The Archangel Michael is honored for defeating Lucifer in the war in heaven.
In Revelation 12:7-12, St. John describes a great battle saying, "War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!”
The Archangel Michael is honored for defeating Lucifer in the war in heaven. He is the patron saint of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police officers, and military personnel.
The veneration of St. Michael—typically regarded as the greatest of the archangels and a mighty defender of the church against Satan—began in the Eastern Church in the 4th century and had spread to Western Christianity by the 5th century. During the Middle Ages, Michaelmas was a great religious feast and many popular traditions grew up around the day which coincided with harvest season in much of western Europe. In England it was the custom to eat goose on Michaelmas, which was supposed to protect against financial need for the next year. In Ireland, finding a ring hidden in a Michaelmas pie meant that one would soon be married.
Michaelmas, the Christian feast of St. Michael the Archangel, is celebrated in Western churches on September 29. Given St. Michael’s traditional position as leader of the heavenly armies, veneration of all angels was eventually incorporated into his feast day. In the Anglican Church, its proper name is the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels.
The Collect for St. Michael and All Angels
Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This blog is about living out our Christian faith in the Anglican tradition. It includes homilies, Sunday services, and commentaries from our leadership.