Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Archangels

I found myself in a funny situation after wishing a happy feast day for Saint Michael the Archangel: my DMs become flooded with requests for source info on Michael the Archangel. I was stumbling a bit in my responses because I grew up Catholic and I have known Saint Michael since my childhood. He has been a part of my life like a distant relative I could call upon for help. Along with the fact that I also went to Catholic school where I learned the lives of the Saints and their works. I tend to forget that others are not so well informed. 

The Archangel Michael holds a high status in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam; he is even known within the context of Haitian Vodou oftentimes syncretized with a lwa named Agarou Wedo. To cover him completely would be worthy of a short book or pamphlet. However for the sake of brevity I am going to narrow his scope to the Roman Catholic lore and practices. I'll leave it to the reader to decide how far down the rabbit hole they wish to go.

An entity named Michael is mentioned Biblically in  in both the Old and New Testament. He is mentioned three times by name in the Book of Daniel as the Defender of Israel who will be present at the end of days. This  understanding of Michael carries forth into the New Testament in the Book of Revelation where he casts Satan back into the pit. This would become the popularized image of Michael that would carry on for centuries into today. 

Saint Michael would become the guardian saint of the Roman Catholic Church and even be invoked in the Tridentine Liturgy. This falls in line with his previous understanding within Judaism as the Defender of Israel. His image would be an import part of the construction of early churches, considered necessary in the warding off of evil. His cults were some of the earliest to form in early forms of Christianity. 

His influence has been attributed to many important and popular saints today including Saint Joan of Arc, who was first visited by Michael in a vision. This vision would eventually lead to her carrying a banner before the French army leading them to many victories. Saint Francis of Assisi also greatly venerated Saint Michael. in his devotions to Michael he would fast for forty days from the Feast of the Assumption ending on the Feast Day of Saint Michael.

Michael is considered to be the patron of soldiers, police officers, peace keepers, and military personnel. This comes as little surprise as he is portrayed as a great and powerful guardian and warrior. Those that work in fields of high risk should either wear a blessed medallion or scapular of St Michael for extra protection. He is also the angel that is featured on the Judgement card in the Tarot.

I could carry on with various visions and legends, but I'm sure most want some meat and potatoes on how to call upon Saint Michael. I would first refer you to this blog post. I would point out that Michael has particularly fierce and fiery energies, because of this you may want to work with the color white. There are several devotions for Saint Michael that are quite useful in establishing a new relationship with him. The first is The Chaplet of Saint Michael which was a revelation to a nun and approved by Pope Pius IX. The second is a litany, because I really enjoy the power that litanies conjure

The Chaplet of St. Michael

O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.

[Say one Our Father and three Hail Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine Choirs of Angels]

1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. 

2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection. 

3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. 

4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions. 

5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. 

6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. 

7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. 

8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven. 

9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven. 

Say one Our Father in honor of each of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and our Guardian Angel.

Concluding prayers:

O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.

Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence. This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. 

The Litany of Saint Michael

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us. (repeat after each line)
God, the Son, the Redeemer of the world,
God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Holy Mary, Queen of Angels, pray for us. (repeat after each line)
Saint Michael,
Saint Michael, abundant font of divine wisdom,
Saint Michael, most perfect adorer of the Divine Word,
Saint Michael, whom God crowned with honor and glory,
Saint Michael, most powerful Prince of the heavenly host,
Saint Michael, standard-bearer of the Most Holy Trinity,
Saint Michael, guardian of Paradise,
Saint Michael, guide and consoler of the People of God,
Saint Michael, splendor and fortitude of the Church Militant,
Saint Michael, honor and joy of the Church Triumphant,
Saint Michael, light of the Angels, 
Saint Michael, protection of orthodox people,
Saint Michael, strength of those who fight under the standard of the Cross,
Saint Michael, light and hope of souls near death,
Saint Michael, our most sure aid,
Saint Michael, help in our adversities,
Saint Michael, herald of the everlasting judgment,
Saint Michael, consoler of souls languishing in purgatory,
Saint Michael, receiver of the souls of the elect after death,
Saint Michael, our prince, 
Saint Michael, our defender,
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Pray for us Saint Michael the Archangel
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, may your continual blessing sanctify us, and grant us through the intercession of Saint Michael the wisdom that teaches us to lay up our treasure in Heaven and choose eternal goods over those of this world. Thou, who lives and reigns forever. Amen

No comments:

Post a Comment