The feast of the Holy Archangels today, a great celebration in honour of the Spirits who protect and guide us. Of the three we honour today - Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, St Michael is probably the most popular. That may be because he is seen as a powerful ally in the battle against Satan, sin and temptation - and indeed he is.
For that reason, I think, we need to promote devotion to him in these difficult times. The story of the mysterious vision of Pope Leo XIII is well known, as is the extract of the prayer to the Archangel which the Pontiff wrote following his experience, but it needs to be prayed a lot more.
The image of the Archangel, powerful before God, defending God's people with the power he receives from the Holy Trinity, is a most consoling one. May he watch over and protect us all in these times. Let's pray together now -
St Michael the Archangel, defend us in the hour of conflict; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God restrain him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust Satan down to hell, and with him all the wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
And in honour of the other Archangels:
O Blessed Gabriel, Angel of the Annunciation, Servant of the Word, prepare our hearts to receive Christ and teach us how to abandon ourselves to his will. Guide us on the path to holiness and help us embrace true virtue. Angel of mercy, strength of God, be our consolation and our help.
St Raphael, blessed spirit of healing, open our eyes to the love of God, and to his mercy. Be our companion on life's journey and lead us to the refreshment of grace which pours out from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our True Healer, O gentle spirit of peace, O zealous servant of God.
All you Holy Archangels, Blessed Spirits of God, pray for us.