(CNA) — St. Michael, one of the three archangels — the only angels named in the Bible, is the “Prince of the Heavenly Host,” the leader of all the angels. His name is Hebrew for “Who is like God?” and was the battle cry of the good angels against Lucifer and his followers when they rebelled against God. He is mentioned four times in the Bible, in and , in the letter of and in .
Michael, whose forces cast down Lucifer and the evil spirits into hell, is invoked for protection against Satan and all evil. Pope Leo XIII, in 1899, having had a prophetic vision of the evil that would be inflicted upon the Church and the world in the 20th century, instituted a prayer asking for St. Michael’s protection to be said at the end of every Mass.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
may God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Christian tradition recognizes four offices of St. Michael:
- to fight against Satan;
- to rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death;
- to be the champion of God’s people; and
- to call away from earth and bring men’s souls to judgment.