Posted by: fvbcdm | September 29, 2011

Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael (29 Sept 2011)

In the English-speaking world, we are accustomed to call boys and men whose real name is Michael by the nickname “Mickey.”  One of the reasons for this is that back in the history of our language, the name of the archangel Michael was pronounced to rhyme with nickel, so it was a short step from that to Mickey, the diminutive.  And today, September 29, was called Mickelmas and was traditionally the beginning of the school year.  In that tradition, we might pray for all teachers and students today through the intercession of the archangels whom we celebrate today:  Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
I think it was Saint Thomas Aquinas who wondered about the sin committed by the great Lucifer, who went from being a very prominent archangel to one of the principal devils in hell. That has not been revealed to us, but Saint Thomas guessed that it might be that Our Lord in his human form was presented to the angels for their adoration, and Lucifer refused to worship a human being.  That idea points out the superiority of the angelic nature over the human, and the superiority of Our Lord Jesus Christ over any of the angels because he is a divine person as well as a human one. This is why we can correctly speak of Our Lord’s “sacred heart,” “holy face,” “sacred hands,” “precious blood,” etc.
Getting back to the middle ages, we might note that in those days, there was a great devotion in the Church to Saint Michael the Archangel.  In Rome there is a huge building on the bank of the Tiber which is called either Hadrian’s tomb or the Castel Sant’Angelo. It is just a few blocks from the Vatican, and was built as the tomb for the Emperor Hadrian.  Later, Saint Michael the Archangel is reported to have appeared there, sheathing his sword to indicate the end of a plague in the city. Thus the pagan building became a shrine to one of the archangels. And far to the northwest, two monasteries were erected in honor of Saint Michael. The more famous of the two is Mont Saint-Michel on the French coast of the English Channel, and the other, in England, is Saint Michael’s Mount.  The French Mont Saint-Michel is immensely popular as a tourist attraction because of its imposing size and beauty, rising as it does above the tidal flats between Normandy and Brittany.
It is good to know that within the community of believers which we call “the mystical body of Christ,” we have fellow human beings, and also a great many angels, some of whom are our own guardian angels.  If October 2nd were not a Sunday this year, we would be celebrating our guardian angels this coming Sunday.  But Sunday or not, we can certainly honor our guardian angels by our prayers on that day, and thank our God for giving each of us an angelic companion to help us through life and into eternity. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: