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Sunday, 18 November 2018
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ARCHANGELS Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

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The Feast of the Archangels

 

Michael

St.Michael the Archangel is mentioned over a dozen times in the Bible. His name means "Who is like unto God?", the battle cry of the good Angels that drove Lucifer from Heaven. In Revelation 12:7 --- Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back.

In Holy Scripture he is shown to be the guardian and comforter of the Chosen People (Israel), sent to prepare them for their return from captivity in Babylon, and who later ensured the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek invaders.

The early Church entrusted the care of the sick to St Michael and many healing springs and churches were named for him. In the tradition of the Church, Michael has been assigned four great offices: to fight against Satan; to rescue the souls of the faithful from his grasp, especially at the moment of death; to be the special Patron of Holy Church; and to bring the souls of the dead for the particular judgement.

St Michael's was one of the 'voices' which instructed St Joan of Arc. He is also held to be the special Guardian Angel of the Pope and of the Blessed Sacrament.

Gabriel

St. Gabriel's name means "God's strength". He is one of the seven Angels who "Stand before God". St. Gabriel is mentioned four times in the Bible. In the Book of Daniel, Chapter 8, Gabriel explains the vision of the ram, and foretells the defeat of the Persian Empire by Alexander of Greece. In the following chapter he foretells the coming of Christ after "70 weeks" of years.

In the New Testament, he appeared to Mary to announce that she would bear Jesus as the Son of God (Luke 1:26). He then appeared to Zechariah to announce that Elizabeth was with child: John the Baptist (Luke 1:19). This time God's word is not received from its minister and Zechariah is struck dumb.

In Jewish tradition Gabriel was considered to be the Angel of Judgement, as at Sodom and as at the destruction of the army of Sennacherib. He it is, too, who marks the foreheads of the elect. In the Christian tradition, it is also Gabriel who gives the message of "Good News" to the shepherds, who warns Joseph to take the Child Jesus into Egypt, and who comes to strengthen Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane as He is about to be betrayed.

Raphael

St. Raphael's name means "God's Remedy." St. Raphael is mentioned in the Bible 23 times, all throughout the book of Tobit. He it is who cures the blindness of Tobit and acts as guide during his son's trip to Media. Thus St Gabriel is revered as the Patron Saint of travellers and of the young and the innocent.

The Guardian Angels

 

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Prayer:

Saint Michael, the Archangel,
defend us in the hour of conflict,
be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God restrain him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust satan down to hell
and with him all wicked spirits
who wander through the world
seeking the ruin of souls.

 

The Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel

The Chaplet of St. Michael is a wonderful way to honour this great Archangel along with the other nine Choirs of Angels.

What do we mean by Choirs? It seems that God has created various orders of Angels. Sacred Scripture distinguishes nine such groupings: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels and Angels (Isa. 6:2; Gen. 3:24; Col. 1:6; Eph. 1:21; Rom. 8:38). There may be more groupings but these are the only ones that have been revealed to us. The Seraphim is believed to be the highest Choir, the most intimately united to God, while the Angelic Choir is the lowest.

The history of this Chaplet goes back to a devout Servant of God, Antonia d'Astonac, who had a vision of St. Michael. He told Antonia to honour him by nine salutations to the nine Choirs of Angels. St. Michael promised that whoever would practice this devotion in his honour would have, when approaching Holy Communion, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for those who would recite the Chaplet daily, he promised his continual assistance and that of all the holy angels during life.

 


The Chaplet of St. Michael


O God, come to my assistance.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, etc.

[Say one Our Father, and three Hail Marys, after each of the following nine salutations in honour of the nine Choirs of Angels]

 

1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen.
2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection. Amen.
3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen.
4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominions may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions. Amen.
5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. Amen.
6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven. Amen.
9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven. Amen.


Say one Our Father in honour of each of the following leading Angels:

St. Michael,
St. Gabriel,
St. Raphael
and our Guardian Angel.


Concluding prayers:
O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue, deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence, and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day. Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.

Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence. This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

 

Litany of St Michael

The Guardian Angels