Sunday, September 23, 2007

St Michael, patron of paramedics

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. Revelation 12: 7-8

I just found out that St. Michael the Archangel is the patron saint of paramedics! Who better than this heavenly warrior to guard those who are looking after the lives of others? I wonder if St Michael was named patron of paramedics in 1884 when Pope Leo XII had his vision of the battle between Satan and Jesus. The Pope had finished saying Holy Mass, and he collapsed. Those around him could not find a pulse and thought the Pope had died, but he was actually in ecstasy.

From in front of the Tabernacle, Pope Leo XII had heard a confrontation between Jesus and Satan. Satan was bragging to Jesus that if he had enough time and enough power, he could destroy the Church. Jesus asked him "How much time and how much power?" Satan replied he would need a century and more influence over those that would give themselves to him. Jesus said "So be it."

The Pope immediately composed the Laentein Exorcism Prayer, of which the well known Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is the short version. He also composed thirteen encyclicals on the Holy Rosary, knowing that this is the greatest weapon there is to defeat Satan.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of Battle; Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke Him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl through the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Tradition gives to St. Michael four offices:
1)To fight against Satan and his host of fallen angels
2)To rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death
3)To be the champion of God's people, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages.
4)To call away to heaven those who have died, and bring their souls to Judgment

Looking at the above list, maybe it's number two that is the reason St. Michael is the patron of paramedics.

    Therese said...

    They use to pray the St. Michael prayer at the end of every Mass. Over here in Australia we don't pray it at any Masses. It is such a powerful prayer I wish more poeple would pray it.

    I was unaware of the 13 encylicals written on the Rosary by Pope Leo. I will have to check them out.

    Unitas said...

    They don't say it over here in the states, either.

    I did some research to find a favorite saint since just about everyone had one except me. I kept coming back to Michael, haha

    He's also the patron saint of firefighters, police, military, just about everything that has to do with the defense of suffering and evil. I guess that's why he's my favorite.

    I have two icons of him and wear his scapular :)

    paramedicgirl said...

    Good choice, Unitas! ;} I think I'm going to have to track down a St. Michael medal, and wear it on my brown scapular. I say the St Michael prayer three times a day, but now I think I'll start getting in the habit of saying it at the start of every ambulance shift, too.

    Therese said...

    I went through a phase where I said it every morning. I don't know how the habbit broke. I must start doing it again. It is such a simple easy prayer to pray and so powerful.

    Unitas said...

    I forgot to ask, where did you find that picture? I think that's my favorite one now. He actually looks manly for a change.

    Michael's no doubt the inspiration behind the character of Sanguinius in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, a tabletop strategy game I play. That picture even looks a lot like a miniature someone made for the game:

    The game's storyline plays heavily upon the ethos of christianity, which I admit is most of its appeal to me.

    318@NICE said...

    Yes, St. Michael, the guardian of the Church. We say the short prayer every night at the end of our evening prayers as a family. All of the angels, our guardian angels and St. Michael himself can be called upon by Catholics to help us. In the Latin rite Church we say the short prayer, (its the last prayer of the Angelus), every Saturday at the end of the Low Mass.
    However, the "Prayer against Satan and the Rebellious Angels" in the 1962 Missal, published by Pope Leo XIII, is an actual prayer to Michael the Archangel, which includes and exorcism and is to be used by Priests under the Bishops permission in an exorcism. However, the laity can say it as a general prayer to St. Michael as often as possible to curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm.
    Here in the States, when I check out the National news and see all the immorality and evil, inside the Church and outside of it, we then say that prayer in the evening as a family.
    In my living room, I have a picture similar to the one on this post, with St. Michael having his sword drawn. Me and my family pray to him at least once a day.


    AquinaSavio: said...

    At the TLM I attend, we say the St. Michael prayer at the end of every low Mass. It is wonderful. That is also an awesome picture of him, PG!!

    paramedicgirl said...

    Unitas, that is a good portrayal of St Michael, isn't it? He often looks girly in some of his images. I don't know why the artists do that to someone so powerful before God.

    Anyway, I just Googled "St. Michael Warrior" for images and came up with this one.

    Divine Mercy said...

    oh hey, i finally got the Saint Micheal the Archangel Chaplet you gave me blessed!

    Patrick said...

    He often looks girly in some of his images. I don't know why the artists do that to someone so powerful before God.

    Perhaps that is how young men looked like in the Medieval/Renaissance period: long-haired and with a youthful and rather effeminate appearance (the same reason why Dan Brown confused John with Mary Magdalene in Leonardo's Last Supper).

    Youth is seen as symbols of strength, beauty and vigor which is why angels are always depicted as young, long-haired men (or boys).

    Only in recent times would have St. Michael looked girlish to some due to these attributes. :)