Devotion to St. Michael the Archangel
Devotion to Michael the Archangel is one of the oldest devotions of the Church; indeed, his roles in God's divine plan date back before the Incarnation. It was St. Michael who led God's army against Lucifer and the other rebellious fallen angels, St. Michael who guards the Catholic Church and her pope, and St. Michael who, at God's commands will reprise his role against the Antichrist in the End Times.
According to the Fathers of the Church, St. Michael was honored as guardian angel of the people of God, and fulfilled the role of defender during the time of the patriarchs onward. They also stress the fact that, in many events throughout the Old Testament, the appearance and assistance of an unnamed angel is believed to be Michael, the Archangel.
As St. Michael was an advocate for the people of God under the Old Law, he continues to be protector in the New Law after the coming of Jesus. Due to the various events and miracles associated with St. Michael, Christian Tradition names to him the following four offices:
- To fight against Satan
- To rescue the souls of the faithful from the Devil, especially at the hour of death
- To attend the dying and accompany them to judgment
- To be the champion of God's people; the Israelites under the Old Law, and now the Catholic Church.
The Vision of Pope Leo XIII
In 1884, Pope Leo XIII received a shocking vision regarding the Devil ravaging against the Church. Shortly after the experience, he composed the short prayer to St. Michael to be included in the prayers after the end of a Low Mass.
Pope Leo XIII said that he heard, seemingly from the tabernacle, the voices of God and the Devil. The Devil proclaimed that he could destroy the Church if he had time and power (75-100 years) to which God answered, "You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will."
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.