What’s in That Prayer? The Collect for Saint Michael the Archangel

Here is the oration that the Church prays in the Mass and Office of Saint Michael (September 29):

Deus, qui, miro órdine, Angelórum ministéria hominúmque dispénsas: concéde propítius; ut, a quibus tibi ministrántibus in cœlo semper assístitur, ab his in terra vita nostra muniátur.

Here is my translation:

O God who, by a wondrous arrangement, dost dispense the ministries of Angels and men: mercifully grant that our life on earth may always be defended by these same, who ever attend to Thee in heaven.

Here is the translation from the Divinum Officium site:

O God, Who assign according to a wondrous order the duties of Angels and men, mercifully grant that our life on earth be guarded by those who continually stand in Your presence and minister to You in heaven.

The angels are portrayed in Holy Scripture as ministering both to God and to us. “Are they not all,” Saint Paul asks, “ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?” (Heb. 1:14). Ministering both to God and to men — attending to One, defending the other — they are perfect intercessors, and indeed are portrayed as such in the book of the Apocalypse (see here).

On this feast of the glorious prince of the heavenly host, we are reminded of the protection of these pure spirits who never knew sin and who never fell, but who, like us, have Jesus for their Savior. They are fellow members of the Mystical Body.

May they defend us from our ever-present foes, fleshly and ghostly, in the Church and in the State.