St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle…
By Mary Powers
St. Michael the Archangel, the leader of the angelic army and great defender of heaven, has also been given to us as an advocate in our earthly journey and battles against temptation. He is thought to have been Jesus’ guardian on earth and today is referred to as the guardian angel of the Eucharist.
The name Michael means, “Who is like God?,” a reflection on the reality that no one is like God, placing humility and service to the Divine King over the pride of our own desires.
St. Michael has come to the aid of the Church and many saints over time. In 1886, after seeing a vision of the devil’s attack on the Church in the 20th century, Pope Leo XIII wrote the prayer of St. Michael the Archangel, which was then said after every Mass and promulgated to the people to pray for their personal protection as well as for Church and the world.
The stained-glass window of St. Michael the Archangel at St. Michael Korean Church in San Francisco depicts the angelic warrior with a sword in his hand and with the sun of justice above his head. Facing the tabernacle, St. Michael stands guard in the tent-shaped roof, harkening back to the biblical tent that housed the Ark of the Covenant.
The window was designed by Gabriel Loire of Chartres, France, and installed in 1967. Loire began working in stained glass in 1926 and opened his own workshop in 1946. A history of the church provided by St. Michael’s notes, “Loire has reconstructed the classical techniques of the old masters of Chartres to create in sculptured glass a contemporary design of St. Michael.”
We continue to call on St. Michael for protection of the Church in our own time, and for our Archdiocese of San Francisco. St. Michael, pray for us.
The feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Rafael, is Sept. 29.
Mary Powers assistant director of Communications and Media Relations for the Office of Communications, Archdiocese of San Francisco.