Describe the exemplary life of st Michael (the Archangel) and how Christians can relate to him today.
Revered by the Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths, St. Michael the Archangel, whose name in Hebrew means "Who is like God," is known as the warrior saint since it was he who defeated Satan and the other evil angels who defied God in the beginning. St. Michael's name is recorded in scripture four times: the first is in the Book of Daniel:
When he asks God to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem, Gabriel says to Daniel: "The Angel of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me . . . and, behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me . . . and none is my helper in all these things, but Michael your prince." [Daniel: 10-13]
And, in the Epistle of St. Jude, St. Michael fights over the body of Moses; he also guards the body of Eve according to Moses's revelations. Further, in Apocalypse 12:7, Michael the Archangel fights a tremendous battle in heaven and he "slays the dragon"; this fight recalls the battle in Heaven in the beginning.
From the scriptures, then, the prince of the angels, St. Michael the Archangel, plays four roles;
- He is the rescuer of God's people, the Jews in the Old Testament, and the Christians in the New Testament. As a result of this role, St. Michael became the patron saint of the Order of Knights of the Middle Ages.
- He is the rescuer of the souls of the faithful from the power of the devil in their hour of death.
- He fights against Satan.
- He brings men's souls to judgment upon their deaths.
At the ancient monastery on the isle known as Mount Saint Michel in France, St. Michael was to have appeared to the bishop, St. Aubert offering his protection if the bishop would build an abbey on the island. In addition to St. Michael's military role and role as guardian, he is also revered as a healer. In their devotion, the early Christians, whose tradition relates that
in the earliest ages [St. Michaesl] caused a medicinal spring to spout at Chairotopa near Colossea.
Patron of mariners and warriors alike, prince of the angels and healer of the sick, St. Micahel the Archangel is a most revered saint.