HOW THE PRAYER OF ST. MICHAEL
CAME TO BE WRITTEN
is impossible to understand why the prayer to St. Michael came to
be omitted after all Low Masses on Sunday, especially now when we
need the protection of this angelic warrior more than at an other
time in history. We wish the Church authorities would reinstate
the great prayer to St. Michael, and perhaps that would happen if
we respectfully petitioned of bishops. In the meantime, we can all
say the prayer privately in our homes, chapels and churches. We
need this prince of the heavenly host in the present struggle.
Leo XIII, realizing by Divine enlightenment the present and future
struggles of the Church against the powers of hell, felt convinced
that through the intervention of St. Michael, hell would be conquered,
and the Church restored to peace and liberty. He therefore composed
a prayer in honor of the warrior archangel, and ordered it to be
recited daily after Los Mass in all the churches throughout the
This is how this
prayer came to be written: It is said that one day having celebrated
the Holy Sacrifice, the aged Pontiff Leo XIII was in conference
with the Cardinals. Suddenly he sank to the floor in a deep swoon.
Physicians who hastened to his side feared that he had already expired,
for they could find no trace of his pulse. However, after a short
interval the Holy Father rallied, and opening his eyes exclaimed
with great emotion: "Oh what a horrible picture I was permitted
to see!" He had been shown in spirit the tremendous activities
of the evil spirits and their ravings against the Church. But in
the midst of this vision of horror he had also beheld consoling
visions of the glorious Archangel Michael, who had appeared and
cast Satan and his legions back into the abyss of hell. Soon afterward
he composed the well-known prayer.
We know that
the gates of hell shall never prevail against the Church, for Our
Lord has promised to be with her till the end of time, but we must
do our part in defending her cause. God might cast the angels down
to hell by a single act of His will, but He chose rather to send
against them His armies of loyal spirits, under the leadership of
the great St. Michael. So too, in the present critical times, He
could confound the enemies of the Church by merely willing to do
so. But He wills, rather, that we should cooperate in her defense,
under the leadership of the great captain of the heavenly hosts.
John Paul II (St. Peter's Square, Sunday, April 24 1994):
strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the
Letter to the Ephesians: "Draw strength from the Lord and from
His mighty power" (Ephesians 6:10). The Book of Revelation
refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image
of St. Michael the Archangel (Revelation 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly
had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of
the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St. Michael
throughout the Church. Although this prayer is no longer recited
at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite
it to obtain help in the battle against forces of darkness and against
the spirit of this world."
OF THE SAINTS
ALL SAINTS' DAY
This feast day grew out of the love and devotion of God's people.
ALL SOULS' DAY
This feast day is one of the most loving celebrations in all the Church's liturgy.
ST. MARTIN DE PORRES
St. Martin was born in Lima, Peru, in 1579.
ST. CHARLES BORROMEO
St. Charles lived in the sixteenth century. He was the son of a rich Italian count.
St. Bertilla lived in the seventh century. The first biography of her life appeared in Latin in the year 800.
ST. THEOPHANE VENARD
St. Theophane, he holy French priest, dreamed of being a martyr even as a youngster.
St. Willibrord was born in England in 658.
St. Godfrey lived in the twelfth century. He received his education from the monks of Mont-Saint-Quentin. Godfrey became a monk and a priest.
ST. THEODORE TIRO
St. Theodore lived in the third century.
ST. LEO THE GREAT
St. Leo, a Roman, lived in the fifth century. At the death of Pope Sixtus, he became pope.
ST. MARTIN OF TOURS
St. Martin, the soldier saint lived in the fourth century.
St. Josaphat was born in the Ukraine and baptized John in 1580.
ST. FRANCES XAVIER CABRINI
St. Frances was born on July 15, 1850. As a child growing up in Italy, she dreamed about being a missionary to China.
ST. LAWRENCE O'TOOLE
St. Lawrence was born in Ireland in 1128. He was the son of a chief.
ST. ALBERT THE GREAT
St. Albert lived in the thirteenth century. He was born in a castle on the Danube River in Swabia (southwest Germany).
ST. MARGARET OF SCOTLAND
St. Margaret was an English princess born in 1046.
St. Gertrude entered a convent in Saxony when she was very young.
ST. ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY
St. Elizabeth, the daughter of the king of Hungary was born in 1207.
ST. ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE
St. Rose labored for Jesus in the United States. She was born into a wealthy French family in 1769.
St. Nerses lived in fourth-century Armenia. He was an official in the court of King Arshak.
St. Edmund was an English king who lived in the ninth century.
PRESENTATION OF MARY
When she was only three years old, the Blessed Virgin Mary was taken to the Temple.
St. Cecilia, the patroness of music lived in early times. What we know about her goes back to the fourth century.
St. Columban, the most famous of the Irish missionary-monks, lived in the seventh century.
BLESSED MIGUEL AUGUSTIN PRO
Blessed Miguel Pro was born in Guadalupe, Mexico, in 1891. He was destined to become a martyr of the twentieth century.
ST. ANDREW DUNG-LAC AND COMPANIONS
Christian missionaries first brought the Catholic faith to Vietnam during the sixteenth century.
ST. CATHERINE LABOURE
St. Catherine was born Zoe Laboure in 1806. She was the daughter of a French farmer.
ST. CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA
St. Catherine lived in early Christian times. She was the daughter of a wealthy pagan couple of Alexandria, Egypt.
ST. JOHN BERCHMANS
St. John, the Belgian saint once said, "If I do not become a saint when I am young, I shall never become one.
ST. JAMES INTERCISUS
St. James was a Persian who lived in the fifth century. He was a great favorite of King Yezdigerd I.
BLESSED FRANCIS ANTHONY OF LUCERA
Blessed Francis born in 1681, was nicknamed Johnny as a child. He was the son of an Italian farmer.
St. Andrew, like his brother, Simon Peter, was a fisherman. He became a disciple of the great St. John the Baptist.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?