St. Padre Pio did spiritual battle with demons to free souls, and at his shrine, there is a mosaic of the Archangel Michael handing Padre Pio a sword. In the book “Deliverance Prayers For Use by the Laity,” exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger uses the sword of St Michael, together with the sword of Our Lady and the sword of Our Lord’s Cross, to vanquish the enemy.
Blessed Catherine Emmerich (1774 – 1824) often saw St. Michael with a flaming sword. As the rosary is a weapon and the Word of God a two-edged sword (Hb 4:12), so here on earth the real St. Michael’s flaming sword is none other than the St. Michael prayer. Pope Leo XIII composed this minor exorcism/deliverance prayer after his vision on October 13, 1884
When we pray the St. Michael prayer, we are like the angel in Book of Genesis with, “a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way (3:24).” If you don’t believe it is a real sword of fire (lightsaber) to the heart of the dragon, look at how this simple prayer affected the dragon who had possessed a soul in Earling, Iowa in 1928:
“At the very mention of St. Michael, Satan began to recoil. He was tortured by that part of the prayer which refers to the solemn petition addressed to St. Michael. He absolutely refused to listen to the statement that St. Michael, as leader of the faithful angels, cast Lucifer together with his legions into the very abyss of hell. It was astounding how much he dreaded the prayer in honor of St. Michael commonly recited at the end of the Mass. The prayer is as follows: ‘St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.’ Would that we as Christians recited this prayer in honor of St. Michael with greater fervor and devotion.” [Begone, Satan!]
Yes, all the dragons fear St. Michael! For example, in the real story of the movie, “The Exorcist” what delivered the boy was a statue of St. Michael that was brought to his bedside which led to a dream of St. Michael with a flaming sword battling the devil and setting him free. The demons not only fear the St. Michael prayer, but the name of St. Michael, the St. Michael Relic Stone, and even a simple holy card image of St. Michael makes the dragon flee in total fear as Fr. Gabriel Amorth (Vatican’s exorcist) relates,
“The relics of saints who are our particular patrons are also efficacious, as often are even simple blessed holy cards, such as those depicting Saint Michael the Archangel, of whom demons are particularly afraid.”[An Exorcist Tells His Story]
Popes like Pope Pius XI in 1930 again mention that this flaming sword prayer was needed after mass. As the two world wars ended and time elapsed, thinking our perilous times were over, the Vatican II Council Fathers decided that it was no longer necessary to use this angelic flaming sword. On April 24, 1994 seeing the battle the dragon was raging on mankind, Pope John Paul II exhorted the faithful:
“May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians, “Draw strength from the Lord and from his mighty power” (Eph 6 10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Rev. 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St Michael throughout the Church. “St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.” Although today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it, and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.” [Regina Caeli]
More recently Fr. Gabriel Amorth reminded us in two of his books that the elimination of the St. Michael flaming sword prayer was a big mistake, it created a serious spiritual void, and a spiritual impoverishment. Pope Francis, too, reminded us to take up this lightsaber of the St. Michael prayer to defeat the dragon,
“The Lord entrusted to the archangels the task of defending man…the angels fight in order that man wins… the Lord has mainly given this task to the angels, that is, to fight and win…Recite the ancient but beautiful prayer to the Archangel Michael, so he may continue to do battle and defend the greatest mystery of mankind: that the Word was made Man, died and rose again. This is our treasure. That he may battle on to safeguard it.” [9/29/14]
There are other flaming swords like the St. Michael Chaplet which Pope Pius IX indulgenced in 1851 with a plenary indulgence if recited daily or on special angelic feasts; however, if you are still not convinced, look at how the dragon reacts when we call on St. Michael, the angelic choirs, and Holy Mary,
“At the petition, “Holy Mary,” “St. Michael,” the devils subsided as if struck by a bolt of lightning. A murmuring and muffled groaning arose at the mention of the choir of Angels… At the words: “From the persecution of the devil,” the evil spirit jumped up as if a scourge had hit him. “From the spirit of uncleanness,” how he moaned and yelped like a beaten cur!” [Begone, Satan!]
Finally, in the midst of the battle our country is facing, Bishop Frank Caggiano of the Diocese of Bridgeport has announced that he is bringing back the St. Michael flaming sword to be said after the all the masses throughout his diocese. Since his announcement, many other bishops of the United States are also bringing back this dragon torturing lightsaber – the St. Michael Prayer.
The Fullness of Truth – Angel Conference on September 28-29 at
Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church
1107 E Yager Ln, Austin, TX 78753