I speak with the Devil every day. I talk to him in Latin. He answers in Italian. I have been wrestling with him, day in day out, for 14 years. — Fr. Gabriele Amorth, Exorcist

 

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Pope Leo XIII and St. Michael the Archangel

“The battle against the devil, which is the principal task of Saint Michael the archangel, is still being fought today, because the devil is still alive and active in the world. The evil that surrounds us today, the disorders that plague our society, man’s inconsistency and brokenness, are not only the results of original sin, but also the result of Satan’s pervasive and dark action.” – The Venerable John Paul II

St. MichaelFr. Domenico Pechenino, in 1947, recounted an experience with Pope Leo XIII in the journal La Settimana del Clero. The Holy Father had just celebrated Mass and stopped motionless, staring at a point above the altar. After some time, he rose to his feet and hurried into his private office. Half an hour later, he emerged with a piece of paper and urged that it be sent to all the ordinaries around the world – a prayer to be said after each Mass. Pope Leo XIII had seen a vision – a demonic horde congregating and descending upon Rome. The prayer that it inspired is below, a prayer to St. Michael. A shorter prayer to St. Michael was later substituted and added to the Leonine prayers to be said after each Mass. The shorter prayer is the one most of us are familiar with today. Pope Leo XIII would also write a rite of exorcism which is still used in the Church today.

The Leonine prayers were supressed in the 60′s, but St. Michael remains a powerful intercessor and guardian against the evil one and his minions. Maybe the Leonine prayers will be reinstated some day. Whether they are or not, nothing stops us from spending a few moments after Mass to say those prayers – or the prayer to St. Michael at the very least.

Here is the longer prayer to St. Michael from Pope Leo XIII. It can be found in the Raccolta, along with many other great prayers, hymns and devotions.

 

 

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel Saint Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to his own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight today the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they no longer had a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the blessed in eternal happiness. Pray then, to the God of peace, that he may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.

Let us pray.
O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon thy holy name and humbly beseech thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls.
Amen.

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