Roman Catholic tradition calls Michael, Gabriel and Raphael archangels.  Their feast is celebrated on September 29th.  Michael means “Who is like God?” (a rhetorical question), Gabriel means “Power of God” or “Strong One of God” and Raphael means “God has healed.”

The Eastern Orthodox Church recognizes seven Archangels — Michael, Gabriel and Raphael as well as Uriel “God is my Light,” Selaphiel “Prayer of God,”  Barachiel “Blessed by God,” and Jehudiel “One who glorifies God.”

In Roman Catholicism Saint Michael has four distinct roles. First, he is the Enemy of Satan and the fallen angels. He defeated Satan and ejected him from Paradise and will achieve victory at the hour of the final battle with Satan. Secondly, he is the Christian angel of death: at the hour of death, Saint Michael descends and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing. Saint Michael's third role is weighing souls (hence the saint is often depicted holding scales) on Judgment Day. And finally, Saint Michael is the Guardian of the Church.

Devotions to Saint Michael have a large Catholic following, and a number of churches are dedicated to him worldwide. ✜

Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

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 you,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

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