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ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

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ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

FEAST DAY: SEPTEMBER 29, 2018


St. Michael the Archangel is well known and appreciated in both Old Testament and New Testament/ Christian history. We are now in a liturgical season that includes some saints that had a special devotion to St. Michael.

Both St. Pio and St. Francis of Assisi made pilgrimages to the St. Michael shrine in the Gargano mountains for his intercession and protection. (We just published a blog article on St. Pio, and one is coming up on St. Francis before his feast day on October 4th.) St. Pio had a very active devotion to St. Michael and to his own guardian angel, with whom he was on intimate terms. He was known to both communicate with and see angels, both in connection with his own life and the lives of others.

(Repeating briefly from our previous blog on St. Pio of Pietrelcina):

St. Pio might have been drawn to the powerful St. Michael the archangel because of his own experience of harassment from the devil, beginning at age 4 years old. 9 (Please see footnotes 10—14 below for further details.)

The warrior angel, Michael the archangel, is quite active in scripture. He is seen in Daniel, chapter 10, as the archangel who helped the angelic messenger who came to Daniel.

The angel who appeared to Daniel told him, “Do not fear, Daniel… from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out, but the prince (blogger's note: meaning of "the prince": the demonic stronghold-spirit) of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for twenty-one days, until Michael, one of the chief princes (blogger's note: "chief princes" means heavenly archangels) came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia (blogger's note: "i left him there" fighting the enemy) and came to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the last days; for there is yet a vision concerning those days.” [Daniel 10:12-14]

In Daniel chapter 12 it says,

“At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people…[in] a time unsurpassed in distress since the nation began until that time… But those with insight shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament. And those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever. As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time; many shall wander aimlessly and evil shall increase.” [Dan.12:1,3,4]

He is referred to in Jude 9 (in reference to a dispute with the devil over Moses’ body) and in the book of Revelation (where Michael is referenced as leading the good angels in driving the devil and his demons out of heaven.)

“Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon… The 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]

Michael the great warrior angel is considered the patron saint of many, including travelers, policemen, firemen, servicemen, and others who regularly face potential danger. He is a warrior against the forces of evil, with whom Padre Pio contended on a regular basis (as did St. Patrick, St. John Vianney, and many other saints--known and unknown).

May we be encouraged by this heroic Archangel who is mighty in the power of God, and whom God mercifully sends to help intervene and fight—both for our protection and for God’s purpose and plans for the deliverance of souls even today.

St. Michael’s feast day is September 29th, along with the archangels Gabriel and Raphael.

(adapted, in part, from our blog on Padre Pio and St. Michael, September 29, 2016)


FOOTNOTES:

1. PADRE PIO: UNDER INVESTIGATION, The Secret Vatican Files, by Fr. Francesco Castelli, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2011, p. 276.

2. Ibid. Padre Pio’s own experience of harassment from the devil, began at age 4 years old. This evil power appeared “often threatening, ominous, and terrifying”. “It was a torment to see the light put out and every night left to the mercy of these visions. It was at the age of 5 or 6 that he consecrated himself to the Heart of Jesus, when it appeared to him above the high altar.”

3. Ibid., p.277-9. “The trials from Satan began when he was ten. During the year of [his] novitiate [in the Capuchins], the vexations suddenly ceased.” “Satan’s physical vexations [renewed] around his first year of priesthood… insults, threats, beatings.” He was ordained in 1910… “[Satan][was] not succeeding in his intent of turning him away from God, from prayer, etc.” His body suffered in several other ways, too.

4. Ibid., p. 277-8. It was a real blessing to also experience vivid pictures in his imagination (from around the age of 20) of the Holy Family and their affection for one another.

5. Ibid., p.279. In 1919, (a year after the stigmata wounds began) he “experienced the tortures of hell in seeing the suffering of the damned… [even]the pain of loss '[that is, the pain of having lost God]'.”

6. Ibid., p. 280. Not long after this, St. Pio experienced “[s]everal appearances of the Most Holy Trinity—admonitions to be more merciful than ever with souls—assurances regarding his anxieties,



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