From St. Michael the Archangel (author unknown)
Besides the protection which the glorious Archangel Michael extends to the church at large, he is also the protector of every individual Christian and of all Christian nations. How fortunate we are in having so powerful an advocate! Surely, never so urgently as at the present time have Christians needed Saint Michael’s help to remain steadfast in their faith. Unbelief has carried its insolence to the very limit and boldly proclaims that there is no God. Blasphemy against Jesus Christ, against his mysteries and his doctrines has increased in the most frightful manner. It is our duty to be faithful Christians, to confess our faith openly and energetically, and to preserve a glowing, invincible love for Jesus Christ.
Saint Michael is the conqueror of Satan. Under his leadership, let us unfurl everywhere the banner of the Christian faith and have no fear of godlessness. In a thousand secret ways, Satan plots and wars against God and tries to usurp his throne. Let us keep the kingdom of our heart firmly closed against him, that he may never reign therein by sin. When the spirit of darkness incites us to thoughts of pride or rebellion, let us answer him with Saint Michael: Who is like unto God? Who am I – a creature of dust and ashes, the fleeting phantom of an hour – in comparison to God? When Satan tries to seduce us to commit this or that sin; when in alluring pictures he presents to us the pleasures and attractions of this world; when he promises us honors, riches, happiness, on condition that we break a commandment, omit a good work, or commit an evil deed; when he tempts us to give way to murmuring and impatience and to find fault with the inscrutable ways of Divine Providence; when the siren song of sinful pleasures sounds in our ears, filling our hearts with unholy longings and crowding our imagination with forbidden sights and scenes; then let us ever oppose the tempter with the same energetic words: Who is like unto God?
Our whole life, says Saint Bernard, is a continuous temptation. He drew this truth from Holy Scripture. We have to battle against foes who are mighty in power, cruel in their vengefulness, fearsome in their craftiness, countless in their number, tireless in their persecutions. They are spirits who deal blows without being seen, who intrude everywhere, who see everything that we do, while remaining invisible to us. And they battle with weak persons who wander in darkness, on slippery paths, surrounded by frightful abysses. With furious rage these many enemies have sworn to avenge themselves upon us, because God has called us to occupy the thrones left vacant by them. They are bent upon the eternal ruin of our souls.
The number of the demons is incredible. Saint Anthony of the Desert said repeatedly that millions of evil spirits were roaming about the world. And the influence which these evil spirits exercise over world events is tremendous. Yet we need not despair, because Saint Michael is a defender more powerful by far than the spirits of darkness. In the prayer of the church we daily ask him to cast into hell Satan and the other evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Viewing the world situation in the spirit of faith, we cannot deny that the great evils which now afflict the world will never be amended without prayer and penance. Yet even Christians have lost sight of this truth. They pray for the cure of the sick, for success in their undertakings, and for many other personal intentions – but not enough, or not at all, for the cessation of the prevailing moral evils which means triumph for Satan and ruin for the church and for souls.
The following beautiful prayer propagated by Pope Leo XIII deserves to be taken to the hearts of all Christians and recited by them frequently, and even daily. It is a prayer peculiarly applicable to our times and to all Christendom.
Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and the snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray.
And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl throughout the world
Seeking the ruin of souls.
The life of Saint Oringa records an incident of protection by Saint Michael, the Archangel: One day the saint, in company with several other young women started on a pilgrimage in honor of Saint Michael to Monte Gargano, in Italy. The journey extended over a number of days. On the way, the little company was joined by a few men who feigned to be pilgrims and excellent guides. The men seemed to be very pious, and they cunningly kept up an edifying conversation until evening. In reality, they were robbers in disguise, who had evil designs regarding the virgins. They led them directly to their den. Suddenly, a youth of Heavenly beauty appeared to the maidens, calling out in a powerful voice: Flee from here! Your souls are in danger!
For a moment, the robbers were paralyzed with terror. In the meantime, the noble youth guided the maidens to a safe lodging some distance from the den. Later, it was revealed to Saint Oringa that this rescuer was none other than Saint Michael the Archangel.