The Feast of the Dedication of the Archangel St. Michael

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The Feast of the Dedication of the Archangel St. Michael

Today’s festival is called in the breviary of the Church, the Dedication of the Holy Archangel St. Michael. To understand this, it is necessary to know an event which took place at the time of Pope Gelasius I. in the latter part of the fifth Century. In Apulia, there is a mountain formerly called Gargano, now Monte St. Angelo, or Angel’s mountain. Near this mountain, a herdsman was keeping his cattle. A steer strayed away from his herd and went into the woods on the mountain, to the entrance of a cave which was concealed by bushes. The herdsman, to drive the animal out of the cave back to the herd, shot an arrow at it. The arrow, however, turned and flew with great force back to him. The herdsman and those who were present were terrified at this and none dared to go nearer to the cave. They went to the bishop, who was at Siponto, a neighboring city, and informed him of what had occurred. The bishop, not doubting that a divine mystery was concealed under it, ordered his congregation to fast and pray three days, in order that God might graciously reveal it to them. At the expiration of the three days, St. Michael, the Archangel, appeared to the bishop and announced to him that the place whither the steer had fled was under his especial protection, and that he desired that they should dedicate the spot to the honor of God, and to the memory of St. Michael and all the Angels. Continue reading