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
ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER
This is St. Joseph's second feast day on the Church calendar of celebrations. We honor him also on March 19. St. Joseph is a very important saint.
St. Athanasius was born around 297 in Alexandria, Egypt. He devoted his life to proving that Jesus is truly God.
ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES
Both of these saints were part of the original group of Jesus' twelve apostles.
BLESSED MARIE-LEONIE PARADIS
Blessed Marie-Elodie Paradis was born in the village of L'Acadie in Quebec, Canada. It was May 12, 1840.
ST. JUDITH OF PRUSSIA
St. Judith lived in the thirteenth century. She was born in Thuringia. This was in what is now central Germany. She wanted to model her life on the example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.
BLESSED FRANCOIS DE MONTMORENCY LAVAL
Blessed Francois was the first bishop of Quebec City, Canada. He was born in 1623 in a small town in France.
BLESSED ROSE VENERINI
Blessed Rose was born in Viterbo, Italy, in 1656. Her father was a physician. Rose entered the convent but returned home after a few months.
BLESSED CATHERINE OF ST. AUGUSTINE
St. Catherine was born on May 3, 1632, in a little village in France. She was baptized the same day.
BLESSED NICHOLAS ALBERGATI
Blessed Nicholas was born in Bologna, Italy. Nicholas' family could afford to send him to the university where he began to study law.
St. Antoninus lived in the fifteenth century. Even as a boy he showed that he had good sense and will power.
ST. IGNATIUS OF LACONI
St. Ignatius was the son of a poor farmer in Laconi, Italy. He was born on December 17, 1701.
ST. NEREUS, ST. ACHILLEUS AND ST. PANCRAS
Sts. Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers who died around 304. They were probably Praetorian guards under Emperor Trajan. We know little else about them.
ST. ANDREW FOURNET
St. Andrew Fournet was born on December 6, 1752. He was from Maille, a little town near Poitiers, in France. Andrew's parents were religious people.
St. Matthias was one of Our Lord's seventy-two disciples.
ST. ISIDORE THE FARMER
Saint Isidore was born in 1070, in Madrid, Spain. His parents were deeply religious. They named their son after the great St. Isidore, archbishop of Seville, Spain.
St. Ubald lived in twelfth-century Italy. He was an orphan raised by his uncle, a bishop. Ubald was given a good education.
ST. PASCHAL BAYLON
St. Paschal, a Spanish saint, was born in 1540. From the time he was seven, he worked as a shepherd. He never had the opportunity to go to school.
ST. JOHN I
St. John I was a priest of Rome. He became pope after the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. At that time, Italy's ruler, Theodoric the Goth, was an Arian.
ST. CELESTINE V
Peter di Morone was the eleventh of twelve children. He was born around 1210 in Isernia, Italy. His father died when he was small.
ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA
St. Bernardine of Siena was born in 1380 in a town near Siena, Italy. He was the son of an Italian governor.
BLESSED EUGENE DE MAZENOD
Blessed Eugene was born in France in 1782. He became a priest in 1811. Father Eugene was sensitive to the needs of the poor and he ministered to them.
ST. RITA OF CASCIA
St. Rita was born in 1381 in a little Italian village. Her parents were older. They had begged God to send them a child. They brought Rita up well.
ST. JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI
St. John Baptist Rossi was born in 1698 in a village near Genoa, Italy. His family loved him. They were proud when a wealthy couple visiting their town offered to educate him. His parents knew the couple and trusted them.
ST. DAVID I OF SCOTLAND
St. David was born in 1080. He was the youngest son of St. Margaret, queen of Scotland, and her good husband, King Malcom.
Venerable Bede, the English priest, was famous as a saint, a priest, a monk, a teacher and a writer of history. He was born in England in 673.
ST. PHILIP NERI
St. Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, in 1515. As a child, his nickname was "Good little Phil." He was always so jolly and friendly that everyone he met loved him.
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY
St. Augustine was the abbot of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome. Pope St. Gregory the Great chose him and forty other monks for a mission dear to his heart.
BLESSED MARGARET POLE
Blessed Margaret was born in 1471. She was the niece of two English kings, Edward IV and Richard III. Henry VII arranged her marriage to Sir Reginald Pole.
St. Maximinius was a bishop who lived in the fourth century. It is believed that he was born in Poitiers, France. As a young man, he heard of a saintly bishop of Trier, in Gaul.
ST. JOAN OF ARC
St. Joan was born in 1412. Her hometown was Domremy, a little village in France. Jacques d'Arc, her father, was a hard working farmer.
THE VISITATION OF MARY
Visitation means "visit." The Archangel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby.
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?