Double of the First Class Feast of the Dedication of Saint Michael the Archangel
Missa "Benedicite Dominum"
This is the original feast of the leader of the Heavenly armies, Saint Michael
. The captain of the heavenly armies, the angel named in the Canon of the Mass, held from early times the first place in the Liturgy among the other angels; wherefore many churches dedicated to St. Michael in the Middle Ages were simply known as churches "of the holy angel." St. Michael, whose name signifies "who is like unto God"
cast the evil spirit out of Heaven, and overcame Satan in the struggle for possession of the body of Moses
. God has entrusted our defense, in the combat with the devil, to the angels. The reason of this is easily understood. The devil is a spirit who has lost none
of the powers inherent to his nature. In order, therefore, that the struggle should not be unequal, God has placed at our side defenders of the same nature as Lucifer, that is to say pure spirits, who are, however, greater and more powerful than he is.
There are several feasts of St. Michael in the Liturgy. Very ancient is the commemoration of the dedication of the celebrated Lombard sanctuary on Sant' Angelo on Monte Gargano in Apulia, near the ancient Sipontum. There is a tradition that St. Michael appeared on this mountain and requested that a church be erected to him and all the angels.
In the Old and the New Testament St. Michael, in the struggle against the Evil One, is always depicted as the invincible champion of God. The mystery of iniquity which, according to St. Paul, shall be boldly revealed in the last ages of the world and which has already begun its work of perversion, meets at present with an obstacle which hinders its full development. This obstacle is usually said to be the protection of St. Michael. St. Michael is
appointed by God Himself to be the protector and defender of the Church.
After the protective duty conferred on St. Joseph, there is no work on earth of such great importance and sublimity as that entrusted to St. Michael.
The Epistle treats the charge to St. John by an Angel to write to the seven Churches in Asia. In the Gospel Christ teaches humility, to beware of scandal, and to flee the occasions of sin, for our Guardian Angels see the face of God. For the full prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII see Complete Prayer of Saint Michael the Archangel
Resources: We are grateful to Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for providing the Propers for the faithful. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
Missa "Benedicite Dominum"
Go to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS THE MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS
INTROIT: Psalm 102: 20