Saints and Theology of the Heart- Saint Michael the Archangel

Feast together with the Archangels Gabriel and Raphael

Feast: September 29

Prayers to St. Michael...

-Work of Mother Adela, Foundress

He is represented dressed as a warrior or a centurion soldier as Prince of the Heavenly Host that he is.

Who is St. Michael the Archangel?
St. Michael is one of the seven archangels and is among the three whose names appear in the Bible. The other two are Gabriel and Raphael. Holy Church gives St. Michael the highest place among the archangels and calls him "Prince of the Heavenly Host", "chief or head of the heavenly army." Already from the Old Testament he appears as the great defender of the people of God against the devil and his powerful defense contnues in the New Testament.

Very appropriately, he is represented in art as a warrior angel, Lucifer's conqueror, stepping on the head of the infernal enemy, threatening him with his sword, piercing him with his lance, or ready to chain him forever in the abyss of hell.

Christianity, from the time of the early Church, has venerated St. Michael as the angel that defeated Satan and his followers and cast them out of heaven with his flaming sword.

It is traditionally recognized as the guardian of Christian armies against the enemies of the Church and as protector of Christians against diabolic powers, especially at the hour of death.

St. Michael's Fidelity towards God

The name "Michael" itself invites us to give him honor, since it is a cry of enthusiasm and fidelity. It means "Who is like God."

Satin trembles at the sound of his name, since he remembes the noble cry of protest that this archangel manifested when the angels rebelled. St. Michael manifested his fortitude and power when he fought the great battle in heaven. Through his zeal and fidelity towards God, a great part of the heavenly court remained faithful and obedient. His fortitude inspired courage in the other angels who united to his noble cry, "Who is like God?!" From that moment he has been known as the captain of the Lord's army, the first prince of the holy city whom the other angels obey.

St. Michael in Sacred Scriptures

In the Old Testament
St. Michael appears as the guardian of the Hebrew people.

In the bookof Daniel, God sent St. Michael to assure Daniel of his protection.

"...the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for twenty-one days, until finally Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me." - Daniel 10:13

"At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people." -Daniel 12:1

The people of the prophet were Jews. As such, it was accepted that the angel that the Lord had assigned to the Israelits in the days of Moses to guide them through the desert and lead them through the idolatrous nations which they would destroy, was St. Michael himself.

In the book of Exodus the Lord said to the Israelits:

See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. Be attentive to him and obey him. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin. My authority is within him. If you obey him and carry out all I tell you, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites; and I will wipe them out. Therefore, you shall not bow down to their gods and serve them, nor shall you act as they do; rather, you must demolish them and smash their sacred stones. You shall serve the LORD, your God." - Ex. 23:20

After the death of Moses, according to Jewish tradition (referenced in Jude 1:9), St. Michael argued with the devil over the body of Moses. In obedience to the command of God, St. Michael hid the tomb of Moses, since the people and Satan, too, wanted to use it to lead the Israelites into the sin of idolatry.

God charged St. Michael with the task of accomplishing his designs of mercy and justice for his chosen people. We see how Judas Maccabeus, before beginning any battle in defense of the law and of the Temple, cried out for the assistance of St. Michael and entrusted himself to his defense:

When Maccabeus and his companions learned that Lysias was besieging the strongholds, they and all the people begged the Lord with lamentations and tears to send a good angel to save Israel...Suddenly, while they were still near Jerusalem, a horseman appeared at their head, clothed in white garments and brandishing gold weapons. Then all of them together thanked the merciful God, and their hearts were filled with such courage. - 2 Mac 11:6

Calling upon God, he spoke in this manner: “You, master, sent your angel in the days of King Hezekiah of Judea, and he slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand men of Sennacherib’s camp. And now, Sovereign of the heavens, send a good angel to spread fear and trembling ahead of us. By the might of your arm may those be struck down who have blasphemously come against your holy people!” With these words he ended his prayer. - 2 Mac. 15:22

Today, the Jews invoke the Archangel Michael as the main defender of the synagogue and as protector against their enemies. On the feast of expiation, they conclude their prayers saying: "Michael, prince of mercy, pray for Israel."

In the New Covenant
The position of St. Michael is also very important in the New Testament where he continues his powerful defense. With his angels, he wages the victorious battle agaisnt Satan and the rebellious angels, who they cast into hell. For this reason he is venerated as the guardian of the Church.

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back,8but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.9The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. - Rev. 12:7-9

The letter of Jude refers also to St. Michael inthe battle against Satan.

The honor and veneration of St. Michael, as the fathers of the Church testify, has been an essential part of the life of the Church from its beginning. They have attributed to him countless spiritual and earthly benefits. The emperor Constantine attributed to this archangel, his victories over his enemies and so built a magnificent church in his honor near Constantinople. This became a place of pilgrimage and many sick received healing thanks to the intercession of St. Michael.

Prayers to St. Michael

Prayer to St. Michael by Pope Leo XIII

On October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII experienced a horrible vision. After celebrating Mass, he was discussing different topics with his cardinals in a private chapel in the Vatican when suddenly he stopped at the foot of the altar and was plunged into a reality only he could see. His face had an expression of deep impact and horror. He went pale. He had seen something very severe. Suddenly, he startled, raised his hand as if bidding his company farewell and went into his private study. They followed him and asked him, "What happened your Holiness? Are you feeling badly? He responded: "Oh, what terrible images I have been allowed to see and hear!", and he closed himself in his office.

What did Leo XIII see? "I saw demons and I heard their cackles, their blasphemies, their taunts. I heard the gutteral voice of Satan challenging God, saying that he could destroy the Church and lead the world to hell if he gave him sufficient time and power. Satan asked God for permission to have 100 years to be able to influence the world as had never been able to before." Leo XIII could also understand that if the devil was not able to accomplish his purpose in the permitted time, he would suffer a humiliating defeat. He saw St. Michael the Archangel appear and throw Satan and his legions into the abyss of hell. 

After a half an hour, he called the Secretary for the Congregation of Rites. He gave him a sheet of paper and ordered him to send it to all the bishops of the world telling them that the prayer he had written had to be recited, under mandate, after every Mass.


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.

An English translation:

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 Divine Power of God —
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

(Although it is not obligatory, this prayer can be prayed with great benefit after Mass as it was done before the Second Vatican Council.)

Chaplet of St. Michael:

One day, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to the devout Servant of God Antonia d' Astonac. The archangel told the religious that he desired to be honored through the recitation of nine salutations. These nine prayers corresopnd to the nine choirs of angels. The chaplet consists of an Our Father and three Hail Marys in honor of each choir of angels.

Promises: St. Michael promises great blessings to those who practice this devotion in his honor: To send an angel of each choir to accompany the devoted at the hour of Holy Commuion. In addition, to those who recite these nine salutations daily, he assures them that they will enjoy his continued assistance. That is to say that during this life and also after death. Moreover, they will be accompanied by all the angels and all their loved ones and relatives they will be freed from Purgatory.

In this chaplet, we invoke the nine choirs of angels. After each invocation we pray 1 Our Father and 3 Hail Marys. We offer each chaplet for the Church, so that she may be protected from all attacks of the devil and for those who are furthest from God.


Begin praying the chaplet on the medal with the following invocation:

In the Name of the Father....

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, etc.

1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim, may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen.
1 Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's

2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim, may the Lord vouchsafe to grant us grace to leave the ways of wickedness to run in the paths of Christian perfection. Amen.
1 Our Father, 3 Hail Mary 's

3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones, may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen.
1 Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's

4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominions, may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and subdue our unruly passions. Amen
1 Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's

5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers, may the Lord
vouchchsafe to protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. Amen.
1 Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's

6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues, may the Lord preserve us from evil and suffer us not to fall into temptation. Amen.
1 Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's

7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities, may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience.
1 Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's

8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels, may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works, in order that we gain the glory of Paradise. Amen.
1 Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's

9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels, may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted hereafter to eternal glory. Amen.
1 Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's

1 Our Father In honor of St. Michael.
1 Our Father In honor of St. Gabriel.
1 Our Father In honor of St. Raphael.
1 Our Father In honor of our Guardian Angel.

O glorious Prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King, and our admirable conductor, thou who dost shine with excellence and superhuman virtue, vouchsafe to deliver us from all evil, who turn to thee with confidence, and enable us by thy gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

V. Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ
R. That we may be made worthy of His promises.

Almighty and Everlasting God, who by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, hast appointed the most glorious Archangel, St. Michael, Prince of Thy Church, make us worthy, we beseech Thee, to be delivered from all our enemies that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into the august presence of Thy Divine Majesty. This we beg through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Novena to St. Michael the Archangel

Glorious Saint Michael,  guardian and defender  of the Church of Jesus Christ,  come to the assistance of His followers,  
against whom the powers of hell are unchained. Guard with special care our Holy Father, the Pope, and our bishops, priests,
all our religious and lay people, and especially the children. Saint Michael, watch over us during life, defend us against the assaults of the demon,
and assist us especially at the hour of death. Help us achieve the happiness of beholding God face to face for all eternity. Amen.

Saint Michael, intercede for me with God in all my necessities, especially (State your intention here...)

Obtain for me a favourable outcome in the matter I recommend to you.
Mighty prince of the heavenly host, and victor over rebellious spirits, remember me for I am weak and sinful and so prone to pride and ambition.
Be for me, I pray, my powerful aid in temptation and difficulty, and above all do not forsake me in my last struggle with the powers of evil. Amen.

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