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
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA
Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma
St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day Bavaria.
St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin."
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL
St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve.
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died.
ST. MARIA GORETTI
St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria was already very pretty.
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY
These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution by Queen Elizabeth I.
BLESSED EUGENE III
Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century. He was baptized Peter.
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS.
St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during the second century.
St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family. His life was full of adventure and wonderful deeds.
ST. JOHN GAULBERT
St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only brother, Hugh, was murdered.
ST. HENRY II.
St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him.
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk chief.
St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John.
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg.
ST. LEO IV.
St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica.
St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts.
St. Macrina was the first child of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia.
St. Charbel was born to a poor Maronite Family on May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Biqa-Kafra, Lebanon.
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI.
St. Lawrence was born Caesar Rossi in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy.
ST. MARY MAGDALENE.
St. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. Some people identify her as a well-known sinner when she first saw Our Lord.
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN.
St. Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the passion of Jesus.
ST. BORIS AND ST. GLEB
St. Boris and St. Gleb, the brothers, were born toward the end of the tenth century.
ST. JAMES THE GREATER
St. James was a fisherman like his father Zebedee and his brother John.
ST. JOACHIM AND ST. ANNE
St. Anne and St. Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century.
St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus.
ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS
St. Peter Chrysologus was born in the small town of Imola, Italy.
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
St. Ignatius, the famous founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491.
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?