St. Michael the Archangel was officially proclaimed the Patron Saint of the Paratroopers during the Second World War. There are many prayers dedicated to the Archangel, for his intercession is a powerful and a greatly symbolic tool. Learn more about the history of his patronage!
In the Book of Revelation, St. John witnesses the war in Heaven, where St. Michael leads God’s army in the battle against the Dragon, Satan. Much like the Paratroopers, Saint Michael descended from Heaven along his army of Angels, ready to fight. The army stayed with that imagery and applied it to the airborne forces, it became natural to consider St. Michael as the Patron Saint and the protector of the Paratroopers.
It was the French ‘1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment’ (1 RCP) that first officially designed St. Michael as its patron saint in 1943. Father Jego, a military chaplain serving in a battalion of the 1st RCP declared that “St. Michael guides us in battle, both internal and external: these are the battles of our human lives”.
French paratroopers traditionally conclude their speech by saying “And by the grace of St. Michael, long live the paratroopers!” in homage to the priest Jego, who reportedly ended his sermon in 1948 with those same words. In the United States, paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division make a yearly jump at Fort Bragg in honor of their patron saint! Before this yearly event, the paratroopers must have spiritual fitness training with their unit chaplain. The goal is to develop spiritual resiliency by instilling hope, encouragement and courage within the unit of paratroopers with prayer and airborne training.
In our times of needs, asking for the intercession of Saints can be a huge relief, and so is turning to our brothers and sisters to pray as a community. Ask St. Michael for his protection by praying this beautiful novena. With Hozana, you have access to various spiritual programs designed to help you practice daily prayer and to enrich your oratory content. Spend a week praying with the saints, reflect on the words of the Fathers of the Church, meditate on the daily Gospel, and more!