A Story of St. Michael — 5

Saint Albert, having built on Mount Tomb the sanctuary demanded by the Archangel, sent two canons to seek relics at Mount Gargono in Italy. They brought back a fragment of the veil that Saint Michael had placed on the altar of the crypt, and a piece of the marble on which he had left an imprint of his foot.

At the passage of these precious gifts, the crowds were roused and their confidence in Saint Michael obtained for many of the sick healing of their infirmities. Among other marvels, a dozen blindmen recovered their sight. A miracle bursting forth close to the mountain. A poor woman of the village Asteriac was following the procession, but she moaned as she could see nothing. But all of a sudden, her eyes were opened; Surprised to see so suddenly, and delighted by all that struck her eyes, she exclaimed: “Qu’il fait beau voir!”  that is “It is beautiful to see!”

According to tradition, this miracle and this cry have given the village the name Beauvoir by which it is know even to this day.

It is beautiful to see! This is the cry of the believer who is illuminated by the angel of light.

 

Prayer :

Glorious Archangel, you who are the Prince of Light, defend our faith against the plots of the spirit of darkness, illuminate us always, so that, walking by the light of the Divine flame, we will never lose sight of the Master that we must serve, the way that we have to follow, and the good that we are obliged to practice. Thus, we have hope that we may merit to be lead by you into the heavenly light. Amen.

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St. Michael — Angel of Light

The men of our times are absorbed in the preoccupations of life, carried away by the current of present things, not seeing anything beyond pleasures, riches, honours, earthly aspirations. Their life is assuredly a life without light; it is the plaything of false flickers, of false mirages, of deceiving illusions.

Our scientists have made marvelous discoveries, but not in the low places or the high have they found God. Nowhere have they discerned His presence or His action. They lack the ray that descends from above and makes creation appear to them in its true glory: it becomes the mirror of things Divine, a book full of God.

Men, hungry for pleasure, bend their knees before creatures, asking them for happiness. But there they meet devouring anxieties and profound bitterness. They lack the light of Christ which allows them to comprehend the human heart, this heart which is capable of infinite aspirations and which only God can satisfy.

If a heart thirsts for happiness, the spirit thirsts for light. The Truth is his need, his life. Without it, he suffers and languishes, as all of nature suffers and languishes when the sun disappears below the horizon. But how many men do not discern the Truth, and how many ask where it is? Like a blindman, they ask: “What is the sun and what benefit does it carry to the world” ! They lack the light of the Truth which delivers and saves, which dispels all clouds and pierces all darkness.

To those who can no longer distinguish the Truth, we add those who do not know anymore what is good and what is evil. Are we not at a time where all Truth is diminished? The world makes its own gospel and moral code, where every vice finds a pretext or an excuse. The world lacks the Divine light which shows the good and helps one love it, it shows the bad and makes one hate it.

In the midst of this darkness, which grows stronger every day, wrapping society and carrying gloom into souls, Saint Michael shines before Christian eyes, the pure light of the Faith: he is the angel of light, the angel of Faith. Saint John speaks of him when he says, “I have seen the angel whose face shone like the sun.” God clothed him with the light of which the fallen angel had, until then, been the brilliant focus; and powerfully reflecting the Divine Light, he is charged with projecting it by a marvellous shining throughout the entirety of creation.

The rebellious angel pursues his goal relentlessly; to throw spirits into doubt, into incredulity; he is the angel of deceit, the angel of darkness. His eternal conqueror foils his black plots by spreading the light everywhere: he illuminates souls, dispels their uncertainty, and makes them blossom in supernatural clarity. In heaven, at the cry of saint Michael, the light emerges dazzling, and the angels see God in the midst of His unalterable glory; they believe and they adore.

Practice: Let us guard our Faith and let us avoid anything that could obscure the  Divine sun in our souls.

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A Story of St. Michael - 4

In 590, the plague was desolating the city of Rome in a most terrible way. Pope Saint Gregory called the people into a procession. Inspired by Heaven, he took in his hands, the image of the Mother of God, and barefoot, shoulders covered with penitential sackcloth, he traveled throughout the city. He arrived at the pier of the Adrian sea, then he heard in the air marvelous voices; it was the angels chanting the Regina Caeli. The Pontiff raised his voice to join in supplication: “Pray to God for us.” At that instant, an angel appeared on the top of the mausoleum: he held in his hand a naked sword and placed it back in its sheath; God had mercy and it was through the intercession of Mary that Michael, the minister of Divine Justice, replaced the sword of vengence.

 

Prayer :

August Queen of Heaven, Sovereign Mistress of the Angels, you who from the beginning have received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly ask of you, send the holy legions, so that, under your orders and through your strength, they may pursue the demons and battle them everywhere. Saint Michael, defend us. Amen.

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St. Michael – Knight of Our Lady

At the name of Jesus, every knee bends. One could say that at the name of Mary, all heads incline. At this name, hearts are gently moved. It is the name of a queen and a mother. Men give her the sweet name of mother. The angels could also give it to her. It is for them as for men, the source of grace and supernatural glory in the Heart of Jesus. One could say that for them as for us, Mary is the Mother of Divine Grace.

Who can express the respect of the angels for their queen, their love for Mary?

Saint Michael, without any doubt, is distinguished in the expression of this respect and of this love. We could say that he is glorified in being the Knight of Mary.

From the first, he has recognized it. He has understood that due to her incomparable dignity as the Mother of the Word Made Flesh, she would become the Queen of all creatures, his queen therefore, and as a loyal knight, he bows before her. It was for her as for the Word Incarnate that he battled against Lucifer.

If he was not her guardian angel on earth, a place that seems to have been reserved for the Archangel Gabriel, he approaches it very closely. Was he not a happy witness to the divine conception of her Son, and did he not become then the vigilant guardian of the blessed fruit of her chaste womb? At the Nativity, he hurried to adore his master in the arms of His mother and placed all his zeal at the service of the Holy Family. It is he who came to say to Joseph: “Take the child and His mother and leave”, and it is thanks to him that the Dragon could not attempt anything against the Woman and her Son.

The Holy Virgin does not officially appear in the presence of an angel but one time: that is, the day of the Annunciation. To find her in the company of the angels, we need to go to her final days on earth and to her glorious Assumption.

An angel, says one pious legend, came to announce to Mary her blessed deliverance. She asked him his name. “I am called the Great, the Marvelous, the Admirable,” he responded. This name suits Saint Michael.

At the hour of her death, the august Virgin laid upon her bed. Jesus assisted, surround by a train of angels. At the invitation of Jesus Christ, the soul of Mary left her body, Saint Michael received it and carried it to Heaven. “The Lord Jesus appeared,” said Gregory of Tours, “and welcomed the soul of His mother which He then confided to the Archangel Michael.”

Soon, according to Tradition, the soul of Mary regained possession of her body, and the Virgin gloriously left her tomb, to be seated on the throne which He had prepared in the heights of Heaven: she was transported there by angels.

Every queen wears at the front of her crown, a symbol of her sovereignty. The queen of Heaven received a royal tiara. Some engravings showing to us the glorious coronation of Mary, Christ placing the crown on the head of His mother, with the help of His angel.

In devotion to the Blessed Virgin, Saint Michael is our model. He teaches us to honour her, to serve her, and to love her. Let us ask of him the same sentiments for this august Queen.

Practice: Let us pray to the Holy Virgin with confidence, one never invokes her in vain.

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A Story of St. Michael - 3

In York, in England, during the time of the Protestant persecution, the police came down to make a search of a convent. The agents went first to the chapel with the purpose of profaning the Sacred Species. Guessing their sacrilegious aim, the superior ran there and seizing the ciborium concealed it under her cloak. Suddenly, a thought of hope shone in her soul. She seized a statue of Saint Michael and placed it at the entrance of the Oratory. “Mighty God,” she cried, “save yourself, we cannot save you!”  The mob rushed toward them, but in the presence of the statue of the Archangel, they remained as ones forbidden and were unable to advance. The cries stopped, the most audacious recoiled, and this satanic horde was driven back into the street. In an instant, the house was empty and the Sisters were saved.

Saint Michael showed himself the Defender of the Eucharist and the Protector of the Spouses of Christ.

Prayer :

O Saint Michael, who adores the hidden God and presents at the sublime altar the Holy Offering: awaken our faith, fortify our hope, arouse our love, so that with you and like you, we may adore Him who immolates Himself for us and that we may participate more efficaciously in the Holy Mysteries, so that they may apply to us more fully the merits of the Passion of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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ST. MICHAEL – ANGEL OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST

Jesus Christ left us words that remain a consolation and strength to his disciples “I am with you even until the consummation of the world.” He resides among us; His house is the tabernacle. It is there that He is delighted to live among the children of men. It is there that we go to visit Him and pray to Him.

Why should the guardian angel of the mortal life of our Savior not now be the guardian angel of his Eucharist life? Without a doubt, he is standing at the entrance of the sanctuary with a flaming sword in hand like the cherubim stand at the entrance to Paradise.

When the Faithful approach to receive Communion: the Archangel smiles at the soul which presents itself to its God animated by faith, purity, and love. Is it not promised that he who would render Him worship of the nine greetings, would have, on his way to the Holy Table, a train of nine angels chosen from the nine choirs?

When the priest ascends to the altar, the Archangel is witness to the great action that is accomplished there. The Church tells us that he stands to the right of the altar. When, at the words of the priest, the Divine Victim descends upon the altar, the Churches recites by her minister profoundly bowing, this significant invocation: “Almighty God, command that these mysterious offerings be carried by the hands of your holy angel to your altar on high.”

This marvellous mission has been given to Saint Michael by unequivocal proof. Pope Saint Leo, in offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,  saw one day, at the moment of this invocation, Saint Michael descending to the altar, taking the Holy Host and carrying it to Heaven, he laid it upon the celestial altar where Jesus is constantly in immolation before His Father, and after a few moments, returning it to the altar and saying to him: “This that I have come to make manifest before your eyes, I have done every day so many times; Jesus, my Master, immolates Himself by the sword of the word that puts Him into the hands of his ministers.”

When we assist at the Holy Mass, let us consider the great role of Saint Michael and let us ask him to carry before the throne of God, at the same time as the holy Oblation, our wishes and prayers.  

Practice: Let us impress upon ourselves a holy respect when we enter into the church and let us assist at the Holy Mass with a steadfast devotion.

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A Story of St. Michael – 2

The Church, around the 5th century, had a particular need for the protection of St. Michael: the barbarians arrived, the Roman Empire collapsed under their attacks and the new beginning was charged with thunderstorms. To guard Rome, the seat of the Papacy, St. Michael descended to a peninsula of Italy at the border of the Adriatic Sea, in front of the Orient— the cradle of heresies and the land of the Saracens who would be for a long time the terror of civilised Europe.

A rich man from Siponte noticed the disappearance of an ox from his herd while he was bringing them to graze on the sides of Mount Gargano. He sought it, and found it at the summit of the mountain, at the entrance of an inaccessible cavern. He shot an arrow at the ox, but, o the prodigy! The arrow returned and injured himself. The man consulted the Bishop who ordered prayers and fastings. Then the Prince of the Angels appeared and told him: “I am the Archangel Michael. I have chosen this place for my honour, I will be the Protector and Guardian forever.”  The Sipontians come in crowds to see this blessed place. “He who has built this shrine,” said the Archangel to the Bishop, “he himself consecrates it. You will see a sign of the miraculous consecration.”  On entering the grotto, the Bishop found a purple coat and recognized it as the place where the Archangel placed his foot.

The Church remembers this apparition on the 8th of May. 

Prayer :

We beg you, invincible Prince, help the people of God and give them victory! This people venerates you as their protector and their patron, the Church prides herself on having you to defend against the powers of Hell. To you, God has granted the care of conducting the armies of the Celestial Beatitude. Pray, therefore, the God of peace to put under our feet, Satan, defeated and downcast, that he may no longer restrain men in slavery nor cause harm to the Church. Amen.

(Taken from a prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII)

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St. Michael – Protector of the Church

In the new law, St. Michael remains the strong arm of God, the worker of divine triumphs. He has lead the Hebrew people to the cradle of the Messiah. He takes, at this crib, the new people of God: he will protect them until the end of time.

The Church knows St. Michael as her guardian angel and special patron. She has declared this in her liturgy in these terms: “The Church of God, like the ancient Synagogue, honors in St. Michael, her Guardian and her Protector.”  This is just, because the protection of St. Michael has never failed her. The Archangel, in fact, delivered St. Peter from prison and stayed faithful to the Church in her long martyrdom over the first three centuries during frightful times of persecutions, where he has borne the terrible shock of riotous passions and hell conjured forth.

He shone before the delighted eyes of Constantine the sign of victory and stopped at the gates of Rome the hordes of savages lead by Attila, the scourge of God. This is why Pope St. Leo IV called him to his aid when the Saracens invaded Italy. Through diverse ages of history, when the enemies approach Rome, it is in the strength of this Holy Angel, that the Popes confidently take refuge. When the entirety of Christianity raised itself to deliver the tomb of Jesus Christ, the Archangel came to assist their armies. When Selim advanced across the world with a imposing fleet? It is, without a doubt, the Holy Virgin of the Rosary who, at Lepanto, gave victory to the Catholic armies; it is not reckless, however, to involve St. Michael: he was watching over Italy from the heights of Mount Gargano.

St. Michael assists the Church in peaceful conquests which call for the conversion of the people. St. Boniface invoked him in on the plains of Germany. Charlemagne, a true solder of the Church, walked the standard of the Archangel across Europe which he gained to the Faith. Pope John XXII gave him central Asia to protect. St. Francis Xavier confided Japan to him.

It is impossible to recall all of the marvelous facts attributed to the intercession of St. Michael. It will suffice us to say that in all his works, the Church is pleased to repeat the words of Daniel: “I have no other help in my adversities than St. Michael”.

The time where we live is, for the Church, a formidable period of crisis, there is good reason to tremble. However, let us not fear, under his protection, the Church will continue to enlighten the world and to save it!

Practice:   Let us often pray for the Holy Church so that God will deliver her from her enemies.

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A Story of St. Michael

Saint Michael is seen as the angelic protector of the people of God. His first manifestation is related in the Holy Bible.

Abraham is seated at the door of his tent when three young men appear before him. They have an appearance so full of dignity and majesty that the Patriarch rising immediately, prostrates himself before them. He addresses himself to the one between the other two as this man seems the greater and more remarkable, and it is he who speaks in return. He announces to Abraham the birth of a son and the chastisement of Sodom whose crimes call to heaven for Divine vengeance.

It is permissible to think, that it is with Saint Michael that Abraham had this conversation so simple and so familiar, where Abraham asked for mercy, for the lives of the guilty.

God is a Father, He is always more disposed to pardon than to punish. May He find among us enough holy men to disarm his anger!

Prayer :

O glorious Saint Michael, you who, at the head of the faithful angels, bend your knee before our Lord Jesus, make your homages and adoration burst forth with new strength in exchange for the outrages and blasphemies whose object is this divine Savior. Take in hand this cause: to obtain for us to serve God better, that we may cooperate with you in humbling His enemies prostrate before the throne of His Divine Majesty!  Amen.

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St Michael - God's Champion

At the dawn of time, God was alone with his angels. He had created a multitude to surround His throne, sing His glory, adore His majesty. But it pleased Him to put them under a test. He wished to reward their fidelity by confirming them in glory and happiness.

What was this test? Many theologians have thought that God, lifting before them a corner of the horizon  of times to come, showed them the Word Made Flesh: “Behold,” He said, “He whom I have chosen to inherit all things. His throne will be eternal, He will sit on my right.” And while they gazed astonished, a voice was heard “Let all adore Him”.

At this order, the head of the angelic cohorts, Lucifer, is angry and indignant: “To adore,” he said, “is to abase myself, I cannot accept this humiliation. God takes, to raise unto Himself, a creature of an inferior order, eh? Well, me as well, I will go up, I will raise my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mountain of alliance and I will be like the Most High.”  These proud thoughts inspire him to cry in revolt “I will not serve.” This cry finds an echo in the celestial armies, Lucifer rallies the revolutionaries and they fly to the heights.

As they were ascending, an angel standing in front of them, issued a call of fidelity, “Who, therefore, is like God?” This was the signal for a great battle.

The outcome could not be doubted. Soon there would remain none in the sky, but the champion of the rights of God and the army of faithful angels whom he lead to victory; an abyss of fire was opened and engulfed the rebels. The test had passed, the hour of recompense had come. The angel whose fidelity and valour had been so pointed, became the specially favoured of God. He is given his name, this name of Michael which is his glory, because it is the same expression in his call to battle “Quis ut Deus?”.  He is also established as the Chief of the Heavenly Armies, the prince of angels!

The time of life for all of us, is the time of testing. Let us remember, then, the fidelity of Saint Michael, his war cry and his triumph. Let our lips invoke his name, this name so terrible to hell since it is by this name tht the strength of Satan was broken, and let our hearts echo his cry of victory “Who is like God?” We will traverse without fail the days of our testing, and we will acquire the rights of reward promised to the valiant.

Following the example of Saint Michael, let us defend the rights of God when they are attacked before us.

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