When the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became man, the sublime office of guarding the Saviour during the thirty-three years of His earthly life fell to God’s zealous advocate, St Michael.
This is the pious belief of eminent Doctors and theologians. And since the Ark of the Covenant has been replaced by the Tabernacle, St Michael guards the Blessed Eucharist and keeps watch over the thousands of tabernacles and altars scattered throughout the world. Even so, he zealously guards Christ’s Vicar upon earth, the reigning Pope.
It has been revealed to various Saints that the great Archangel is the special guardian of the Blessed Sacrament; that he accompanies it everywhere: in the hands of the priest, upon the throne of exposition, in the tabernacle, when borne in procession, on its obscure visits to the sick, or wherever the love of the Divine Victim may cause it to be borne. Day and night, he keeps faithful vigil before the tabernacle in loving adoration.
At the beginning of Holy Mass, he is mentioned in the confession of faults. At the Offertory of a Solemn High Mass the priest implores the blessing of the Almighty upon the oblation, through the intercession of St Michael. And during the Canon of the Mass, after the Consecration, the priest prays God to command that the oblation is borne by the hands of His holy angel to His altar on high. The angel here referred to is doubtless the Archangel Michael. With loving solicitude, he watches over all the tiny particles which fall from the consecrated Hosts at the time of Holy Communion, that they may not be lost or desecrated.
The liturgy also presents St Michael to us as the incense-bearer standing beside the altar as our intercessor and as the bearer of the Church’s prayers before the throne of God. “An angel stood near the altar of the Temple, having a golden censer in his hand, and there was given to him much incense; and the smoke of the perfumes ascended before God” (Offertory Mass of St Michael).
Christ silent and veiled in the Holy Eucharist and Christ visible and speaking to us in the person of the Pope – these are the two objects of Satan’s inveterate hatred and rage. And these are also the two objects of St Michael’s greatest devotion and solicitude.
Let us range ourselves under the banner of St Michael, and by active zeal in the interests of Jesus, atone for the many outrages against the Blessed Sacrament and Christ’s vicar.
– From: ‘Neath St Michael’s Shield, Fifth Edition, 1962