Please note: Every Saturday morning at Salem the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered in the Extraordinary Form at 8:15am at the side Altar of the Holy Family.
ABOUT THE FEAST OF THE DEDICATION OF ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL:
September 29th is the ancient commemoration of the dedication of the celebrated Lombard sanctuary of St. Michael at Sant’ Angelo on Monte Gargano in southern Italy. September 29th is also the most ancient Feast celebrated in his honor. [In the 1969 Calendar, September 29th is the Feast of all three archangels combined: Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. In the traditional Liturgical Calendar, St. Gabriel’s Feast is celebrated on March 24th and St. Raphael’s on October 24th respectively.]
There is a tradition that St. Michael appeared on this mountain and requested that a church be erected to him and all the angels. The captain of the heavenly armies, the angel named in the Canon of the Mass, held from early times the first place in the Liturgy among the other angels; wherefore many churches dedicated to St. Michael in the Middle Ages were simply known as churches “of the holy angel.” St. Michael, whose name signifies “who is like unto God” cast the evil spirit out of Heaven, and overcame Satan in the struggle for possession of the body of Moses. God has entrusted our defense, in the combat with the devil, to the angels. The reason of this is easily understood. The devil is a spirit who has lost none of the powers inherent to his nature. In order, therefore, that the struggle should not be unequal, God has placed at our side defenders of the same nature as Lucifer, that is to say pure spirits, who are, however, greater and more powerful than he is.
In the Old and the New Testament St. Michael, in the struggle against the Evil One, is always depicted as the invincible champion of God. The mystery of iniquity which, according to St. Paul, shall be boldly revealed in the last ages of the world and which has already begun its work of perversion, meets at present with an obstacle which hinders its full development. This obstacle is usually said to be the protection of St. Michael. St. Michael is appointed by God Himself to be the protector and defender of the Church. After the protective duty conferred on St. Joseph, there is no work on earth of such great importance and sublimity as that entrusted to St. Michael.
The Epistle treats the charge to St. John by an Angel to write to the seven Churches in Asia. In the Gospel Christ teaches humility, to beware of scandal, and to flee the occasions of sin, for our Guardian Angels see the face of God.
POPE LEO XIII’s VISION OF ST. MICHAEL and the LONGER VERSION OF THE PRAYER TO ST. MICHAEL BY POPE LEO:
One day, after celebrating Mass, the aged Pope Leo XIII (Born: March 2, 1810 – Died: July 20, 1903) was in conference with the Cardinals when suddenly he sank to the floor in a deep swoon. Physicians who hastened to his side could find no trace of his pulse and feared that he had expired. However, after a short interval the Holy Father regained consciousness and exclaimed with great emotion: “Oh, what a horrible picture I have been permitted to see!” He had been shown a vision of evil spirits who had been released from Hell and their efforts to destroy the Church. But in the midst of the horror the archangel St. Michael appeared and cast Satan and his legions into the abyss of hell. Soon afterwards Pope Leo XIII composed the following prayer to Saint Michael, which is the original version: