast day where we celebrate Michael the Archangel (Michaelmas) May 8 is the feast day of the apparition of St. Michael on Mount Gargano, in Italy.
It is an important event, as this is the oldest apparition of the Archangel to ever be recorded. This celebration is also more specific to St. Michael, as September 29 is the feast day of all the Archangels, whereas the festivities of May 8 are exclusively dedicated to the Archangel Michael. There are many prayers dedicated to St. Michael: discover the beautiful hymn of the Roman Breviary, recited at the Vespers of his Feast day.
During the traditional feast day on May 8, a special hymn of Roman Liturgy is recited at Vespers to commemorate and to honor St. Michael the Archangel:
“O Jesus, life-spring of the soul, the Father's power and glory bright!
Thee with the angels we extol; from Thee they draw their life and light.
Thy thousand, thousand hosts are spread, embattled o'er the azure sky;
But Michael bears Thy standard dread, and lifts the mighty cross on high.
He in that sign the rebel powers did with their dragon prince expel;
and hurled them from the Heaven's high towers down like a thunderbolt to Hell.
Grant us with Michael still, O Lord! against the prince of pride to fight;
So may a crown be our reward, before the Lamb's pure throne of light.
To God the Father and the Son and Holy Paraclete to Thee,
as evermore hath been before, be glory through eternity.
The apparition of St. Michael Archangel on Mount Gargano (Southern Italy) happened in 492. As the story would have it, one day, a stray bull found its way inside a cave at the top of Mount Gargano.
The animal had entangled itself in some plants, and ended up stuck by his horns. Nobody dared approach to free it; the bull was struggling too hard. It was eventually decided to put the beast down. But, when the arrow that was fired to do the deed miraculously turned right back to wound its archer, the whole assembly was overcome by awe and fear.
Three days later, the Archangel Michael appeared to the town’s bishop to tell him that he was the protector of the sacred cave, and that it was a place of worship. The bishop and the townspeople walked back to the cave to pray. At the same time, the neighboring village of Siponto was under siege. Miraculously, its people won the battle against the invaders, who fled at the sight of a large and dark storm that formed at the mount’s summit. To thank its protector, the inhabitants covered the cave with marble and built a Church at its top.
As the story tells us, St. Michael’s protection is quite powerful. This is why Catholic tradition is greatly devoted to the Archangel, and there are many prayers of consecration to him: more than being the protector of the Church, St. Michael is the patron of the country of France!
With Hozana, you have access to a wide variety of spiritual programs: there are many communities dedicated to praying to the angels and the Saints. Ask for their intercession every day along with other Christians around the world, let yourself be protected by the angel St. Michael by praying a novena, turn to St. Rita in your times of need, and more!