Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels
(Revelation 12:7-12ab; John 1:47-51)
Not everyone prays to St. Michael. Some people may think it is like believing in ghosts. But those who do, feel under siege and in need of supernatural help.
The “Prayer to St. Michael” was composed by Pope Leo XIII toward the end of the nineteenth century. He mandated that It be said after all “low masses,” that is masses without singing. Leo, like his predecessor and three successors, felt hemmed in by the Italian government. The papacy had lost jurisdiction over a vast part of central Italy and thought their ability to govern the universal Church weakened. The original culprits against whom Michael’s interference was requested were the Italian nationalists. When the issue was resolved with the creation of the Vatican state, Pope Pius XI mandated the prayer continued with a new intention, the conversion of Russia. The obligation of saying the prayer after low masses was removed during Vatican II. But the prayer has continued to be said, albeit with new intentions. Many people with an addiction to pornography feel the need for St. Michael’s help to overcome their weakness.
Angels are God’s emissaries. They are a powerful means that God uses to accomplish His purposes. If it helps us to pray, we should beseech to these intermediaries. St. Michael seems to have a record of success. But if we pray more intensely to God directly, He is the origin of any assistance we might receive.