Sunday, 22 March 2009

Prayer of St Michael

St. Michael the Archangel defend us in this day of battle! Be our safeguard 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 through the world seeking the ruin of souls! Amen

I'm not going to weigh in on the controversy over Pope Leo XIII's vision here -a quick google search will reveal more than you would ever want to know! He added the prayer in 1886 to the Leonine prayers which he had ordered, two years previously, to be said after Low Mass against the loss of the Pope's temporal sovereignty over the Papal states caused by the formation of the nation of Italy. In 1929, when the situation was finally resolved by the signing of the Lateran Treaty, which created the Vatican City, the intention was changed for the benefit of the people of Russia.

Though these prayers were suppressed in 1964, the prayer of St Michael remained popular. In 1994, Pope John Paul II referred to the prayer in his Regina Coeli address on 24th April:

"May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle that the Letter to the Ephesians speaks of: 'Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might'. The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St Michael the Archangel. Pope Leo XIII certainly had this picture in mind when, at the end of the last century, he brought in, throughout the Church, a special prayer to St Michael: 'Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil...' Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world."

This prayer is a vital one to learn for times of worry or danger, or whenever we feel that we are in the presence of evil.

(Also see this post: Who is like onto God -we've blogged about this before.)

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