Saint Michael the Archangel Defend us in the Battle
An example of clusters of holy places would be the area around Loreto, Italy, where the Holy House of Nazareth is located. Down the Adriatic coast, a short distance from Loreto, is a town called Macerata, site of a Miracle of the Eucharist, as well as a very special Shrine to our Lady.In our first book, This is My Body, This Is My Blood, Miracles of the Eucharist, we talked about Holy Clusters. We asked you to consider the concept of God as a Pilot flying high above the earth. From His vantage point, He can see great distances, and occurrences that are about to happen, and have already happened. Aboard His plane, we can see the pattern, He has created. We see clusters of holy places and events that seem to have no connection, other than that they were all instituted by Our Lord, and they are located geographically close to each other. The chronological sequence may be centuries apart. But time is a limitation put on man, not on God.
If we continue farther down the Adriatic coast, we come to Lanciano, site of the oldest known Miracle of the Eucharist in the history of our Church. Lanciano is also the scene of a second Miracle of the Eucharist.
At the very heel of the boot of Italy, also on the Adriatic coast, is San Giovanni Rotondo, home of Padre Pio for over fifty years of his priesthood. Here, he received the visible Stigmata and bore the wounds of Jesus for fifty years. San Giovanni Rotondo is about twenty miles from Monte St. Angelo, where the Archangel Michael appeared towards the end of the Fourth Century.
Michael-Angel of God
Saint Michael the Archangel is a powerful Angel of God. He is our symbol of strength, power, courage and hope. Mentioned by name in three places in the Bible, Daniel 10:13-12:1, Revelation 12:7, and Jude 1:9, in each of these instances, he is doing battle with Satan. His name is actually Mica-El, which means “Who is like God?” That was his battle cry as he fought the battle against Lucifer and the fallen angels.
Michael is referred to in many other passages, when not
by name, by rank and title. In Exodus, when Moses is leading his people out of Egypt, it is Michael, under the title of “The Angel of the Lord” who guards and protects them. It is implied that it was Michael who released Peter from his chains, and led him out of prison, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. It is also held by many that the Angel who wrestled with Jacob was Michael.
In our own Church History, Michael has always been highly visible. Prior to Vatican II, the prayer to St. Michael was recited at the end of each Mass, with the prayers at the foot of the altar. At funeral Masses, we pray that Michael will bring the soul of the deceased to the Father. “Deliver them from the lion’s mouth, that hell engulf them not, that they fall not into darkness; but let Michael, the holy standard-bearer, bring them into the Holy Light.”
From this prayer, we believe that Michael is responsible for bringing souls up from Purgatory to Heaven. There is an inspired belief that most souls are released from Purgatory on Christmas Day, that our sweet Mother Mary, Queen of the Angels, personally goes to Purgatory, to bring those who are ready to meet her dear Son Jesus to Heaven. Part of that tradition is that Michael accompanies our Lady to Purgatory to accomplish this joyful task.
Michael is always connected with Mary.
Saint Michael appeared in the fifth century in Italy In all the paintings of the Holy House of Nazareth being carried to Loreto, Italy, by the Angels, St. Michael is always pictured in the lead, his red cloak flowing in the wind, guiding the house on its path.
later at Mont St. Michel in France and in Mexico in the province of Tlaxcala in the 16th century