In name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. O glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, defend us in battle, and in the struggle which is ours against the principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against spirits of evil in high places (Eph 6:12). Come to the aid of men, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil (Wis 2:23-24, 1 Cor 6:20).
Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there a place for them any longer in Heaven. But that cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with all his angels (Rev 12:7-9).
Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of man has taken courage, Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.
These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions (Lam 3:15).
In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.
Arise then, O invincible prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and bring them the victory.
The Church venerates thee as protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of this world and of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude.
Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Pope Leo XIII, who lived at the end of the nineteenth century, saw a vision regarding the church and satan. While details vary slightly from version to version, what is clear is that he had an encounter and the result of that encounter was to compose a prayer to St. Michael for aid. You can read about the vision by clicking here.
The most accepted version of the vision holds that it happened 33 years prior to the miracle of the sun at Fatima, which occurred October 13, 1917. The vision Pope Leo XIII saw occurred on October 13, 1884.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, 0 prince of the heavenly host, by the divine power of God, cast into hell satan and all evil spirits who roam now throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
This prayer was removed in 1962 from the foot of the altar. Consider how many negative things began in the 1960s.
Prayer removed from public schools – 1963
Woodstock – 1969
Roe v. Wade – 1973
And things have gone downhill from there. There is a correlation between the removal of the prayer from the church, and the downfall of western civilization at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century.
Saint Michael is invoked in the Litany of the Saints. This ancient prayer is used both communally and privately. Part of the litany is listed below.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God of the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
All ye holy angels and archangels,
All ye holy orders of blessed spirits,
Saint John the Baptist,
All ye holy patriarchs and prophets,
[the rest of the Litany is here]
The invocation to those in the heavens to pray is a recognition that just as someone would go to a fellow church member for prayer on earth, so it is possible to ask for those who are already in the heavens for prayer.