A High Mass will be celebrated at 7:30 pm for the feast of Saint Michael and All Angels.

There are 7 Archangels in all, but only the three mentioned in Sacred Scripture are commemorated liturgically; Saint Gabriel’s Feast is on 24 March, and Saint Raphael’s is on 24 October. [The Guardian Angels are remembered on 2 October. The other archangels, whom we know from the Book of Enoch, are Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jeramiel.) On 29 September, though, we honour Saint Michael the Archangel, whose very name in Hebrew means, ‘Who is like unto God?’. Saint Michael is patron of knights, policemen, soldiers, paramedics, ambulance drivers, etc.. We ask him to protect us from the devil, and for a holy death. He is usually depicted in art carrying a sword and/or shield, battling Satan. Saint Michael is described in the Golden Legend, written in AD 1275 by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, thus:

‘For like as Daniel witnesseth, he shall arise and address in the time of Antichrist against him, and shall stand as a defender and keeper for them that be chosen. [Daniel 10:13, 12] He also fought with the dragon and his angels, and casting them out of heaven, had a great victory. [Apocalypse 12:7-9] He also had a great plea and altercation with the devil for the body of Moses, because he would not show it; for the children of Israel should have adored and worshipped it. [Jude 1] He received the souls of saints and brought them into the paradise of exultation and joy. He was prince of the synagogue of the Jews, but now he is established of our Lord, prince of the church of Jesus Christ. And as it is said, he made the plagues of Egypt, he departed and divided the Red Sea, he led the people of Israel by the desert and set them in the land of promission, he is had among the company of holy angels as bannerer. And bearing the sign of our Lord, he shall slay by the commandment of God, right puissantly, Antichrist that shall be in the Mount of Olivet. And dead men shall arise at the voice of this same archangel. And he shall show at the day of judgment the Cross, the spear, the nails and the crown of thorns of Jesu ChriSaint The fourth victory is that the archangel Michael shall have of Antichrist when he shall slay him.’

Saint Michael is our warrior against the Evil One, and is the one we call on in times of temptation, especially with our Prayer to Saint Michael:

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio, contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude. Amen.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense 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 the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

The image above shows an early 15th Century depiction of Saint Michael casting down Satan, in the form of a dragon, painted by an unknown Valencian painter. The archangel is depicted in contemporary armour. [Public domain image.]