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
“Michael defends us, Gabriel gives us the good news and Raphael takes us by the hand and walks with us; he helps us with the many things that occur along the journey.”—Pope Francis
On this day, we also remember the Blessed Nicolás Tun Castro Quiatan. A married layman from the diocese of Quiché, Guatemala, he served the local church as a catechist and acolyte. He was one of hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans who died in the civil and military unrest of late twentieth century, which also came to include a persecution of the Church. Blessed Nicolás was martyred on September 29, 1980, in Los Plátanos, Chicaman, Quiché, and was one of ten martyrs beatified in 2021 collectively honored as the “Martyrs of Quiché.”
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,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.