Among the Holy Archangels, three are particularly distinguished in holy writ--SS. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. St. Michael, whom the Church honors this day, was the prince of the faithful angels who opposed Lucifer and his associates in their revolt against God. Michael, in Hebrew, signifies, "Who is like God?" this was as it were, his motto, whom by humility he repressed the pride of that apostate angel, and set up the standard against him. He continues to protect the saints from his assaults.
This Holy Archangel has ever been honored in the Catholic Church, under the same title as her guardian under God, and as the protector of the faithful; for God is pleased to employ the zeal and charity of the good angels and their leader against the malice of the devil.
It is mentioned in particular of this special guardian and protector of the Church, that, in the persecution of Antichrist, he will powerfully stand up in her defense: "At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people." He is not only the protector of the Church, but of every faithful soul. He defeated the devil by humility; we are enlisted in the same warfare. His arms were humility and ardent love of God; the same must be our weapons. We ought to regard this Archangel as our leader under God; and courageously resisting the devil in all his assaults, cry out, "Who can be compared to God?" His feast day is the 29th of September.
Hymn: Te, splendor et virtus
O Jesu! life-spring of the soul!
The Father's power and glory bright!
Thee with the Angels we extol;
From thee they draw their life and light.
Thy thousand thousand hosts are spread
Embattled o'er the azure sky;
But Michael bears thy standard dread,
And lifts the might Cross on high.
He, in that sign, the rebel powers
Did, with their dragon prince, expel;
And hurled them from the heavens' high towers,
Down, like a thunderbolt, to hell.
Grant us, with Michael, still, O Lord,
Against the prince of pride to fight;
So may a crown be our reward,
Before the Lamb's pure throne of light.
To God the Father praise be done,
Who hath redeemed us through his Son;
Anoints us by the Holy Ghost,
And guards us by the Angel host. Amen.
(The Roman Breviary)
O Victorious Prince, most humble guardian of the Church of God and of the faithful souls, who with such charity and zeal took part in so many conflicts and gained such great victories over the enemy for the conservation and protection of the honor and glory we all owe to God, as well as for the promotion of man's salvation; come, I pray thee, to the assistance of my soul, which continually is besieged with such great peril by its enemies, the flesh, the world, and the devil. And as thou wast a leader for the people of Israel through the desert, so also be my faithful leader and companion through the desert of this world, until thou conduct me safely into the happy land of the living, in that blessed fatherland from which we all are exiles. Amen.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Exorcism Prayer of St. Michael the Archangel
We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, Satanic powers, infernal invaders, wicked legions, assemblies, and sects. In the name and by the virtue of Our Lord Jesus Christ †. May you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb †.
Cease by your audacity, cunning serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute the Church, to torment God's elect, and to sift them as wheat †. This is the command made to you by the Most High God †, with Whom in your haughty insolence you still pretend to be equal †. The God Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth (I Tim. 2.4). God the Father commands you †. God the Son commands you †. God the Holy Ghost commands you †. Christ, the Eternal Word of God made Flesh, commands you †. He Who to save our race, outdone through your malice, humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death (Phil. 2.8). He Who has built His Church on the firm rock and declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her, because He dwells with Her all days, even to the consummation of the world (Matt. 28.20). The hidden virtue of the Cross requires it of you, as does the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith †. The glorious Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, commands you †. She who by Her humility and from the first moment of Her Immaculate Conception crushed your proud head. The faith of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of the other Apostles commands you †. The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you †.
Thus, cursed dragon, and you, wicked legions, we adjure you by the living God †, by the true God †, by the holy God †, by the God Who so loved the world, as to give up His only-begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him may not perish but may have life everlasting (St. John 3.16). Cease deceiving human creatures and pouring out to them the poison of eternal perdition. Cease harming the Church and hindering her liberty. Retreat, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man's salvation. Cede the place to Christ in Whom you have found none of your works. Cede the place to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church acquired by Christ at the price of His Blood. Stoop beneath the all-powerful Hand of God. Tremble and flee at the evocation of the Holy and terrible name of Jesus; this Name which causes hell to tremble; this Name to which the Virtues, Powers and Dominations of Heaven are humbly submissive; this Name which the Cherubim and Seraphim praise unceasingly, repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the God of Hosts.
V. O Lord hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. May the Lord be with thee.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let Us Pray.
God of Heaven, God of earth, God of Angels, God of Archangels, God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God who has power to give life after death and rest after work, because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no other, for Thou art the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of Whose reign there shall be no end. We humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty and we supplicate Thee to deliver us from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares, their lies, and their furious wickedness. Deign, O Lord, to protect us by Thy power and to preserve us safe and sound. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
V. From the snares of the devil,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.
V. That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty,
R. We beseech Thee to hear us.
V. That Thou would crush down all enemies of Thy Church,
R. We beseech Thee to hear us.
(Holy water is sprinkled in the place where we may be.)
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 wander throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
*Indulgence of 300 days, plenary under the usual conditions, if this invocation is recited daily during a month.
Imprimatur: † December 19, 1931
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***Additional Devotions to St. Michael***
Chaplet of St. Michael
Pius IX., Aug. 8 1851, granted to all those who shall say this chaplet:
1.) An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines
2.) One hundred days indulgence, ever day by carrying this chaplet, or kissing the medal.
3.) A plenary indulgence, once a month, to those who shall say this chaplet, every day for a month, on usual conditions.
4.) A plenary indulgence on the conditions given above on the feast of the apparition of St. Michael, May 18th; the dedication of St. Michael, September 29; St. Gabriel the archangel, March 18; St. Raphael the archangel, October 24; Holy guardian angels, October 2nd.
To gain these indulgences, a chaplet must be used, consisting of the Our Father, nine times, with the Hail Mary three times after each Our Father, and the Our Father four times at the end, saying at the same time, in order, the corresponding salutations, with the anthem and prayer, at the end. These chaplets by order of His Holyness, Feb 4, 1877, must be blessed by a priest who has from the Holy See the general faculty of blessing beads, medals, etc.
The person begins with an act of contrition, kneeling, if opportunity serves, before a picture of St. Michael. He then proceeds:
V. O God, come to my aid.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
FIRST SALUTATION. Pater once, Ave thrice, to the First Angelic Choir. AT the intercession of St Michael and the heavenly choir of the Seraphim, may it please God to make us worthy to receive into our hearts the fire of his perfect charity. Amen.
SECOND SALUTATION. Pater once, Ave thrice, to the Second Angelic Choir. AT the intercession of St Michael and the heavenly choir of the Cherubim, may God grant us grace to abandon the ways of sin, and follow the path of Christian perfection. Amen.
THIRD SALUTATION. Pater once, Ave thrice, to the Third Angelic Choir. AT the intercession of St Michael and the sacred choir of the Thrones, may it please God to infuse into our hearts a true and earnest spirit of humility. Amen.
FOURTH SALUTATION. Pater once, Ave thrice, to the Fourth Angelic Choir. AT the intercession of St Michael and the heavenly choir of the Dominations, may it please God to grant us grace to have dominion over our senses, and to correct our depraved passions. Amen.
FIFTH SALUTATION. Pater once, Ave thrice, to the Fifth Angelic Choir. AT the intercession of St Michael and the heavenly choir of the Powers, may God vouchsafe to keep our souls from the wiles and temptations of the devil. Amen.
SIXTH SALUTATION. Pater once, Ave thrice, to the Sixth Angelic Choir. AT the intercession of St Michael and the choir of the admirable celestial Virtues, may our LORD keep us from falling into temptations and deliver us from evil. Amen.
SEVENTH SALUTATION. Pater once, Ave thrice, to the Seventh Angelic Choir. AT the intercession of St Michael and the heavenly choir of the Principalities, may it please God to fill our souls with the spirit of true and hearty obedience. Amen.
EIGHTH SALUTATION. Pater once, Ave thrice, to the Eighth Angelic Choir. AT the intercession of St Michael and the heavenly choir of Archangels, may it please God to grant us the gift of perseverance in the faith and in all good works, that we may thereby be enabled to attain unto the glory of Paradise. Amen.
NINTH SALUTATION. Pater once, Ave thrice, to the Ninth Angelic Choir. AT the intercession of St Michael and the heavenly choir of Angels, may God vouchsafe to grant that the Holy Angels may protect us during life, and after death may lead us into the everlasting glory of heaven. Amen.
Then say Pater noster four times in conclusion, the first to St Michael, the second to St Gabriel, the third to St Raphael, the fourth to our Angel Guardian. Then end with the following Antiphon:
Michael, glorious Prince, chief and champion of the heavenly host, guardian of the souls of men, conqueror of the rebel angels, who art set over the palace of God, our worthy captain under Jesus Christ, endowed with superhuman excellence and virtue; vouchsafe to free us from every evil, who with full confidence have recourse to thee; and by thy powerful protection enable us to make progress every day in the faithful service of our God.
V. Pray for us, most blessed Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ.
R. That we may be made worthy of his promises.
Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, who in thy own marvellous goodness and pity didst, for the common salvation of man, choose the glorious Archangel Michael to be the Prince of thy Church; make us worthy, we pray Thee, to be delivered by his beneficent protection from all our enemies, that at the hour of our death no one of them may approach to harm us, and that by the same Archangel Michael we may be introduced into the presence of thy high and heavenly Majesty. Through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Hymn: Christe, sanctorum
Christ, of the Angels praise and adoration,
Father and Savior thou, of every nation,
Graciously grant us all to gain a station,
Where Thou art reigning.
Angel all peaceful, to our dwellings, send us,
Michael, from heaven coming to befriend us,
Breathing serenest peace may he attend us,
Grim war dispelling.
Angel of strength, who triumphed, tumults quelling,
Gabriel send us, ancient foes expelling,
Oft in these temples may he make his dwelling,
Dear unto heaven.
Angel Physician, health on man bestowing,
Raphael sending us from the skies all glowing,
All sickness curing, wisest counsel showing
In doubt and danger.
May the fair Mother of Light be o'er us,
Virgin of peace, with all the Angel chorus,
And may the heavenly army go before us,
Guiding and guarding.
O May the Godhead, endless bliss possessing,
Father, Son Spirit, grant to us this blessing;
All his creation joins his praise confessing,
Now and forever. Amen
Prayer to St. Michael by Pope Leo XIII
O Glorious Archangel St Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defence in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of the LORD, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory.
This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring- help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defence against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the LORD; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
V. Behold the Cross of the LORD; be scattered ye hostile powers.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, has conquered.
V. Let thy mercies be upon us, O LORD.
R. As we have hoped in thee.
V. O LORD, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.
Let us pray:
O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon thy holy name, and as suppliants we implore thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel St Michael, thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls. Amen.
(An Indulgence of 300 days)
The faithful who recite devoutly some prayers in honor of St. Michael the Archangel at any season of the year, with the intention of continuing the said prayers for nine successive days, may gain an indulgence of 5 years once each day.
Saint Michael, first Champion of the Kingship of Christ, pray for us.
(An Indulgence of 300 days)
Holy archangel Michael, defend us in battle, that we may not perish in the tremendous judgment.
(An Indulgence of 100 days)