In 490 A.D. St. Michael the Archangel appeared to Bishop Lawrence Maiorano (the second apparition) at Gargano, Italy, giving him instructions on how to defend the area against a vast army of pagan invaders.
During the battle a sand storm overwhelmed the attackers, blinding them and pelting them with giant size hail-stones, making them flee in fear, never to return. Later in thanksgiving for the miraculous victory and deliverance by St. Michael, a Michaelmas was celebrated on the anniversary of the apparition of May 8th and the prayer during the mass Gradual states,
“The sea was shaken and the earth trembled when the Archangel Michael came down from heaven. Alleluia!”
In 1507, Andrea Contucci Sansovino sculpted a statue of St Michael in white Carrara Marble for the
“as a monster who has a monkey face, a goat’s thigh, lion claws, and a snake’s tail…St. Michael appears as an adolescent with a crown…The right arm is raised holding a sword threateningly, and he wears the armor of a Roman legionary with a military cloak. Annually, the sword is taken from the hand of the Archangel on September 29th, and it is carried in solemn procession through the streets of Monte Sant’Angelo.”(Translation from Grotta di San Michele)
In September of 1656, while a plague was killing much of the population at Gargano, Italy, in the Mont Sant’ Angelo area, Bishop Alfonso Puccinelli placed a prayer in the hand of the St. Michael statue at the cave. The magazine called The Angels – Messengers from a loving God writes,
“During the morning prayer, Bishop Alphonso first heard what sounded like an earthquake, after which in a flash of dazzling light, he (bishop) saw St. Michael the Archangel.”
Was it really an earthquake? The people at that time had no way of measuring small earthquakes or was it simply a vision? St. Michael proceeded to give instructions to the bishop on how to use the relic stones to deliver the people from the plague. Fr. Wolfgang Seitz, ORC, states that physical healings continue today when people are blessed with the relic stones or when they pray with the relic stone by holding it in their hands.
In our own day, Adam Blai (Vatican approved Peritus and auxillary member of the International Association of Exorcists) shares a story of how the St. Michael statue of Gargano was brought to the bi-annual gathering of exorcists from around the world known as the International Association of Exorcists which was founded by Fr. Gabriel Amorth (Vatican’s Exorcist) in 1990.
Adam shares that the conference began with all the exorcists gathered around the Blessed Sacrament while the ancient statue of St. Michael from Gargano was to the side of the altar where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. When the holy hour started, simultaneously a small earthquake was felt underneath them and the floor shook while they all prayed. The next day the newspapers reported the earthquake with no damage having occurred. Was the earthquake a simple coincidence or was St. Michael accompanying the dragon slayers reminding us of the ancient mass Gradual at the Michaelmas that states “the earth trembled when the Archangel Michael came down from heaven.”?
Likewise, in the real story of the movie The Exorcist, a three foot statue of St. Michael brought by the Alexian Brothers was what finally delivered the boy from demonic possession when St. Michael spoke through the boy,
“Satan! I am St. Michael, and I command you, Satan, and the other evil spirits to leave the body in the name ‘Dominus’ [the Latin word for ‘Lord’]. Immediately! Now! Now! Now!”
A loud explosion was immediately heard throughout the hospital. When the boy awakened he was delivered, and he remembered St. Michael with a flaming sword defeating Satan and his minions.
Interestingly enough, Nicholas J. Clayton, the architect who designed Saint Mary Cathedral in Austin, Texas in 1906, planned to have a large 8-10 foot statue of St. Michael on the upper bell tower so that St. Michael would arise mightily above the skies of Austin protecting all of God’s people. At the time the Cathedral was one of the tallest buildings in the city. Clayton built a pedestal for the statue, but mysteriously this pedestal has laid hidden for 112 years until August 8th of this year, 2018, on the Feast of St. Dominic.
One can only wonder, “What is St. Michael up to in Austin, Texas and around the world?”
Previous Angels & Dragons Posts
Angels & Dragons VI –“Set the Oppressed Free!” (Luke 4:18)
Angels & Dragons VII – Transferences
Angels & Dragons X –St. Faustina’s Battles
Angels & Dragons XI –“Michael the Archangel will Arise.” (Dn.12:1)
Angels & Dragons XII –Angels & Dragons XII: St. Michael’s Flaming Sword!
Angels & Dragons XIII –The Glorious Michaelmas!