Saint Michael the Archangel

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    What is Saint Michael the Archangel holding in his right hand and what does it mean? … ichael.jpg


    Andres Ortiz

    Looks like scales to me. Typically represents justice, but I’m not sure if it’s the same in this case.



    I can’t take credit for this, it comes from the 1917 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia (The editon can be found online, and is a great source for determining authentic Catholic teachings vs. false accusations against what some say the Church teaches. But be careful not to quote out of context.)

    Michael (Hebrew “Who is like God?”).

    St. Michael is one of the principal angels; his name was the war-cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against the enemy and his followers. Four times his name is recorded in Scripture:

    (1) Daniel 10:13 sqq., Gabriel says to Daniel, when he asks God to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem: “The Angel [D.V. prince] of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me . . . and, behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me . . . and none is my helper in all these things, but Michael your prince”;

    (2) Daniel 12, the Angel speaking of the end of the world and the Antichrist says: “At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people.”

    (3) In the Catholic Epistle of St. Jude: “When Michael the Archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses”, etc. St. Jude alludes to an ancient Jewish tradition of a dispute between Michael and Satan over the body of Moses, an account of which is also found in the apocryphal book on the assumption of Moses (Origen, “De principiis”, III, 2, 2). St. Michael concealed the tomb of Moses; Satan, however, by disclosing it, tried to seduce the Jewish people to the sin of hero-worship. St. Michael also guards the body of Eve, according to the “Revelation of Moses” (“Apocryphal Gospels”, etc., ed. A. Walker, Edinburgh, p. 647).

    (4) Apocalypse 12:7, “And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon.” St. John speaks of the great conflict at the end of time, which reflects also the battle in heaven at the beginning of time. According to the Fathers there is often question of St. Michael in Scripture where his name is not mentioned. They say he was the cherub who stood at the gate of paradise, “to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24), the angel through whom God published the Decalogue to his chosen people, the angel who stood in the way against Balaam (Numbers 22:22 sqq.), the angel who routed the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35).

    Following these Scriptural passages, Christian tradition gives to St. Michael four offices:

    -To fight against Satan.
    -To rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death.
    -To be the champion of God’s people, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages.
    -To call away from earth and bring men’s souls to judgment (“signifer S. Michael repraesentet eas in lucam sanctam”, Offert. Miss Defunct. “Constituit eum principem super animas suscipiendas”, Antiph. off. Cf. “Hermas”, Pastor, I, 3, Simil. VIII, 3).



    I just purchased a devotional book to St. Michael yesterday. I would like to share a few things I read in it.

    The Church honors St. Michael as one of the most important angels in heaven. Angels are purely spiritual beings, and as such they do not have bodies. These spiritual creatures have intelligence and free will; they are personal and immortal, and surpass in perfection all visible creatures.
    [i:3jfebzzg][color=olive:3jfebzzg](cf. nn. 328, 330. Catechism of the Catholic Church)[/color:3jfebzzg]
    History tells of various saints who have had a great devotion to St. Michael. For example, St. Lawrence Justinian wrote: “Let all acknowledge St. Michael as their protector, and be devoted to him;.. He guards us through life, directs us on our way, and conducts us to our eternal home.” St. Joan of Arc, who had a vision of the archangel, ascribed her vocation and her victories to St. Michael, the patron of France. In the 1880’s, during a difficult period in the Church, Pope Leo XIII decreed that the prayer to St. Michael be recited by all the faithful at the end of the Mass. Although with the renewal of the liturgy this practice has been discontinued, we can still pray privately for St. Michael’s help in overcoming the forces of evil in our world.
    [color=olive:3jfebzzg][i:3jfebzzg](Marianne Lorraine Trouve, FSP)[/i:3jfebzzg][/color:3jfebzzg]

    “Pope Leo XIII introduced a special prayer to St. Michael throughout the Church. Although the prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help on the battle against forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.”
    [color=olive:3jfebzzg][i:3jfebzzg](Pope John Paul II, Sunday, April 24, 1994)[/i:3jfebzzg][/color:3jfebzzg]

    [b:3jfebzzg]To Saint Michael, Protector of God’s People[/b:3jfebzzg]
    St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and deceit of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God banish into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

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