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PRAYER TO THE HOLY ANGELS

PRAYER TO THE HOLY ANGELS

PRAYER OF ST AUGUSTINE TO THE HOLY ANGELS 

O God, be propitious to me and guard me all the days of my life! be merciful unto me, and send to my aid thine Archangel, St Michael, that he may defend me against my enemies.

Holy Archangel, St Michael, protect me against all dangers, that I may not perish on the day of judgment. By the grace thou hast merited, and through Our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, I beseech thee to deliver me from the perils of death.

St Gabriel, St Raphael, Holy Angels and Archangels, come to my aid. Virtues of heaven, be my help and my strength, that no enemy may be able to injure me either by water or by fire, or while journeying; protect me from a sudden and unprovided death, and grant that, sleeping or waking, I may be freed from all danger. Amen.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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ANGELS OF GOD

ANGELS OF GOD

THE WORD “ANGEL” SIGNIFIES THE OFFICE, NOT THE NATURE

We must realise… that the word “angel” signifies the office, not the nature. The holy spirits of the heavenly Fatherland are always spirits but they cannot always be called angels. They are angels only when some message is sent through them.

Therefore, the Psalmist sings, “Who makes his spirits angels,” as if he wished to make a distinction, to say as it were, “Of those whom he has always as spirits, some he makes, when he wills, angels.”

Those who announce tidings of lesser import are Angels; those who bring more important messages are called Archangels. To the Virgin Mary no ordinary Angel was sent, but the Archangel Gabriel. For the delivery of this important message, the greatest of all tidings, it was fitting that the greatest of angels should be chosen. These great angels are given individual names, also, to characterise their particular power, such as Michael which means “Who is like God?”, Gabriel, “the strength of God”, Raphael, “the medicine of God.”

Whenever any work requiring great power is to be done, Michael comes forth. Thus from his act and his name we understand that no one can do what God alone has power to do. Hence the ancient enemy who through pride aspired to be like God saying, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven, I will be like to the Most High,” at the consummation of the world when he shall be left as prey of his own conceit in everlasting punishment, is presented to us as about to engage in combat with Michael the Archangel, according to the words of Saint John, “There was a battle with Michael the Archangel.”

Similarly Gabriel, whose name means “Strength of God,” is sent to Mary. He came to announce him who although he deigned to assume the appearance of humility, came that he might vanquish the ethereal spirits.

Raphael’s name is, as we have said, interpreted to mean “Medicine of God,” because he touched the eyes of Tobit to heal them and dispelled the darkness of his blindness.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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O JESU! LIFE-SPRING OF THE SOUL (HYMN)

O JESU! LIFE-SPRING OF THE SOUL (HYMN)

O Jesu! life-spring of the soul!

The Father’s power and glory bright!

Thee with the Angels we extol;

From thee they draw their life and light.

 

Thy thousand thousand hosts are spread

Embattled o’er the azure sky;

But Michael bears thy standard dread,

And lifts the mighty Cross on high.

 

He, in that sign, the rebel powers

Did, with their dragon prince, expel;

And hurled them from the heavens’ high towers,

Down, like a thunderbolt, to hell.

 

Grant us, with Michael, still, O Lord,

Against the prince of pride to fight;

So may a crown be our reward,

Before the Lamb’s pure throne of light.

 

To God the Father praise be done,

Who hath redeemed us through his Son;

Anoints us by the Holy Ghost,

And guards us by the Angel-host. Amen.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London 1964

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2019 in More Inspirational Hymns

 

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ARCHANGEL MICHAEL, CONSOLER OF THE POOR SOULS

In her beautiful prayers in the Mass for the Dead, the Church with maternal solicitude places the souls of her departed children in the hands of St Michael, that he may lead them into the kingdom of everlasting light. If St Michael is so solicitous for the welfare of souls during their lifetime on earth and at the hour of death, we may be certain that he will also befriend them during their stay in Purgatory and will hasten to bring them consolation.

St Michael helps the Holy Souls in Purgatory

A Cistercian monk appeared to a priest friend soon after his death and told him he would be delivered from Purgatory if during Holy Mass the priest would recommend his soul to St Michael. The priest complied with this desire, and he, together with others who were present, had the consolation of seeing the soul of his friend taken to Heaven by the Archangel.

It is related that a certain priest, one day while offering the Holy Sacrifice for the dead, recommended some souls in a particular manner when pronouncing the words: “May the Prince of Angels, St Michael, lead them into the glory of Heaven.” At the same time he saw the glorious Archangel descend from Heaven into Purgatory to deliver those souls and to conduct them into Paradise.

St Michael conducted the Holy Souls into Paradise

“The prince of the heavenly militia,” says St Anselm, “is all-powerful in Purgatory, and he can assist the Poor Souls whom the justice and sanctity of the Almighty retain in this place of punishment.” “It is incontestably recognised since the foundation of Christianity,” declares St Robert Bellarmine, “that the souls of the Faithful Departed are delivered from Purgatory  through the intercession of St Michael the Archangel.” Let us add to these authorities the words of St Alphonsus Liguori: “St Michael has received the care of consoling and helping the souls in Purgatory.”

– From: ‘Neath St Michael’s Shield, Fifth Edition, 1962

 

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ST MICHAEL, ARCHANGEL – DEFENDER OF GOD’S PEOPLE FROM OF OLD

Both in the Old and the New Testament, the holy Archangel Michael is called the “guardian angel of the people of God”. He is also honoured as the “Herald of the General Judgment” and the “Guardian of Paradise”. It is his office to lead all the elect into the Kingdom of Eternal Glory.

Defender and leader of God’s people in Paradise

The world’s history is replete with instances of St Michael’s solicitude for the children of men during the time of their earthly pilgrimage. He began to fulfil his office as defender and leader of God’s people in the Garden of Paradise. St Ambrose says that God commissioned St Michael to lead Adam into Paradise, to explain to him the purpose of his creation, to guide him and to associate with him in visible form. After the fall of Adam and Eve, this same glorious Archangel stood guard at the gate of Paradise with flaming sword, “to keep the way of the tree of life” (Gen 3:24).

The Fathers of the Church tell us that even though in many instances the name of St Michael is not mentioned in Holy Scripture, when reference is made to the services of an angel, we may confidently believe that it was either St Michael himself who rendered assistance, or his angelic subjects, who did so at his command.

Important missions

They speculate that it may have been St Michael who warned Noe [Noah] of the coming flood, and that it was through St Michael that Abraham was named the father of the chosen people and received that wonderful promise which Holy Church has immortalised in her prayers for the dead: “May the holy standard-bearerMichael, introduce them into that holy light which thou didst promise of old to Abraham and his descendants.”

The Angel who appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Ex 3:2) was St Michael, according to the teaching of St Gregory Nazianzen. It was this mighty Angel who performed the wonders which took place at the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, and through whom God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites on Mount Sinai. Likewise, the Angel who routed the army of Sennacherib (4 [2] Kings 19:35) was the holy Archangel Michael.

After the death of Moses, according to an ancient Jewish tradition to which St Jude refers to in his Epistle (Jude 1:9), St Michael concealed the tomb of Moses from the people, and also from Satan, who wished to disclose it to the Israelites to seduce them thereby to the sin of false worship.

God revealed to St Michael the designs of His justice and mercy regarding His chosen people. Of this the prophecies of Daniel and Zacharias bear witness. Finally, it was this great celestial prince who aided the Israelites and rendered the army of Judas Macchabeus victorious over their enemies.

(Even to this day the Jews invoke the holy Archangel Michael as the principal defender of the Synagogue and their protector against enemies. On the Feast of the Atonement they conclude their prayers with this beautiful invocation: “Michael, Prince of Mercy, pray for Israel, that it may reign in Heaven, in that light which streams forth from the face of the King who sits upon the throne of mercy.”)

Protector of the Church

Just as the chosen people of the Old Law were marvellously protected by St Michael, so we may believe that this same prince of Heaven protects the Church of God even more wonderfully. Under the New Law, as under the Old, St Michael is the “Vicar of the Most High and the Prince of His people,” ever prepared to render assistance. The Fathers of the Church are of one mind in teaching that St Michael is the guardian angel and the protector of the Catholic Church.

Time and again, in centuries past, St Michael came to the rescue when dreadful wars and persecutions threatened to destroy Christianity. He it was who, at the command of Mary, Queen of Angels, came to the assistance of Constantine the Great in the fourth century and helped his forces to gain a brilliant victory over the pagan Emperor Maxentius. The Archangel himself revealed his identity in this instance. Appearing to Constantine after the completion of a beautiful church, which the latter had erected in his honour in gratitude, he said: “I am Michael, the chief of the angelic legions of the Lord of hosts, the protector of the Christian religion, who while you were battling against godless tyrants, placed the weapons in your hands.” This famous edifice, generally known as the Michaelion, has been the scene of many miracles wrought through the great Archangel.

Many miracles

Later, St Michael proved himself a powerful protector against invasion. The Greek Emperor Justinian erected six churches in his honour, in grateful recognition of his assistance. St Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, who in the fifteenth century saved France, ascribed her vocation and her victories to St Michael. Three times he appeared to her and informed her that she was called to deliver her country. In the sixteenth century, when it seemed that the Turks (Muslims fighting under the Turkish sultan) would conquer all Europe, St Michael at the command of the Blessed Virgin again championed the cause of the Christian (Catholic) Faith, and a glorious victory was gained over the infidels at the Battle of Lepanto.

Thus has St Michael proved himself a valiant warrior for the honour of God, both in Heaven and on earth. And he still wages incessant war with the archfiend Satan in the great Kingdom of God on earth, the Church.

Victorious St Michael

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich was reputed to have had visions of the past and future combats of the Church. Repeatedly she saw St Michael, in the form of a warrior, standing above the Church, replacing his bloodstained sword in its scabbard as a sign of victory. She was also shown how, in the present-day struggles of the Church, St Michael would bring about a most glorious victory. This thought should be consoling to all faithful Christians who view with alarm the many shafts of persecution now being directed against the Church.

Pope Leo XIII, realising by divine enlightenment the present and future struggles of the Church against the powers of Hell, felt convinced that through the intervention of St Michael, Hell would be conquered and the Church restored to peace and liberty. He therefore composed a prayer in honour of this warrior Archangel and ordered it to be recited daily after low Mass in all the churches throughout the Christian world.

It is said that one day, having celebrated the Holy Sacrifice, the aged Pontiff was in conference with the Cardinals. Suddenly, he sank to the floor in a deep swoon. Physicians who hastened to his side feared that he had already expired, for they could find no trace of his pulse. However, after a short interval the Holy Father rallied and, opening his eyes, exclaimed with great emotion: “Oh, what a horrible picture I was permitted to see!” He had been shown in spirit the tremendous activities of the evil spirits and their ravings against the Church. But in the midst of this vision of horror, he had also beheld consoling visions of the glorious Archangel Michael, who had appeared and cast Satan and his legions back into the abyss of Hell. Soon afterwards, he composed the well-known prayer: “St Michael, the Archangel, defend us in the battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and the snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray…”

The Church has special need of St Michael’s powerful protection in our times. On all sides she is assailed by strong and bitter enemies. In one country after another, religious persecution rises to an ever higher pitch of hatred and insolence. The terrible crimes which have been committed in recent times, and are still being committed against the Church, both in her sanctuaries and against her members, surely are instigated by the devil. No human mind could be base enough to conceive and put them into execution.

The gates of Hell shall never prevail

We know that the gates of Hell shall never prevail against the Church, for our Lord has promised to be with her till the End of Time, but we must do our part in defending her cause. God might have cast the rebel down into Hell by a single act of His Will, but he chose rather to send against them His armies of loyal spirits under the leadership of the great St Michael. So too, in the present critical times, He could confound the enemies of the Church by merely willing to do so. But He wills, rather, that we should cooperate in her defence under the leadership of the Great Captain of the heavenly hosts.

– From: ‘Neath St Michael’s Shield, Fifth Edition, 1962

 

 

 

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WHY IS ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL CALLED “PRINCE OF THE HEAVENLY HOST”?

Theologians are of the opinion that St Michael surpasses in glory and power all other angels in Heaven and possesses in the highest and most perfect degree the zeal and the love peculiar to the highest Seraphim.

The title “Archangel” does not, in accord with the words of St Peter and St Jude Thaddeus, signify that St Michael belongs to the choir of angels designated by that name, but that he is an angel of superior rank. The Church also invokes him as the prince of the angels, who has supreme command over all the heavenly hierarchies.

St Michael has supreme command over all the heavenly hierarchies

This position of honour was merited by St Michael in the battle which he waged against Lucifer and the rebellious angels before the creation of the world. When God created the angels as magnificent spirits of light and love, which in countless hosts surround His heavenly throne, He bestowed upon them most eminent gifts of nature and grace.

But before admitting them to the unveiled vision of His glory in Heaven, He placed them under probation, just as later He subjected mankind to a trial of obedience in the persons of Adam and Eve.

The nature of the trial is not known with certainty. Learned and saintly theologians hold that the Heavenly Father revealed to the angels the future Incarnation of His Divine Son, whom they were to adore in His Sacred Humanity. At the same time He revealed to them the surpassing dignity and glory of Mary, whom, as the Mother of God, they were to venerate as their Queen.

The angels were subjected to a trial

Lucifer, one of the most glorious and exalted princes of the heavenly court, dazzled by the splendour of his own gifts, rebelled at the thought that human nature should be preferred to his own angelic nature. He would not acknowledge that a woman, inferior to him in nature, should at some future time be made his Queen, and that the seed of that woman should be preferred to himself for the honour of the hypostatic union. Desiring for himself the prerogatives of the God-Man, he raised his great battle-cry of rebellion: “I will be like the Most High!” (Is 14:14).

Who is like unto God?

Some have held that, in their pride, a third of the angels took up Lucifer’s rebellious cry. At the same instant another great Archangel, equal in beauty and grace to the proud Lucifer, prostrated himself before the throne of God. With an act of profound adoration, he opposed the cry of the rebellious angels with his own battle-cry of love and loyalty: “Mi-cha-el” – “Who is like unto God?”

The fearlessness and fidelity of this mighty champion roused the faithful angels, who rallied to his standard, repeating with one accord: “Who is like unto God?”

The tremendous battle

Then followed that tremendous battle between the good and the bad angels which St John describes in the Apocalypse:

And there was a great battle in Heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world (Apoc. 12:7:9).

Thus, St Michael and his faithful followers won a glorious victory. With the swiftness of lightning, Lucifer and his companions were transformed into hideous demons and cast into the abyss of eternal torment and darkness, which God created for them.

The angels most willingly recognise St Michael’s supremacy

In reward for his zeal and fidelity, the holy Archangel Michael was made prince and commander-in-chief of all the heavenly legions. The angels most willingly and gratefully recognise his supremacy, for after God, they owe to him their perseverance in grace and their eternal happiness.

With loving submission they receive from him their various offices. They are attentive to his slightest wish, seeing in his commands and regulations the will of God, the sovereign Lord and King of all. Thus St Michael receives highest honour among the angels in the heavenly court.

St Michael was the first to announce the Saviour to the angelic choirs

On our part, also, he deserves highest honour among the angels. Since he was the first to recognise and adore the Word-made-flesh, and the first to be illumined by His grace, he is the “first Christian”. He is also the “first Apostle,” because he was the first to announce the Saviour to the angelic choirs. He is the “first lieutenant” of Jesus Christ, for he was the first to lead the faithful servants of God to victory against the enemy.

– From: ‘Neath St Michael’s Shield, Fifth Edition, 1962

 

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MILLIONS OF EVIL SPIRITS ROAM ABOUT THE WORLD AND EXERCISE TREMENDOUS INFLUENCE OVER WORLD EVENTS

St Michael, Archangel, Helper and Defender of Christians

“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 in the present time have Catholics needed St 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 Catholics, to confess our Faith openly and energetically and to preserve a glowing, invincible love for Jesus Christ.

When Satan rises to seduce us…

St Michael is the conqueror of Satan . Under his leadership, let us unfurl everywhere the banner of the Catholic 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 St 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 honours, 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 is a continuous temptation

‘Our whole life,’ says St 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. There 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. St Anthony of the Desert (251-356) 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 St 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.’

Prayer of exorcism to St Michael

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 Catholics 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 mean triumph for Satan and attack on the Church and ruin for souls. The Prayer to St Michael deserves to be taken to the hearts of all Catholics and recited by them frequently, and even daily. It is a prayer particularly applicable to our times and to all Christendom.”

– From “Neath St. Michael’s Shield” (links added afterwards)

 

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