The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
A Powerful Prayer: St. Michael the Archangel
Most of our parishioners by now probably have noticed that the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer was prayed at the conclusion of live-stream Masses during the weeks of lockdown. For our Pastor Column this weekend, the words of the prayer will be given and we will discuss why the prayer has been added at the conclusion of the Mass during these last several weeks.
First, the prayer itself:
St. 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,
cast into hell Satan
and all the other evil spirits
that prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
The Book of the Prophet Daniel and the Book of Revelation both feature the Archangel Michael, and he is portrayed as something of the commanding general of God’s angelic army, and they are commissioned, as it were, to fight against Satan and his “angels” (that is, the fallen angels, or what are known as “demons”) as they (the demonic hordes) strive to attack us, God’s beloved children.
Exactly thirty-three years prior to the great Miracle of the Sun in Fatima (October 13, 1917) Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision (on October 13, 1884). When he had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, attended by only a few Cardinals and some members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there as if in a trance, his face pale, for nearly ten minutes before retiring to his office. Shortly thereafter, he composed this prayer to St. Michael, along with instructions for it to be said after Masses everywhere. When asked what had happened, he explained that as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard two voices – one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh, both voices seeming to come from near the tabernacle, and as he listened, he heard the guttural voice of Satan tell God that he could destroy the Church if he had seventy-five to a hundred years and greater power and influence “over those who would give themselves over to my service.” God granted this, just as what had been done many millennia ago when God granted Satan power over Job. Pope Leo XIII was inspired to compose this prayer to call upon St. Michael to come to the aid of the Church during Satan’s granted time of terror.
After Vatican II, the devotion of praying this prayer after Mass began to fade. But two years ago, Pope Francis called upon the parishes of the world to renew this devotion for the specific intention of praying against the scourge of clergy sexual abuse. Many (although not yet all) parishes in the Diocese of Spokane answered Pope Francis’ call.
The prayer was added here at St. Mary during the lockdown to help us as a parish pray against the twin scourge of pandemic and economic/social collapse. Now that society is beginning to open up again and the parish, too, is beginning to open up again for public Mass, the proposal now is that we keep praying this prayer after Mass, immediately after the final blessing and dismissal and before the
recessional song begins. And this is proposed so that St. Mary, too, might answer the call of Pope Francis to pray against the scourge of clergy sexual abuse and to pray also for the healing and the recovery of abuse victims and their families.
Our parishioners are invited to send their thoughts and comments regarding this proposal to the parish office: basically, shall we renew this devotion in this manner or not?
Thank you, and God bless you all! St. Michael the Archangel…pray for us.
on Saturday, June 13 at 1:05PM