Saint Michael's Catholic Church, Gorey

including St. Kevin's Church, Tara Hill

picture of Michael the Archangel

St. Michael The Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

The name Michael comes from the Hebrew MYKAL (or Micah), which means "Who is like God." Michael the Archangel, one of the seven archangels, led the "good angels" in the fight against Satan and his followers, and his name was the "war cry" of these "good angels."

He is also one of the three angels mentioned by name in the Scriptures, the others being St. Raphael and St. Gabriel. St. Michael is spoken of twice in the Old Testament, and twice in the New.

The first reference occurs in the Book of Daniel (chapter x), where Michael comes to comfort Daniel after he has had a vision, and promises to be his helper in all things. In Daniel xii, Michael is called "the great prince who standeth for the children of Thy people." In these references Michael is represented as Israel's great support during the seventy years of the Babylonian captivity. Daniel, wise and holy leader that he was, wanted his people to understand that God had not forgotten them, and that, even though enslaved, they had a royal champion. In the New Testament (Jude ix), we are told that Michael disputed with the devil over the body of Moses; this episode is not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. In the Apocalypse (chapter xii) we find the most dramatic reference to St. Michael. Here John recounts the great battle in Heaven, when the wicked angels under Lucifer revolt against God, and how Michael, leading the faithful angels, defeats the hosts of evil and drives them out. In this role he has been painted by many artists, and the poet Milton, in book vi of "Paradise Lost", recounts the famous struggle. Because of this victory, St. Michael is revered in Catholic tradition and liturgy as the protector of the Church, as once he was regarded as the protector of the Israelites. In the Eastern Church, as well as among many theologians in the West, St Michael is placed over all the angels, as prince of the Seraphim. He is the special patron of sick people, mariners, and grocers; in Asia Minor many curative springs were dedicated to him. His cult has also been popular in Egypt, Rome, France, and Germany. His emblems are a banner, a sword, a dragon, and scales. The name Michael is a variation of Micah, meaning in Hebrew, "Who is like God?" Saint Michael, Archangel. Scriptural Saint. Celebration of Feast Day is September 29. Taken from "Lives of Saints", Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc. He is mentioned in scripture four times:Following these Scriptural passages, Christian tradition gives to St. Michael four offices: 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, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the order of knights during the Middle Ages. To call away from earth and bring men's souls to judgment ("signifer S. Michael repraesentet eas in lucam sanctam", Offert. Miss Defunct. "Constituit eum principem super animas suscipiendas", Antiph. off. Cf. "Hermas", Pastor, I, 3, Simil. VIII, 3). Regarding his rank in the celestial hierarchy opinions vary; St. Basil (Hom. de angelis) and other Greek Fathers, also Salmeron, Bellarmine, etc., place St. Michael over all the angels; they say he is called "archangel" because he is the prince of the other angels; others (cf. P. Bonaventura, op. cit.) believe that he is the prince of the seraphim, the first of the nine angelic orders. But, according to St. Thomas (Summa, I, cxiii, a. 3) he is the prince of the last and lowest choir, the angels. The Roman Liturgy seems to follow the Greek Fathers; it calls him "Princeps militiae coelestis quem honorificant angelorum cives". The hymn of the Mozarabic Breviary places St. Michael even above the Twenty-four Elders. The Greek Liturgy styles him, "highest general" (cf. Menaea, 8 Nov. and 6 Sept.).

Christian tradition gives to St. Michael four offices:

the year in Ireland In Normandy St. Michael is the patron of mariners in his famous sanctuary at Mont-Saint-Michel in the Diocese of Coutances. He is said to have appeared there, in 708, to St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches. In Normandy his feast"S. Michaelis in periculo maris" or "in Monte Tumba" was universally celebrated on October 18, the anniversary of the dedication of the first church, October 16, 710; the feast is now confined to the Diocese of Coutances. In Germany, after its evangelization, St. Michael replaced for the Christians the pagan god Wotan, to whom many mountains were sacred, hence the numerous mountain chapels of St. Michael all over Germany.