September 29, 2019

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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
16th Sunday after Pentecost
Feast of St. Michael the Archangel

In 1884, Pope Leo XIII ordered certain prayers to be said after Low Mass, in defense of the independence of the Holy See. God's help was sought for a satisfactory solution to the loss of the Pope's temporal sovereignty, which deprived him of the independence felt to be required for effective use of his spiritual authority. The prayer to St Michael described below was added to the “Leonine Prayers” in 1886.

The practice of reciting this and the other Leonine prayers after Mass was relaxed in 1965. Removing the obligation to recite this prayer (along with the three Hail Marys, the Hail Holy Queen, and the prayer for the Church) after Low Mass did not mean forbidding its use either privately or publicly in other circumstances. Thirty years later, Pope John Paul II recommended its use, saying:

May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle that the Letter to the Ephesians speaks of: 'Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might' (Ephesians 6:10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St Michael the Archangel (cf. Revelation 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had this picture in mind when, at the end of the last century, he brought in, throughout the Church, a special prayer to St Michael:

'Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.'

Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.

Pope St. John Paul II, Regina Caeli, 24 April 1994

On 29 September 2018, Pope Francis asked Catholics everywhere to pray the Rosary each day during the following month of October and to conclude it with the ancient prayer Sub tuum praesidium and the Leonine prayer to Saint Michael. ….”so that evil may not prevail". Amen!

Fr. Christopher J. Pollard

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb 13,8)