The greatest and most powerful of all God’s angels is Saint Michael. His name means Who is like to God? This was the challenge he issued to Lucifer when Lucifer offended God and was hurled by Saint Michael out of Heaven and into hell. It was Saint Michael who appeared to Abraham to forbid him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Saint Michael brought the plagues to Egypt. Saint Michael led the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land and fought with Lucifer for the body of Moses. Saint Michael led Josue into the Promised Land. Saint Michael delivered the three young men from the fiery furnace. Saint Michael sent Habacuc to feed Daniel in the lions’ den.
Saint Michael escorted the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven on the day of her Assumption. Saint Michael is the Guardian Angel of the Pope. He is the special protector of the Church. He is the special angel of the Blessed Sacrament. He leads the souls of the Just into Heaven when they die. He is invoked in the lovely prayer: “Holy Archangel Michael, defend us in the battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil….”
Saint Michael is invoked in all Masses for the dead, in the Offertory prayer. His name is mentioned in every solemn high Mass when the priest blesses the incense. He is the first one named after Our Lady in the Litany of the Saints. He is invoked in the prayer for the dying. Saint Michael has two feast days: one on May 8, to commemorate the dedication of a chapel to him at Monte Gargano in Italy, in 525, and one on September 29, to commemorate the dedication of the great church to him in Rome, in 530.
Saint Gregory the Great was the Pope specially devoted to Saint Michael. Saint Michael appeared to Saint Joan of Arc and helped her in her battle against the English. He also appeared in France, in Normandy, in 709. A beautiful shrine was built to him on a hill there, the still famous Mont Saint-Michel. Devotion to Saint Michael went over from Normandy to Ireland, to Scotland, where he has been greatly reverenced and loved. Michael has become an almost total Irish name.
See also: Monseigneur Saint Michel