The name of the archangel Michael means, in Hebrew, who is like unto God? and he is also known as “the prince of the heavenly host.” He is usually pictured as a strong warrior, dressed in armor and wearing sandals. His name appears in Scripture four times, twice in the Book of Daniel, and once each in the Epistle of St. Jude and the Book of Revelation. From Revelation we learn of the battle in heaven, with St. Michael and his angels combatting Lucifer and the other fallen angels (or devils). We invoke St. Michael to help us in our fight against Satan; to rescue souls from Satan, especially at the hour of death; to be the champion of the Jews in the Old Testament and now Christians; and to bring souls to judgment.
This day is referred to as “Michaelmas” in many countries and is also one of the harvest feast days. In England this is one of the “quarter days”, which was marked by hiring servants, electing magistrates, and beginning of legal and university terms. This day also marks the opening of the deer and other large game hunting season. In some parts of Europe, especially Germany, Denmark, and Austria, a special wine called “Saint Michael’s Love” (Michelsminne) is drunk on this day. The foods for this day vary depending on nationality. In the British Isles, for example, goose was the traditional meal for Michaelmas, eaten for prosperity, France has waffles or Gaufres and the traditional fare in Scotland used to be St. Michael’s Bannock (Struan Micheil) — a large, scone-like cake. In Italy, gnocchi is the traditional fare.
St. Gabriel’s name means “God is my strength”. Biblically he appears three times as a messenger. He had been sent to Daniel to explain a vision concerning the Messiah. He appeared to Zachary when he was offering incense in the Temple, to foretell the birth of his son, St. John the Baptist. St. Gabriel is most known as the angel chosen by God to be the messenger of the Annunciation, to announce to mankind the mystery of the Incarnation.
The angel’s salutation to our Lady, so simple and yet so full of meaning, Hail Mary, full of grace, has become the constant and familiar prayer of all Christian people.
Our knowledge of the Archangel Raphael comes to us from the book of Tobit. His mission as wonderful healer and fellow traveller with the youthful Tobias has caused him to be invoked for journeys and at critical moments in life. Tradition also holds that Raphael is the angel that stirred the waters at the healing sheep pool in Bethesda. His name means “God has healed”.
Quotes on the Angels
1) “When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.” – St. John Chrysostom
2) “Beside each believer stands an Angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life.” – St. Basil the Great
3) “Those closest to God in heaven, the seraphim, are called the fiery ones because more than the other angels they take their fervor and ardor from the intense fire of God.” – St. Robert Bellarmine
4) “When tempted, invoke your Angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel.” – St. John Bosco
5) “How happy is that guardian angel who accompanies a soul to Holy Mass!” – St. John Vianney
6) “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” – G. K. Chesterton
7) “If the Angels could envy, they would envy us for Holy Communion.” – Pope St. Pius X
8) “We should show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux
9) “Make yourself familiar with the Angels, and behold them frequently in spirit. Without being seen, they are present with you.” – St. Francis de Sales
10) “I have great reverence for Saint Michael the Archangel; he had no example to follow in doing the will of God, and yet he fulfilled God’s will faithfully.” – St. Faustina Kowalska
11) “The powers of hell will assail the dying Christian; but his angel guardian will come to console him. His patrons, and St. Michael, who has been appointed by God to defend his faithful servants in their last combat with the devils, will come to his aid.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori
12) “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” – St. Augustine
13) “Ask your angel to console and assist you in your last moments.” – St. John Bosco
Powerful Prayer Invoking The Holy Angels
Bless the Lord, All you His Angels, You who are Mighty in strength And do His Will.
Intercede for me At the throne of God, And by your unceasing watchfulness Protect me in every danger Of soul and body. Bless the Lord, All you His Angels, You who are Mighty in strength And do His Will.
Intercede for me At the throne of God, And by your unceasing watchfulness Protect me in every danger Of soul and body.
Obtain for me The grace of final perseverance, So that after this life I may be admitted To your glorious company And may sing with you The praises of God For all eternity.
O all you holy Angels And Archangels, Thrones and Dominations, Principalities and Powers And Virtues of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim And especially you, My dear Guardian Angel, Intercede for me And obtain for me The special favor I now ask
(State your intention here…).
Say 9 Our Father…
“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. “This is a picture of Her.” The woman gasped. “I know that picture! It inspired a conversion.” She then asked excitedly, “Do you have a minute to hear the story?”
As Mr. Ferraz listened, he learned that the woman, Maria Vegra, had a 22-year old son who had recently passed away after three weeks in the hospital due to a fatal injury received in a car accident. While in the hospital, a priest would visit him every day to administer Holy Communion. The priest consistently offered the sacrament to the neighboring patient of Maria’s son, another young man who was also in critical condition. The young man would say, “No. I don’t believe in God.” But the priest continued to offer salvation. “Let me hear your confession and give you Holy Communion and Last Rights,” the priest said, “it will save your soul and get you to heaven.” Time after time, the young man stubbornly refused.
During the weeks of hospitalization and fruitless medical treatments, Maria had taken her son a picture of Our Lady of Fatima a friend had given her from an America Needs Fatima mailing.
She knew Our Lady’s watchful gaze would give her son peace in his last days. The day after she placed Our Lady’s picture at the foot of her son’s bed, she heard the voice of his stubborn neighbor: “please,” he said, “bring the picture closer to me. I want to look at the Lady.”
Surprised but willing, Maria placed the picture in the middle of the two suffering men.
After three days of letting the nearby picture of Our Lady touch his heart as he gazed into Her eyes, the suffering patient relented. “Please,” he called out, “bring me the priest. I want to receive the sacraments.”
A few days later, the young man died a Catholic. With a simple picture of Our Lady of Fatima, God touched a heart and saved a soul.
By Catherine Ferdinand
A hermit of Mount Olivet had in his cell
a holy image of Mary, and frequently offered up prayers before it. The devil could not endure such devotion to the holy Virgin, and tormented him continually with temptations against purity; and the poor old hermit finding himself still pursued by them, notwithstanding all his prayers and mortifications, said one day to the enemy: “What have I done to you, that you will not leave me in peace?” And the demon appeared to him and answered: “You torment
me more than I torment you;” and then he added: “Now come, and swear secrecy to me, and I will tell you what you must cease to do, if you wish me not to molest you any more.” The hermit took the oath, and then the devil said to him:
“I wish you never again to approach that image that you have in your cell.” The hermit was greatly perplexed, and went to take counsel of the Abbot Theodore, who told him that he was not bound by his oath, and that he must not cease to recommend himself to Mary before that image, as he had done before. The hermit obeyed, and the devil was put to shame and conquered.
Excerpt from “The Glories of Mary” by St.Alphonsus Liguori
Little is known about the life of Januarius. He is believed to have been martyred in the Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of 305. Legend has it that Januarius and his companions were thrown to the bears in the amphitheater of Pozzuoli, but the animals failed to attack them. They were then beheaded, and Januarius’ blood ultimately brought to Naples.
“A dark mass that half fills a hermetically sealed four-inch glass container, and is preserved in a double reliquary in the Naples cathedral as the blood of St. Januarius, liquefies 18 times during the year…Various experiments have been applied, but the phenomenon eludes natural explanation….” [From the Catholic Encyclopedia]
We read in the life of sister Catherine, an Augustinian nun, that in the place where that servant of God lived, there lived also a woman named Mary, who, in her youth, was a sinner, and obstinately persevered in her evil courses, even to extreme old age. For this she was banished by her fellow-citizens, forced to live in a cave beyond the limits of the place, and died in a state of loathsome corruption, abandoned by all, and without the sacraments; and on this account was buried in a field, like a beast. Now sister Catherine, who was accustomed to recommend very affectionately to God the souls of those who had departed this life, after learning the miserable death o/ this poor old woman, did not think of praying for her, as she and every one else believed her already among the damned. Four years having past, a soul from purgatory one day appeared to her, and said, “Sister Catherine, how unhappy is my fate! you commend to God the souls of all those who die, and for my soul alone you have had no pity.” “And who are you?” said the servant of God. “I am,” answered she, “that poor Mary who died in the cave.” “How! are you saved?” exclaimed sister Catherine. “Yes, I am saved,” she said, “by the mercy of the Virgin Mary.And how?’ “When I saw death drawing near, finding myself laden with sins, and abandoned by all, I turned to the mother of God and said to her, Lady, thou art the refuge of the abandoned,behold me at this hour deserted by all; thou art my only hope, thou alone canst help me; have pity on me. The holy Virgin obtained for me the grace of making an act of contrition; I died and am saved, and my queen has also obtained for me the grace that my pains should be abridged, and that I should, by suffering intensely for a short time, pass through that purification which otherwise would have lasted many years. A few masses only are needed to obtain my release from purgatory. I pray thee cause them to be offered for me, and I promise to pray God and Mary for thee.” Sister Catherine immediately caused those masses to be said for her, and that soul, after a few days, appeared to her again, more brilliant than the sun, and said to her, “I thank thee, sister Catherine: behold I am now going to paradise to sing the mercy of God and pray for thee.”
Source:”The Glories of Mary”
One day in 1944, a Carmelite missionary in the Holy Land was called to an internment camp to give the Last Rites. The Arab bus driver made the priest get off the bus four miles from the camp because the road was dangerously muddy. After two miles, the missionary found his feet sinking deeper and deeper into the mire. Trying to get solid footing, he slipped into a muddy pool. Sinking to his death in this desolate place, he thought of Our Lady and Her Scapular. He kissed his great Scapular — for he was wearing the full
habit — and looked toward the holy mountain of Carmel, the birthplace of devotion to God’s Mother. He cried out, “Holy Mother of Carmel! Help me! Save me!” A moment later, he found himself on solid ground. Later he said, “I know I was saved by the Blessed Virgin through Her Brown Scapular. My shoes were lost in the mud, and I was covered with it, but I walked the remaining two miles praising Mary.
One day while walking with the Padre in front of the friary he noticed that Padre was the object of much affection and devotion from the people. Seeing this, Fr. Durante said to himself: “How can this man resist the temptation of vanity and of feeling pleased with himself’?
He had just finished saying this to himself when the Saint turned towards him, smiled and softly said to him: “See how much glory is being given to God!”.”
(Testimony of Fr. Antonio Durante, born August 7, 1912 and died June 11, 1970. Testimony is given in Genoa by Fr. Riccardo Geminiani, capuchin friar, April 20, 1995.)
Ordained a priest in 1846, Fr. Cavanagh began his priestly labors in the difficult years of the Great Famine, a time of hunger, disease and death in Ireland. His reputation for holiness took root in this time, when he did all in his power to feed the hungry, to visit the sick, and to minister to the dying. His parishioners saw him spending long hours in prayer both in the church and at his parish house.
In 1867 he was appointed parish priest of the combined parishes of Knock and Aghamore. There he became famous for his sermons, simple and direct, but profound and exacting in setting forth the truths of the Faith. He preached often on devotion to the Mother of God and constantly exhorted the faithful to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.
He placed great emphasis on the importance of the Morning Offering, often instructing his flock to offer up all their thoughts, words, deeds and sufferings to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the hands of Mary Most Holy. In this way they would sanctify their whole day and give glory to God by everything that they did.
Here are his words from a sermon on the Feast of Epiphany in 1882:
“Let each one of you never neglect the Sign of the Cross the moment you awake from sleep. Remember that there stands at your bedside, watching you, the Demon who wants to drag you down to Hell by tempting you to sin and the good Angel who watches you to help you to Heaven. You must choose for the day which you will follow. If you make the Sign of the Cross at once, you place yourselves on the side of God. You choose his standard, and the Devil will flee from you.
“When rising, you must praise and adore God for His goodness in sparing you to see another day. Never, never leave the room where you have slept – no matter what the hurry of your business may be – without saying at least three Our Fathers and Hail Marys in honor of the ever-Blessed Trinity, to place yourself under God’s protection for the day. This will take you only a few minutes.
“Then you must offer to God all your actions for the day that they may belong to Him! Oh! What merit you will have for any action thus offered to Him! It will not take you very long to say this short prayer:
I offer you all my thoughts words and action to the honor and glory of God, into the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in union with the Adorable Heart of Jesus, and the sufferings of my Divine Lord for the Souls in Purgatory.
“All our actions are thus consecrated to God and offered to His honor and glory, and we leave all our actions at the disposal of the Blessed Virgin Mary for those holy souls who, when released from Purgatory, will never forget us. They will pray constantly for us at the throne of God. One soul released from Purgatory gives more glory to God than the entire universe.” (Liam Ua Cadain, Ven. Archdeacon Cavanagh: Pastor of Knock Shrine 1867-1897, Knock Shrine Society: 1955)
This was how Fr. Cavanaugh preached to his people, who always remained fully attentive and never seemed to grow tired – however long the address.
Following the Apparition on August 21, 1879, Fr. Cavanaugh was kept extremely busy with interviews and pilgrims’ confessions in addition to his own parish duties. In October 1879, he began keeping a diary of all cures reported at Knock. By the end of 1880, he had already recorded some 300. The Church investigated the Apparition of Knock at that time and again in 1936, and found nothing contrary to the faith in it.
Fr. Cavanaugh died on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1897, and was laid to rest in Knock Parish Church.
A certain man in Germany had committed a great sin, and was ashamed to confess it, yet on the other hand he could not endure the remorse which he felt, and went to cast himself into the river; but just as he was on the point of doing so, he stopped, and bursting into tears, prayed God to pardon him without confession. One night in his sleep he felt some- one waking him, and heard a voice saying: “Go and make your confession.” He went to the church, but yet did not make his confession.
He heard the same voice a second night; again he went to the church, but after he had entered it, said that he would rather die than confess that sin. He was about to return home, when
he yought he would go and recommend himself to the most holy Mary, before her image which was in the church. He had hardly kneeled be- fore it, when he felt himself entirely changed. He immediately arose, called for a confessor, and weeping bitterly, through grace received from the Virgin, made a sincere confession; and he afterwards said that he felt greater satisfac- tion than if he had gained all the gold in the world.
Source:”The Glories of Mary”