Longer Version of St. Michael Leonine Prayer

In 1888, four years after Pope Leo XIII’s vision, a longer prayer was composed.

Here is Pope Leo XIII’s prayer to St. Michael.

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.

 

 

The Vision of Pope Leo XIII

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.

Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII

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.

Miracle of the Sun
Miracle of the Sun, Fatima, 1917

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.

 

 

Litany of the Saints

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.

Litany of the Saints

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,
Saint Michael,
Saint Gabriel,
Saint Raphael,
All ye holy angels and archangels,
All ye holy orders of blessed spirits,
Saint John the Baptist,
Saint Joseph,
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.

Litany of the Saints
Litany of the Saints

St. Michael in Judaism

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.

Jacob wrestling with the angel
Angel wrestling with Jacob

 

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 in Scriptures

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.

 

Archangel Michael
St. Michael the Archangel

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