There is no denying the fact that a spiritual war is going on. Don’t believe us? Turn on the evening news. Evil is definitely present in our world today, and Satan desperately wants to steal souls away from God and Heaven.
Catholicism teaches that angels have been present since creation and throughout salvation history. When Christ comes back at the final judgment, the angels will accompany him. At the head of the army of angels is Saint Michael, the archangel. A force to be reckoned with, the angels fight against the evil powers, striving to lead souls to Christ and to Heaven. In the battle for our souls, angels are amazing warriors.
Bishop Robert Barron recently described the immense spiritual force of the archangel, saying, “Michael is invariably depicted in the armor of a warrior, for he is the general of the angelic army that stood athwart the legions of Lucifer, who had dared to arrogate to himself the prerogatives of God. He fought, not with sword and spear, but with the unanswerable challenge of his own name: Micha-el (Who is like God?).”
An incredible prayer that can arm us against the devil and his evil ways is the Chaplet of Saint Michael. The history of the chaplet can be traced back to Antonia d’Astonac, a Portuguese Carmelite nun who received a vision of Saint Michael. In the vision, he asked to be honored by a prayer that salutes the nine choirs of angels. The vision was approved by Pope Pius IX in 1851.
There are some amazing gifts promised to those who pray the chaplet. After you say the chaplet, Saint Michael and one angel from each of the nine celestial choirs will accompany you the next time you receive Holy Communion. For those who pray the chaplet daily, Saint Michael promised his continual assistance during life on this earth. The chaplet is believed to be a weapon against the demonic forces that prowl about the earth, seeking the ruin of souls.
In a talk on the fighting against the power of evil in the world, Bishop Barron left listeners with practical ways to combat the devil. He said, “The weapons we have are the Mass, the Eucharist, confession, the sacraments, the saints. In other words, the whole ‘stuff’ of the church you might construe as the weapons that we can use in the battle against the dark powers.”
An additional promise made to those who pray the chaplet daily is that they will be delivered from purgatory.
The Chaplet of Saint Michael begins with an act of contrition. Then there are nine salutations, each recognizing the choirs of angels. The salutations are followed by an Our Father and three Hail Marys. Finally, four Our Father are prayed to honor Saints Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and the Guardian Angel. A prayer to Saint Michael concludes the chaplet.
Here are the salutations to the nine choirs of angels:
1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity.
2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection.
3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility.
4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us the grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions.
5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation.
6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil.
7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience.
8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven.
9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven.
Saint Michael, pray for us!