Feast Day: 29 September
As you may have guessed from his title – and the fact he has wings – Saint Michael the Archangel wasn’t actually human. He’s one of the named angels in the bible and, as you may have guessed from the fact he’s called an Archangel, he’s one of the most important. If you’re curious about what angels are, they are the purely spiritual creatures God created when he created the purely physical beings (animals) and the hybrid of physical and spiritual nature (humans). Being purely spiritual beings, they know God’s will without need for the discernment that we often need. The distinction between them and fallen angels (daemons) is that, while daemons reject God’s call and desire for love being at the core of life, angels fully embrace it and follow God’s desire to further this cause as much as possible.
Saint Michael has four distinct roles. First, he is the Enemy of Satan and the fallen angels. He defeated Satan and ejected him from Paradise and will achieve victory at the hour of the final battle with Satan. Secondly, he is the Christian angel of death: at the hour of death, Saint Michael descends and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing. Saint Michael’s third role is weighing souls (hence the saint is often depicted holding scales) on Judgement Day. And finally, Saint Michael is the Guardian of the Church.
Saint Michael is the patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police, sickness and spiritual conflict.
Why Saint Michael is important
A reflection from someone in our young Catholic community
St. Michael the Archangel first came into my awareness when I was trying to find a patron saint for martial arts, as it’s something I’m really into and I wanted to find a saint of whom I could ask for the intersession when I went into the ring. As it turned out there was no saint for this but the internet did recommend I check out St. Michael, as he was patron saint of similar topics. I did, and what I found was a saint who has been far more forming in my life than I would ever have expected.
When I clicked on the page it was talking about ‘spiritual conflict’ and about how this was a constant thing going on in all our lives. At first I was a bit sceptical, I was not aware of any horned daemons trying to tempt me away from God and I thought in general I lived a pretty good life.
Despite this, as I was supposed to be revising for an exam at the time and my skills of procrastinating were limitless, I decided to read on. The page talked about how spiritual temptation was a lot more subtle but dangerous than most of us realised. The site suggested reading The Screwtape letters by a famous author and Christian philosopher and apologetic C. S. Lewis to really gain a more sound understanding of the topic.
The book really opened my eyes to what spiritual conflict was all about but also showed me how often I was failing in it. Here’s where St. Michael came in; by praying for his intersession every day and asking for his guardianship, I was able to gradually start to overcome the challenges coming my way that blocked my prayer and dedication to God. With St. Michael’s guidance, my prayer life flourished and I became more productive, chilled and content with life.
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle;
be our protection 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,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.