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. EDMUND CAMPION
St. Edmund lived in the sixteenth century. He was a very popular young English student who was a great speaker.
St. Bibiana's father Flavian had been prefect of the city of Rome in early Christian times.
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary, was born at Xavier Castle in Spain in 1506.
ST. JOHN DAMASCENE
St. John lived in the eighth century. He was born in the city of Damascus of a good Christian family
St. Sabas, born in 439, is one of the most famous monks of Palestine.
St. Nicholas is the great patron of children and of Christmas giving.
St. Ambrose was born around 340. He was the son of the Roman governor of Gaul.
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY
Our first parents offended God by sinning seriously.
BLESSED JUAN DIEGO
St. Juan Diego is well-known because the Mother of God appeared to him.
ST. JOHN ROBERTS
St. John was born in Wales in 1577. Although he was not a Catholic, he was taught by an elderly priest.
ST. DAMASUS I
ST. Damasus was born in Rome and lived in the fourth century-exciting times for the Church.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
We celebrate the event of Mary's appearances on Tepyac Hill in Mexico.
St. Lucy, the beloved saint, lived in Syracuse, Sicily. She was born toward the end of the third century.
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
St. John was born in Spain in 1542. He was the son of a weaver.
St. Nino was a Christian girl who lived in the fourth century.
St. Adelaide was born in 931. At the age of sixteen, this Burgundian princess was married to King Lothair.
St. Olympias was born around the year 361. She belonged to a great family of Constantinople.
St. Flannan lived around the seventh century. He was the son of an Irish chieftain named Turlough. Flannan was educated by the monks.
BLESSED URBAN V
Blessed Urban's name before he became pope was William de Grimoard.
ST. DOMINIC OF SILOS
St. Dominic, a Spanish shepherd boy, was born at the beginning of the eleventh century.
ST. PETER CANISIUS
ST. Peter, a Dutch man, was born in 1521. His father wanted him to be a lawyer.
ST. CHAEREMON AND ST. ISCHYRION AND OTHER MARTYRS
The third century was marked by Roman persecutions of the Church.
ST. JOHN OF KANTY
St. John, the Polish saint, was born in 1390, the son of good country folk.
ST. MARGUERITE D'YOUVILLE
St. Marguerite was born in Quebec, Canada, on October 15, 1701.
St. Charbel was born Youssef Makhlouf on May 8, 1828, in a mountain village in Lebanon.
CHRISTMAS, THE BIRTHDAY OF JESUS
The time had come for the Son of God to become man for love of us.
St. Stephen's name means crown. He was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown.
ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE
St. John was a fisherman in Galilee. He was called to be an apostle.
THE HOLY INNOCENTS
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Wise Men came from the east to worship him.
ST. THOMAS BECKET
St. Thomas Becket was born in 1118, in London, England.
St. Anysia lived in Thessalonica toward the end of the second century.
St. Sylvester dates back to early Christian times, to the reign of Constantine.
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?