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.
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.