The meaning of the feast
+ The tradition of honoring the Archangel Michael on September 29 dates back to the early part of the fifth century, when a basilica was dedicated in his honor on the Via Salaria in Rome.
+ Since 1969, the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael have been honored with a common feast on the Church’s liturgical calendar. Previously, Saint Raphael was honored on October 24 and Saint Gabriel was celebrated on March 24, the day before the Solemnity of the Annunciation.
+ These archangels, and all the holy angels, honor God with their whole beings. Angels are the servants and messengers of God, forever gazing upon the face of the Father in heaven (cf. Matthew 18:10.)
+ In every Mass, the Church joins her voices to the Angels’ song of praise as we sing “Holy, Holy, Holy…” and we trust that the Angels continue to watch over us and protect us.
For prayer and reflection
“[The Angels] great multitude of very bright living lamps; they are the vast army of heavenly spirits, shining in the blessed life and living in great beauty and adornment, because when they were created by God they did not grasp at proud exaltation but strongly persisted in divine love.”—Saint Hildegard of Bingen
Today marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Rene Goupil. A medical doctor who served with the Jesuit missionaries in “New France,” he worked with Saint Isaac Jogues among the Huron. After their capture by the Iroquois, the enemies of the Huron, Father Jogues received Rene into the Society of Jesus as a lay brother. Saint Rene was murdered by the Iroquois on September 29, 1642, becoming the first Christian martyr in North America.
To learn about the various communities named for the angels, visit the links below:
The Benedictine Monks of Mount Michael Abbey (Elkhorn, NE): www.mountmichael.org
The Benedictine Monks of Mount Angels (St. Benedict, OR): www.mountangelabbey.org
The Benedict Sisters of Queen of Angels Monastery (Mount Angel, OR): www.benedictine-srs.org
The Benedictine Sisters of Holy Angels Convent (Jonesboro, AR): www.olivben.org
The Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of the Angels (Los Angeles, CA): www.monasteryoftheangels.org
The Poor Clare Nuns of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery (Hanceville, AL): www.olamshrine.com
The Trappistine Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels (Crozet, VA): www.olamonastery.org
O God, who dispose in marvelous order
ministries both angelic and human,
that our life on earth may be defended
by those who watch over us
as they minister perpetually to you in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.