Dear Father Angelo,
I remember that particular episode in which Pope Leo XIII, following a vision, composed that beautiful prayer to St. Michael the Archangel that I, in short form, like to recite every day.
I was wondering, however, from the moment that the Redemption of humanity was accomplished by Jesus, who with his passion, death and resurrection destroyed Satan and his works, why on that occasion the Pope wanted to turn to St. Michael so that he would drive back to hell “Satan and all the other evil spirits that roam the world to the perdition of souls”?
What role does the prince of the celestial militias play in the daily struggle that every human being faces against the forces of evil?
Will St. Michael also have a role at the end of time in this sense?
A warm greeting and a prayer for you.
Response from the priest
1. certainly the Lord with his death and resurrection has conquered Satan.
He himself had affirmed: “The prince of this world will be thrown out” (Jn 12:31).
Christ’s victory over Satan begins in Calvary: “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me”.
That is the moment when he draws men to himself with the power of love.
When Christ draws, the devil is displaced from his dominion.
2. This action of Christ begun from Calvary is prolonged in the life of all men until the end of the world. And it will happen in a definitive way only with the final or universal judgment.
For now, as Saint Thomas says, “the devil has a certain power over man due to the fact that he is found under original sin, or even under current sin” (Sum theological, III, 71, 2).
3. Michael is an Archangel, as the apostle Saint Jude recalls: “When the archangel Michael” (Gd 1,9).
The prophet Daniel speaks of him as one of the main leaders of the heavenly army: “but Michael, one of the supreme princes, came to my aid” (Dan 10,139).
4. Angels are given to help men for the ordinary tasks of life.
For the extraordinary ones the Archangels are sent.
Michele intervenes in the strongest temptations and dangers.
5. The prophet Daniel says Michael “watches over the children of the people” (Dan 12,1).
He is therefore the special protector of the people of Israel.
Now, therefore, he protects the Church with greater strength, which is the true Israel of God, of which the previous one was the premise and prefiguration.
Faced with a dramatic vision of the Church, Leo XIII appealed to St. Michael and asked that that prayer be recited at the end of Sunday Masses.
6. It is certain that in recent times, with the approach of the end of the world and the resurrection of the dead, the action of Satan will be even more harsh and St. Michael will intervene again.
The prophet Daniel speaks of it in a precise way: “Now, at that time, Michael, the great prince, who watches over the children of your people, will rise up. It will be a time of anguish, such as there has never been since the rise of the nations until that time; in that time your people will be saved, whoever is found written in the book.
Many of those who sleep in the region of the dust will wake up: some to eternal life and others to eternal shame and infamy “(Dan 12, 1-2).
7. This fight will be similar to that which took place in heaven between Saint Michael united with the angels of God and Satan followed by the rebellious angels: “Then a war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon fought together with his angels, but he did not prevail and there was no longer room for them in heaven ”(Rev 12,7-8).
And it will end with the defeat of the infernal powers that is described in Rev 20,8-10: “When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to seduce the nations that are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, and gather them for war: their number is like the sand of the sea.
They rose to the surface of the earth and besieged the encampment of the saints and the beloved city. But a fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
And the devil, who had seduced them, was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also: they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever”.
8. This means that towards the end, Satan’s action will be more pressing and furious.
He will seduce the nations with his deceptions and with his false wonders, distancing them from God and thus forming the kingdom of the Antichrist.
9. Gog and Magog are two symbolic names taken from Ezekiel (28,2ss) who announced that at the end of time Gog, king of Magog, at the head of an immense army composed of all nations, will wage war on the people of Israel, but both the king and his army will be lost.
Gog and Magog therefore represent all the nations far from God who in the last times will conspire against the Church, which is the true people of God.
10. The Church is always fighting, since down here the good are always mixed with the bad (Mt 13, 47-50).
But at the end of the world the bad guys will try a supreme effort with the purpose of destroying it without success because Michael will come to their rescue.
With the hope that you will always be assisted and protected by St. Michael, I remind you to the Lord and I bless you.
Father Angelo Translated from Germana