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Although it is no longer recited at the end of the Masses, as was the case in the past, prayer to St. Michael the Archangel remains a powerful aid “in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world”
After receiving a terrible vision of devilish forces about to be released on Earth in 1884, Pope Leo XIII wrote his own prayer to St. Michael, ordering it to be recited immediately after all the Masses prayed in the Latin rite. Prayer to the Archangel became part of the so-called “leonine prayers,” which were left aside by the liturgical reform of the 1960s.
In 1994, however, Pope John Paul II noted the absence of this prayer and asked that it be recited again by the faithful. It was on April 24 , at the Vatican, after the traditional prayer of the Regina Caeli :
“May prayer strengthen us for that spiritual battle which the Letter to the Ephesians says: ‘Strengthen yourselves in the Lord and in the power of his virtue’ ( Eph 6:10 ). It is to this same battle that the Book of Revelation refers, putting before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (see Rev 12, 7). Pope Leo XIII was certainly present before this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to the whole of the Church to St. Michael: “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the fight against wickedness and traps of the devil … ‘
Although today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of the Eucharistic celebration, I invite everyone not to forget it, but to recite it for help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world .”
Curiously, a decade after this prayer was no longer recited in the parishes after the Masses, Blessed Pope Paul VI recognized with regret the victories that Satan and his forces were obtained over the Church. In a homily on June 29, 1972 , he warned:
By some breach, the smoke of Satan entered the temple of God . There is doubt, uncertainty, problematic, restlessness, confrontation. There is no more trust in the Church; trust is placed in the first profane prophet who comes to us in a newspaper or in some social movement, to turn to him and ask him if he has the formula of true life. And we do not notice, instead, that we are already masters and masters [of that formula]. Doubts entered our consciousness and entered through the windows that were to be opened to light instead.
This state of uncertainty reigns in the Church. It was believed that, after the Council, there would be a sunny day for the history of the Church. Instead, there came a day of clouds, of storm, of darkness, of search, of uncertainty. We preach ecumenism, and we distance ourselves more and more from others. We try to dig up chasms instead of grounding them. How did this happen? We entrust to you our Thought: there was the intervention of an adverse power. Your name is the devil .”
The prayer to Saint Michael was composed by Pope Leo XIII on October 13, 1884, exactly 33 years before the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. Here is the original Latin version of the prayer and its Portuguese translation:
Sancte Michael Archangele, defend us in proelio, against nequitiam et insidias diaboli this praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis, Satan aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in world, divine virtue, in infernum detrude. Amen.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in combat, be our refuge against the evil and the snares of the devil. Command him God, we urge him at once, and you prince of the heavenly militia, by the Divine Power, plunge into hell to Satan and all evil spirits, who walk the world to lose souls. Amen.