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“And there was a great battle in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels. And they prevailed not…”  (Apocalypse 12:7)
 

Click here for:  Prayers to Saint Michael 

 

Watch this marvelous video of Mont Saint Michel:

 

Off the coast of Normandy, France, there is a marvelous rocky island where Saint Michael appeared to Saint Aubert, Bishop of Avranches in 708. Nowhere is Saint Michael’s presence more keenly felt than at Mont Saint Michel.

 

Treasure of Christendom

Mont Saint Michel - Normandy FranceOnce known as the Tomb on the Hill, this medieval abbey-fortress was built in honor of Saint Michael. Today, pilgrims can still admire the marvels of this dazzling monument which typifies the sublime virtues of the warrior-monk, of bravery and fortitude.

Its lofty steeple speaks of the monastic life and sacrality; of something higher, something heavenly, something more than mere stone. Its beauty transcends stone and mortar and lifts the soul to a higher plain. What is this spirit? Did the Archangel bestow some of his spiritual beauty upon this mount?

 

Something Spiritual

Somehow, the monument allows us to form a supernatural glimpse of Saint Michael. There is something spiritual about it; something sublime that transcends art, and is apparent to those with refined spiritual perception.

If this monument reveals the soul of the warrior-monk, who prays and fights, we can understand how much more beautiful is the spirit of an Angel.

The spirit of Saint Michael is more beautiful than the soul of a monk, because he is a “monk” in the immense monastery of Heaven, where there is a perfect Abbess, Our Lady, and above the Abbess, an infinitely perfect Abbot, God Our Lord.

 

Devotion to Warrior Angels

St Micheal StatueSaint Michael the Archangel. In the Middle Ages, men had a great devotion to Angels, especially the warrior Angels. They understood how the Angels waged the first battle against evil in history.

The chief knight was Saint Michael. Therefore, the spirit of the Crusades, the spirit of Chivalry, and the spirit of this mount reflect Saint Michael.

Now, let’s visit the abbey, a fortress-Church. One can imagine monks chanting the office and one can also imagine knights in full armor, resisting the enemy on the walls.

Picture, if you can, magnificent libraries… monks studying; in another hall, artisans writing gold-leafed gothic letters on parchment, or cutting stones to decorate an unfinished pillar.

Suddenly, a trumpet blast cuts the silent air. At once, the order of Chivalry that resides here responds. Knights rush to the gates, repel the enemy and defend the monks.

The island is a synthesis of prayer, study, recollection, art and combat. All of these qualities stem from a rich spiritual life.

 

Think about God

The finest location is given to the chapel. The chapel sets the tone for everything else. There are places also dedicated to war and study. But what unites the buildings and gives the island unity is the Church steeple. It is like a paper weight resting on other papers and seems to say: “the wind will not blow these buildings away. They will stay right where they are.” And the Church steeple points to Heaven, beckoning the faithful to think about God.

 

Click here for:  Prayers to Saint Michael

 


Editor’s note:
This commentary was inspired by a talk given by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira about Saint Michael.
This article was first published at www.tfpstudentaction.org

 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 18, 2021

Our Lord loves you and loves you tenderly; and if He does no...

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May 18

 

Our Lord loves you
and loves you tenderly; and
if He does not let you feel the sweetness of His love,
it is to make you more humble and abject in your own eyes.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Eric IX of Sweden

The king’s zeal for the faith was far from pleasing to his...

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St. Eric IX of Sweden

Eric the Holy or Erik the Saint was acknowledged king in most provinces of Sweden in 1150, and his family line subsisted for a hundred years. He did much to establish Christianity in Upper Sweden and built or completed at Old Uppsala the first large church to be erected in the country. It is said that all the ancient laws and constitutions of the kingdom were, by his orders, collected into one volume, which came to be known as King Eric’s Law or The Code of Uppland.

The king soon had to take up arms against the heathen Finns. He vanquished them in battle, and at his desire, St. Henry, Bishop of Uppsala, who had accompanied him on the expedition, remained in Finland to evangelize the people.

The king’s zeal for the Catholic Faith was far from pleasing to his nobles, and we are told that they entered into a conspiracy against him with Magnus, the son of the king of Denmark. King Eric was hearing Mass on the day after the feast of the Ascension when news was brought that a Danish army, swollen with Swedish rebels, was marching against him and was close at hand. With unwavering calm he answered, “Let us at least finish the sacrifice; the rest of the feast I shall keep elsewhere”. After Mass was over, he recommended his soul to God, and marched forth in advance of his guards. The conspirators rushed upon him, beat him down from his horse, and beheaded him. His death occurred on May 18 in 1161.

The relics of St. Eric IX of Sweden are preserved in the Cathedral of Uppsala, and the saintly king's effigy appears on the coat of arms of the city of Stockholm.

Pope St. John I

The king had the pontiff arrested at Ravenna and thrown into...

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Pope St. John I

St. John I was a native of Siena in Tuscany and was one of the seven deacons of Rome when he was elected to the papacy at the death of Pope Hormisdas in the year 523.

At the time, Theodoric the Great ruled over the Ostrogoths in Italy and Justin I was the Byzantine Emperor of Constantinople. King Theodoric supported the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ.

Justin I, the first Catholic on the throne of Constantinople in fifty years, published a severe edict against the Arians, requiring them to return to orthodox Catholics the churches they had taken from them. The said edict caused a commotion among eastern Arians, and spurred Theodoric to threaten war.

Ultimately, he opted for a diplomatic solution and named Pope John, much against his wishes, to head a delegation of five bishops and four senators to Justin.

Pope John, refused to comply with Theodoric’s wishes to influence Justin to reverse his policies. The only thing he did obtain from Justin was for him to mitigate his treatment of Arians, thus avoiding reprisals against Catholics in Italy.

After the delegation returned, Theodoric, disappointed with the result of the mission, and growing daily more suspicious at reports of the friendly relations between the Pope and Justin I, had the pontiff arrested at Ravenna.

Pope John I died in prison a short time later as a result of ill treatment.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life. Cathe...

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The Rosary & True Beauty

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life.

Catherine was a young woman possessing great beauty. So much so, that she was known to those in Rome where she made her home as “Catherine the Beautiful.” Sadly, Catherine’s beauty went only skin deep, and she led a very sinful life.

One afternoon, strolling the streets of Rome, Catherine heard the voice of St. Dominic. This was the early 13th century and it was not unusual to cross paths with this great man of God.

On this particular day, he was preaching on the devotion to the Mother of God and the importance of praying her most holy Rosary. Caught up in the moment, Catherine had her name inscribed in the book of the confraternity and began to recite the Rosary. Though praying the Rosary gave her a sense of calmness she had not known before, Catherine did not abandon her sinful ways.

One evening, a youth, apparently a nobleman, came to her house. Catherine invited the handsome young man to stay to dine with her. When they were at supper, she saw drops of blood falling from his hands while he was breaking a piece of bread. Moments later, she observed, much to her discomfort, that all the food he took was tinged with blood.

Gathering up some courage to appease her curiosity, she asked him what that blood meant. With a firm but gentle look in his eyes, the youth replied that a Christian should take no food that was not tinged with the blood of Jesus Christ and sweetly seasoned with the memory of His passion.

Amazed at this reply, Catherine asked him who he was. "Soon," he answered, "I will show you." The rest of their meal passed uneventfully, yet always the drops of red catching Catherine’s eye, causing her to wonder about this man she supped with.

After dinner, when they had withdrawn into another room, the appearance of the youth changed. To Catherine’s stunned gaze, he showed himself crowned with thorns, his flesh torn and bleeding.

With the same firm but gentle gaze he said to her: “Do you wish to know who I am? Do you not know me? I am your Redeemer. Catherine, when will you cease to offend me? See how much I have suffered for you. You have grieved me enough, change your life."

Catherine began to weep bitterly, and Jesus, encouraging her, said: "Now begin to love me as much as you have offended me; and know that you have received this grace from me, on account of the Rosary you have been accustomed to recite in honor of my mother." And then he disappeared.

Catherine went in the morning to make her confession to St. Dominic, whose preaching on the Rosary had brought so marvelous a grace into her life. Giving to the poor all she possessed, from that day forward Catherine led so holy and joyful a life that she attained to great perfection.

It could now be said of her among the inhabitants of Rome that Catherine was indeed beautiful, but her beauty was no longer skin deep; her loveliness radiated from the depths of her soul.

The Most Holy Virgin often appeared to her; and Jesus himself revealed to St. Dominic, that this penitent had become very dear to him.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life. Catherine was a young woman possessing great beauty.

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