About Saint Michael the Archangel 222

At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book

Dan 12,1

       The Archangel Michael, for the people of Old Testament, was considered as Prince of the Angels, Protector of the chosen people, symbol of the powerful divine assistance towards Israel. He appears for three times in the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Daniel (Dan 10,13.21; 12,1), where He is presented as the defender of the Jewish people and the supreme head of the heavenly army who defends the weak and the persecuted.

       His name “Mi ka – ‘El” means “Who is like to God!” Saint Michael has the name that describes His attributes/mission. The same way as it was given to other Archangels: Gabriel (God’s strength) and Raphael (God heals).

       In the New Testament, the Archangel Saint Michael is presented as the adversary of the devil, victor of the last battle against Satan and his supporters.

And war broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels fought against the dragon.
The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated,
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent,
who is called the Devil and Satan,
the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth,
and his angels were thrown down with him.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavens and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!”

Rev 12, 7-12

        Therefore Christians consider the Archangel Saint Michael as the most powerful defender of God’s people. In eastern and western iconography, St. Michael is represented as a warrior, with a sword or a lance in his hand and, under his feet the dragon, monster, Satan defeated in battle. From centuries believers have entrusted themselves to His protection here on earth, but also in a particular way at the moment of judgment.
       The Archangel is also acknowledged to be the guide of souls to Heaven. This role of St. Michael is underlined in the Roman liturgy, particularly at the Offertory of the Mass for the dead:
O Lord Jesus Christ King of glory deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the pains of hell; but may the holy standard-bearer Saint Michael, lead them to the holy light; which you promised to Abraham and to his seed of old”.
       In the past there were two liturgical feast-days in honour of the Archangel: September 29th, a feast-day that was first celebrated only in Rome, as a remembrance of the dedication of an old Basilica erected in his honour on the Via Salaria; and May 8th, anniversary of the apparition of St. Michael to the Bishop of Siponto on the Monte Gargano in Italy to celebrate in a special way the help of St Michael in victory of the Sipontini army against the invaders.
        Today the Church celebrates St. Michael’s Feast Day together with St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, on September 29th.