The familiar picture of St. Michael the Archangel, with sword in hand, vanquishing Satan is inspired by the book of Revelation. A great war shakes the heavens. “Michael and his angels fought the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated.” (Rev 12, 7-8) Michael, the Archangel, is God’s commander in battle, the powerful messenger of His truth, who fights against evil and its deceptions. He is a symbol of God’s victory over the forces of darkness; a pledge that God and the forces of good will prevail no matter how hard the struggle. And so, over the centuries, St. Michael has been chosen by soldiers and armies, by cities and places as their strong patron. He is invoked by those who must fight hard against powerful forces of evil, even at the cost of life.
Those engaged in law enforcement, those who must combat crime and strongly entrenched networks of evil, call upon St. Michael. St. Michael is also called upon at the time of death, when one must struggle against fear and darkness. Like the angel who came to strengthen Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, St. Michael is a patron to call when death draws near.
Christians have always recognized that life is a battle against evil in many forms. Powerful forces we can hardly describe go about the world intent on destroying all that is good. They can appear overwhelming and cause great fear.
Yet, a force more powerful than all the combined forces of evil protects us. By God’s grace, the power of Jesus Christ is ours. And his angels are the army that wins the battle.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; protect us against the deceit and wickedness of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray. And you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God banish into hell Satan and all of the evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls.