What do we know about St. Michael the Archangel? Who was Saint Michael the archangel? The Bible and church tradition that has been passed down through the generations give us some facts.
The name “Michael” means “who is like God?”
He is mentioned in the book of Revelation, warring against satan.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:7-9
He is mentioned in the Book of Daniel. The angel, Gabriel, was sent to speak to Daniel in response to Daniel’s prayers.
Then he said unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou dist set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Daniel 10:12,13
St. Michael is also mentioned in the book of Jude.
Tradition holds that it was St. Michael who met Joshua.
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:13-15
While Saint Michael the archangel has been the champion for God in battles in history, he is still warring for God today. This is why he is invoked by many though the prayer of St. Michael.
Michael has to fight against Samael. In Jewish tradition, Samael is called “Samael the wicked, the head of all the devils.” Samael is the name of satan in Judaism.
He is represented as “the prince or advocate of Israel.”
The first encounter with satan is at the time of the fall. Michael fought satan when there was a war in heaven. When satan was thrown down from heaven, His enmity with Samael dates from the time when the latter was thrown down from heaven. Samael took hold of the wings of Michael, whom he wished to bring down with him in his fall; but Michael was saved by God.
According to rabbinical tradition, there are numerous times when Michael intervened in the history of the nation of Israel. Michael rescued Abraham. It was Michael who brought the message to Abraham that Lot had been taken captive. (Genesis 14:13) Michael protected Sarah from being defiled by Abimelech. He rescued Lot from the destruction of Sodom. He stopped Isaac from being sacrified. He saved Jacob in the womb. He protected Jacob from Laben. He wrestled with Jacob and later blessed him.
He saved Asenath, Dinah’s daughter from being killed. Tradition has it that Asenath later became the wife of Joseph in Egypt. He also saved Tamar from being burned. He was also said to have been the angle that destroyed the army of Sennacherib.
Thus St. Michael the Archangel is very much involved with the history of the nation of Israel.
St. Michael the archangel is an archangel in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The name Michael means “who is like God?” He is mentioned in the book of Daniel, the Revelation, and the book of Jude.
Daniel Chapter 10
10:1 In the third year of Cyrus, king of the Persians, a message was revealed to Daniel, called Belteshazzar, and a true word, and great strength. And he understood the message, for understanding is needed in a vision.
10:2 In those days, I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks of days.
10:3 I ate no desirable bread, and neither meat, nor wine, entered my mouth, neither was I anointed with ointment, until the three weeks of days were completed.
10:4 But on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, I was next to the great river, which is the Tigris.
10:5 And I lifted up my eyes, and I saw, and behold, one man clothed in linen, and his waist was wrapped with the finest gold,
10:6 and his body was like the golden stone, and his face had the appearance of lightning, and his eyes that of a burning lamp, and his arms and all that is downward all the way to the feet had the appearance of glowing brass, and his speaking voice was like the voice of a multitude.
10:7 But I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see it, but an exceedingly great terror rushed over them, and they fled into hiding.
10:8 And I, having been left alone, saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me, moreover, my appearance was altered, and I languished, not having any strength.
10:9 And I heard the voice of his words, and when I heard, I lay down in confusion on my face, and my face was close to the ground.
10:10 And behold, a hand touched me, and raised me onto my knees and the knuckles of my hands.
10:11 And he said to me, “Daniel, man of longing, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand yourself upright, for I am now sent to you.” And when he had said these words to me, I stood trembling.
10:12 And he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, because from the first day that you set your heart to understand, by afflicting yourself in the sight of your God, your words have been heeded, and I have arrived because of your words.
10:13 But the leader of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me for twenty-one days, and behold, Michael, one of the primary leaders, came to help me, and I remained there next to the king of the Persians.
10:14 But I have come to teach you what will happen to your people in the latter days, because the vision is for a long time from now.”
10:15 And while he was speaking words to me in this way, I cast my face down to the ground and was silent.
10:16 And behold, something in the likeness of a son of man touched my lips. Then, opening my mouth, I spoke and said to him who stood before me, “My lord, at the sight of you, my limbs became weak and no strength has remained in me.
10:17 And so, how can the servant of my lord speak with my lord? For no strength remains in me; and even my breathing is hindered.”
10:18 Therefore, he who looked like a man, touched me again and strengthened me.
10:19 And he said, “Fear not, O man of longing. May peace be with you. Take courage and be strong.” And when he spoke to me, I recovered, and I said, “Speak, my lord, for you have strengthened me.”
10:20 And he said, “Do you not know why I have come to you? And next I will return, to fight against the leader of the Persians. When I was leaving, there appeared the leader of the Greeks arriving.
10:21 But, in truth, I announce to you what is expressed in the scripture of truth. And no one is my helper in all these things, except Michael your leader.”
Daniel Chapter 12
12:1 “But at that time Michael will rise up, the great leader, who stands up for the sons of your people. And a time will come, such as has not been from the time that nations began, even until that time. And, at that time, your people will be saved, all who will be found written in the book.
12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awaken: some to everlasting life, and others to a reproach that they will always see.
12:3 But those who have taught will shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who instruct many towards justice, like the stars for unending eternity.
12:4 But you, Daniel, close the message and seal the book, until the established time. Many will pass through, and knowledge will be increased.”
Revelation Chapter 12
12:1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and on her head was a crown of twelve stars.
12:2 And being with child, she cried out while giving birth, and she was suffering in order to give birth.
12:3 And another sign was seen in heaven. And behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.
12:4 And his tail drew down a third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman, who was about to give birth, so that, when she had brought forth, he might devour her son.
12:5 And she brought forth a male child, who was soon to rule all the nations with an iron rod. And her son was taken up to God and to his throne.
12:6 And the woman fled into solitude, where a place was being held ready by God, so that they might pasture her in that place for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
12:7 And there was a great battle in heaven. Michael and his Angels were battling with the dragon, and the dragon was fighting, and so were his angels.
12:8 But they did not prevail, and a place for them was no longer found in heaven.
12:9 And he was thrown out, that great dragon, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduces the whole world. And he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.
12:10 And I heard a great voice in heaven, saying: “Now have arrived salvation and virtue and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been cast down, he who accused them before our God day and night.
12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of his testimony. And they loved not their own lives, even unto death.
12:12 Because of this, rejoice, O heavens, and all who dwell within it. Woe to the earth and to the sea! For the devil has descended to you, holding great anger, knowing that he has little time.”
12:13 And after the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who brought forth the male child.
12:14 And the two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman, so that she might fly away, into the desert, to her place, where she is being nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
12:15 And the serpent sent out from his mouth, after the woman, water like a river, so that he might cause her to be carried away by the river.
12:16 But the earth assisted the woman. And the earth opened her mouth and absorbed the river, which the dragon sent out from his mouth.
12:17 And the dragon was angry at the woman. And so he went away to do battle with the remainder of her offspring, those who keep the commandments of God and who hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ.
12:18 And he stood upon the sand of the sea.
Jude 1:9 When Michael the Archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring against him a judgment of blasphemy, so instead he said: “The Lord commands you.”
In these scriptures, Michael is seen as playing an important role, first among the nation of Israel, and later among the Christian church.
*All Scripture references from the Sacred Bible, Catholic Public Domain Version