INSTRUCTION ON THE FEAST OF THE DEDICATION OF SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

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INSTRUCTION ON THE FEAST OF THE DEDICATION OF SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

Double of the First Class
White Vestments

Missa “Benedicite Dominum”

This is the original feast of the leader of the Heavenly armies, Saint Michael. The captain of the heavenly armies, the angel named in the Canon of the Mass, held from early times the first place in the Liturgy among the other angels; wherefore many churches dedicated to St. Michael in the Middle Ages were simply known as churches “of the holy angel.” St. Michael, whose name signifies “who is like unto God” cast the evil spirit out of Heaven, and overcame Satan in the struggle for possession of the body of Moses. God has entrusted our defense, in the combat with the devil, to the angels. The reason of this is easily understood. The devil is a spirit who has lost none of the powers inherent to his nature. In order, therefore, that the struggle should not be unequal, God has placed at our side defenders of the same nature as Lucifer, that is to say pure spirits, who are, however, greater and more powerful than he is.  There are several feasts of St. Michael in the Liturgy. Very ancient is the commemoration of the dedication of the celebrated Lombard sanctuary on Sant’ Angelo on Monte Gargano in Apulia, near the ancient Sipontum. There is a tradition that St. Michael appeared on this mountain and requested that a church be erected to him and all the angels. In the Old and the New Testament St. Michael, in the struggle against the Evil One, is always depicted as the invincible champion of God. The mystery of iniquity which, according to St. Paul, shall be boldly revealed in the last ages of the world and which has already begun its work of perversion, meets at present with an obstacle which hinders its full development. This obstacle is usually said to be the protection of St. Michael. St. Michael is appointed by God Himself to be the protector and defender of the Church.  After the protective duty conferred on St. Joseph, there is no work on earth of such great importance and sublimity as that entrusted to St. Michael.  The Epistle treats the charge to St. John by an Angel to write to the seven Churches in Asia. In the Gospel Christ teaches humility, to beware of scandal, and to flee the occasions of sin, for our Guardian Angels see the face of God. For the full prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII see Complete Prayer of Saint Michael the Archangel
Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945

Missa “Benedicite Dominum”

INTROIT: Psalm 102: 20

Benedícite Dóminum, omnes Angeli ejus: poténtes virtúte, qui fácitis verbum ejus, ad audiéndam vocem sermónem ejus. (Ps.102: 1) Bénedic, ánima mea, Dómino: et ómnia, quæ intra me sunt, nómini sancto ejus. v. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancti sicut erat in principio et nunc, et semper, et saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Repeat Benedicite Dominum…

Bless the Lord, all ye His angels: you that are mighty in strength, and execute His word, harkening to the voice of His orders. (Ps. 102: 1) Bless the Lord, O my soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy name. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat Bless the Lord…
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Saint Michael the Archangel

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Saint Michael the Archangel

Protector of the People of God

MI-CA-EL, or Who is like unto God? was the cry of the great Archangel when he smote the rebel Lucifer in the conflict of the heavenly hosts. From that hour he has been known as Michael, Captain of the armies of God, the archetype of divine fortitude, the champion of every faithful soul in strife with the powers of evil. What is more, we see him in Holy Scripture as the special guardian of the children of Israel, their comfort and protector in times of sorrow or conflict. It is he who prepares their return from the Persian captivity, when the prophet Daniel prays for that favor (Daniel 10:12-13); who leads the valiant Maccabees to victory in battle, after the prayer of Judas Maccabeus (I Mac. 7:41-44).

Ever since its foundation by Jesus Christ, the Church has venerated Saint Michael as her special patron and protector. She invokes him by name in her Confiteor, when accusing her faults; she summons him to the side of her children in the agony of death, and chooses him as their escort from the chastening flames of purgatory to the realms of holy light. Lastly, when Antichrist shall have set up his kingdom on earth, it is Michael who will unfurl once more the standard of the Cross. This we know from a prophecy of Scripture which states clearly that in those days the great prince Michael will rise up to protect the children of God. (Daniel 12:1-4)

During the plague in Rome in the 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great saw Saint Michael in a vision sheathing his flaming sword to show that he would put an end to the scourge which was ravaging the city. In 608 a church was erected in thanksgiving to Saint Michael for the help he gave.

Reflection: Saint Bernard wrote: Whenever any grievous temptation or vehement sorrow oppresses you, invoke your Guardian, your Leader. Cry out to him and say, Lord, save us, lest we perish!

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).