This great prince, Saint Michael, is the general patron and protector of the holy Catholic Church. He was also a special witness and faithful minister of the mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption.
In the Old Testament, of the earth Moses says that it was void, which he does not say of the heavens; for God had created the angels at the instant indicated by the word of Moses: “God said: Let there be light, and light was made.” He speaks here not only of material light, but also of the intellectual or angelic lights.
Saint Michael and the angels were created in the empyrean heavens that they might be first to merit the reward of glory. In the first instant they were all created and endowed with graces and gifts, coming into existence as most beautiful and perfect creatures. Though they were in the midst of heaven, the Divinity itself was not to be made manifest to them face to face and unveiled until they should have merited such a favor by obeying the Divine will.
God told the angels that He would create a human nature and reasoning creatures lower than themselves. They were informed that these humans were to stand in high favor, and that the second Person of the blessed Trinity was to become incarnate and assume their nature, raising it to the hypostatic union and to divine Personality; that therefore they were to acknowledge Him as their Head, not only as God, but as God and man. Moreover, the angels were to be His inferiors in dignity and grace and were to be His servants. God revealed the justice and reasonableness of such a position, for this God-man was revealed to them as the source of the grace which they now possessed and of the glory which they were to obtain. They understood also that they themselves had been, and all the rest of the creatures should be created for His glory, and that He was to be their Head. All those that were capable of knowing and enjoying God, were to be the people of the Son of God, to know and reverence Him as their Chief.
The Almighty at this juncture worked another wonderful mystery. Having given to all the angels a sufficiently clear intelligence of the great mystery of the hypostatic Union, He showed them the image of the most holy Virgin by means of a vision. They were shown the perfection of the human nature in a most perfect Woman in whom the almighty arm of the Most High would work more wonderfully than in all the rest of His creatures, for in her He was to deposit the graces and gifts of his right hand in a higher and more eminent manner. The angels were ordered to admit this Woman as Queen and Mistress, in whose womb the Onlybegotten of the Father was to assume flesh.
To these commands Saint Michael and the holy angels submitted themselves and gave their full assent, freely subjecting themselves and praising the power and the mysteries of the Most High.
Lucifer, however, full of envy and pride, resisted and induced his followers to resist likewise. In disorderly fury he aspired to be himself the head of all the human race and of the angelic orders, and if there was to be a hypostatic union, he demanded that it be consummated in him. The decree constituting him inferior to the Mother of the Incarnate Word, our Mistress, he opposed with horrible blasphemies. Turning against the Author of these great wonders in unbridled indignation and calling upon the other angels, he exhorted them, saying:
“Unjust are these commands and injury is done to my greatness; this human nature which Thou, Lord, lookest upon with so much love and which thou favorest so highly, I will persecute and destroy. To this end I will direct all my power and all my aspirations. And this Woman, Mother of the Word, I will hurl from the position in which Thou hast proposed to place Her, and at my hands, the plan, which Thou settest up, shall come to naught.”
This proud boast so aroused the indignation of the Lord that in order to humble it, He spoke to Lucifer:
“This Woman, whom thou refusest to honor, shall crush thy head and by Her shalt thou be vanquished and annihilated. And if, through thy pride, death enters into the world, life and salvation of mortals shall enter through the humility of this Woman. Those that are of the nature and likeness of that Man and Woman, shall enjoy the gifts and the crowns, which thou and thy followers have lost.”
To all this the dragon, filled with indignation against whatever he understood of the divine will and decrees, answered only with pride and by threatening destruction to the whole human race.
The holy prince Saint Michael then rose up to defend the honor of the God incarnate and of His holy Mother, being armed with ardent zeal and with the invincible shield of that vision. The Archangel Michael and his companions asked God that they be allowed to give battle to the dragon and his followers. Armed with divine power and with his own humility, Saint Michael resisted the arrogant pride of the dragon, saying:
“Worthy is the Highest of honor, praise and reverence, and of being loved, feared and obeyed by all creation. He is mighty to work whatever He desires. He that is uncreated and without dependence on any other being, cannot seek anything that is not most just. To us He gave grace such as we have, creating us and forming us out of nothing. He can create other beings, as many and in what manner He pleases. It is reasonable that we, submissive and prostrate in his presence, adore his Majesty and kingly grandeur. Come then, ye angels, follow me, let us adore Him, and extol his admirable and secret judgments, his most perfect and holy works. God is most exalted and above all creatures, and He would not be the Most High, if we could attain or comprehend his great works. Infinite He is in wisdom and goodness, rich in the treasures of his benefits. As Lord of all and needing none, He can distribute them to whomsoever He wishes, and He cannot err in the selection. He can love and confer his favor to whomsoever He chooses, and He can love whom He likes; He can raise up, create and enrich according as it is his good pleasure. In all things He will be wise, holy and irresistible. Let us adore and thank Him for the wonderful work of the Incarnation which He has decreed, and for his favors to his people and for its restoration to grace after its fall. Let us adore this Person endowed with the human and the divine nature, let us reverence It and accept It as our Head; let us confess, that He is worthy of all glory, praise and magnificence, and, as the Author of grace, let us give Him glory and acknowledge his power and Divinity.”
Saint Michael and his angels gave battle, fighting with the powerful rays of truth against the dragon and his followers, who on their hand made use of blasphemies. Lucifer, at the sight of the holy prince, was torn with interior rage and sought to fly from his torments; but it was the will of God that he should not only be punished, but also conquered, in order that by his fall he might know the truth and power of God. Nevertheless he blasphemed and cried out:
“Unjust is God in raising the human nature above the angelic. I am the most exalted and beautiful angel and the triumph belongs to me. It is I who am to place my throne above the stars and who shall be like unto the Highest; I will subject myself to no one of an inferior nature, and I will not consent that any one take precedence of me or be greater than I.”
To this Saint Michael answered: “Who is there like unto the Lord, who dwells in the heavens, or who to compare himself to Him? Be silent, enemy, cease thy dreadful blasphemies, and since iniquity has taken possession of thee, depart from our midst, wretch, and be hurled in thy blind ignorance and wickedness into the dark night and chaos of the infernal pains. But let us, O spirits of the Lord, honor and reverence this blessed Woman, who is to give human flesh to the eternal Word; and let us recognize Her as our Queen and Lady.”
Lucifer and his angels did not prevail; for injustice, lies, ignorance and malice cannot prevail against equity, truth, light and goodness; nor can these virtues be overcome by vices. Their memory was blotted out from His mind, where they had been written by the excellences and graces of the nature given to them. Having lost the right to the places, which had been reserved for them if they had obeyed, it passed over to mankind. To man these places were now transferred in such a way that the very vestiges of the apostate angels were blotted out and were no more found in heaven.
Lest one think their punishment unjust, keep in mind that the Most High had revealed to all the angels the eternal reward suitable to his friends and the eternal punishment due to those that would follow Lucifer. His Majesty showed them hell and its pains. They saw it all; for, by virtue of their superior and excellent nature, they understood fully the consequences of their action, so that, before falling from grace, they were clearly aware of the place of their chastisement.
The holy prince Saint Michael hurled from heaven the dragon Lucifer with the invincible battle-cry:
“Who is like unto God?”
So powerful was this cry, that it sufficed to precipitate that proud giant and all his host to the earth and cast him in dreadful ignominy to the center of the earth. From that time he began to be called dragon, serpent, devil and satan, imposed upon him by the holy archangel in that battle as a testimony of his iniquity and malice.
This was the first of Saint Michael's great victories, though later in time the Almighty made Saint Michael a special ambassador of Christ our Lord and allowed him to act as the defender of his most holy Mother. Upon her birth, a thousand angels were chosen from the Seraphim and the lower orders of angels to be her special protectors, and in order that this invincible warrior-troop might be well appointed, Saint Michael, the prince of the heavenly host, was placed at their head. Although not always in the company of the Queen, he was nevertheless often near Her and frequently revealed himself to her during her sojourn on earth.
Let the holy Archangel Saint Michael, prince of the celestial hosts, rejoice eternally since he defended in battle the glory of God Most High, the Incarnate God, and the Blessed Mother of God!
Saint Michael's Feast Day is September 29th.
*The information related above is from the book “Mystical City of God,” written by Venerable Mary of Agreda and carrying the imprimatur of a Catholic Archbishop. They are revelations given to the incorrupt saint by the Mother of God, and written under the command of her superiors. There can be no doubt that God can and does manifest to chosen souls hidden things in addition to what He teaches through the public ministry of His Church.
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