“St Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle”

The Prayer to St Michael is a prayer for spiritual protection. It was part of the “Leonine Prayers” that were prayed after Mass from 1886 to 1964. Pope John Paul II, in 1994, said that “although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.” (Regina Coeli, 24th April 2004)

It is a reminder that evil is real – and as “unreal” as it may seem at times, that our battle isn’t “against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12)

But more importantly, that in Christ, we have the victory. For He died that “he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Heb 2:14-15)

Bonifacio Veronese, St Michael Vanquishing the Devil, 1530 (Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice)

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle;

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon…” (Rev 12:7)

Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Eph 6:11) and “may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.” (2 Tim 3:7)

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:

“But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you.'” (Jude 9)

And you, O Prince of the heavenly host,

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people.” (Dan 12:1)

By the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits,

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison… and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Rev 12:7, 9-10)

Who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (1 Pe 5:8-9)

Amen.

Luca Giordano, St Michael, 1663 (Staatliche Museen, Berlin)
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