Michael (archangel)

Michael (archangel)

Overview
Michael is an archangel
Archangel
An archangel is an angel of high rank. Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels in Judaism and by most Christians. Michael is the only archangel specifically named in the Protestant Bible...

 in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael. Orthodox Christian
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

s refer to him as the Taxiarch Archangel Michael or simply Archangel Michael.

In Hebrew, Michael means "who is like God" (mi-who, ke-as or like, El-deity), which is traditionally interpreted as a rhetorical question: "Who is like God?" (which expects an answer in the negative) to imply that no one is like God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Michael (archangel)'
Start a new discussion about 'Michael (archangel)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Michael is an archangel
Archangel
An archangel is an angel of high rank. Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels in Judaism and by most Christians. Michael is the only archangel specifically named in the Protestant Bible...

 in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael. Orthodox Christian
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

s refer to him as the Taxiarch Archangel Michael or simply Archangel Michael.

In Hebrew, Michael means "who is like God" (mi-who, ke-as or like, El-deity), which is traditionally interpreted as a rhetorical question: "Who is like God?" (which expects an answer in the negative) to imply that no one is like God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

. In this way, Michael is reinterpreted as a symbol of humility before God.

In the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

, once as a "great prince who stands up for the children of your people". The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and his people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy.

In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 Michael leads God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

, where during the war in heaven he defeats Satan. In the Epistle of Jude
Epistle of Jude
The Epistle of Jude, often shortened to Jude, is the penultimate book of the New Testament and is attributed to Jude, the brother of James the Just. - Composition :...

 Michael is specifically referred to as an "archangel". Christian sanctuaries to Michael appeared in the 4th century, when he was first seen as a healing angel, and then over time as a protector and the leader of the army of God against the forces of evil. By the 6th century devotions to Archangel Michael were widespread both in the Eastern
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

 and Western Churches. Over time, teachings on Michael began to vary among Christian denominations.

Hebrew Bible


In the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

, and hence in the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

, the prophet Daniel
Daniel
Daniel is the protagonist in the Book of Daniel of the Hebrew Bible. In the narrative, when Daniel was a young man, he was taken into Babylonian captivity where he was educated in Chaldean thought. However, he never converted to Neo-Babylonian ways...

 experiences a vision after having undergone a period of fasting. In the vision in Daniel 10:13-21 an angel identifies Michael as the protector of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. Daniel refers to Michael as a "prince of the first rank". Later in the vision in Daniel 12:1 Daniel is informed about the role of Michael during the "time of the End" when there will be "distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations" and that::
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise."


Thus although the three references to Michael in the Book of Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

 10:13, 10:21 and 12:1 are to the same individual who acts in similar ways in all three cases, the last one is set at the "end times
End times
The end time, end times, or end of days is a time period described in the eschatological writings in the three Abrahamic religions and in doomsday scenarios in various other non-Abrahamic religions...

" while the first two refer to local time in Persia. These are the only three references to Archangel Michael in the Hebrew Bible.

The references to the "captain of the host of the Lord" encountered by Joshua
Book of Joshua
The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible and of the Old Testament. Its 24 chapters tell of the entry of the Israelites into Canaan, their conquest and division of the land under the leadership of Joshua, and of serving God in the land....

 in the early days of his campaigns in the Promised Land have at times been interpreted as Michael the Archangel, but there is no theological basis for that assumption, given that Joshua then worshiped this figure, and angels are not to be worshiped, and the figure may refer to Yahweh
Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

 himself.

New Testament


The Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

 (12:7-9) describes a war in heaven in which Michael, being stronger, defeats Satan:

"...there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven."


After the conflict, Satan is thrown to earth along with the fallen angel
Fallen angel
Fallen angel is a concept developed in Jewish mythology from interpretation of the Book of Enoch. The actual term fallen angel is not found in either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament. Christians adopted the concept of fallen angels mainly based on their interpretations of the Book of...

s, where he ("that ancient serpent called the devil") still tries to "leads the whole world astray".

Separately, in the Epistle of Jude
Epistle of Jude
The Epistle of Jude, often shortened to Jude, is the penultimate book of the New Testament and is attributed to Jude, the brother of James the Just. - Composition :...

 1:9 Michael is specifically referred to as an "archangel" when he again confronts Satan:
"Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses"


A reference to an "archangel" also appears in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians
First Epistle to the Thessalonians
The First Epistle to the Thessalonians, usually referred to simply as First Thessalonians and often written 1 Thessalonians, is a book from the New Testament of the Christian Bible....

 (4:16)
"... the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;"


but the archangel who heralds the second coming of Christ is not named.

Qur'an


Michael (Arabic: ميخائيل, Mikhail ميكائيل, Mikael ), is one of the two archangels mentioned in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, alongside Jibreel (Gabriel). In the Qur'an, Michael is mentioned once only, in Sura 2:98: "Whoever is an enemy to God, and His angels and His messengers, and Jibreel and Mikhail! Then, lo! God (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers." Some Muslims believe that the reference in Sura 11:69 is Michael, one of the three angels who visited Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

.

Judaism


According to rabbinic Jewish tradition, Michael acted as the advocate of Israel, and sometimes had to fight with the princes of the other nations (cf. Daniel 10:13) and particularly with the angel Samael
Samael
Samael is an important archangel in Talmudic and post-Talmudic lore, a figure who is accuser, seducer and destroyer, and has been regarded as both good and evil...

, Israel's accuser. Michael's enmity with Samael dates from the time when the latter was thrown down from heaven. Samael took hold of the wings of Michael, whom he wished to bring down with him in his fall; but Michael was saved by God. Michael is also said to have had a dispute with Samael over the soul of Moses.
The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and his people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy. There were two prayers written beseeching him as the prince of mercy to intercede in favor of Israel: one composed by Eliezer ha-Kalir, and the other by Judah b. Samuel he-Hasid. But appeal to Michael seems to have been more common in ancient times. Thus Jeremiah is said to have addressed a prayer to him. "When a man is in need he must pray directly to God, and neither to Michael nor to Gabriel."

The rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

s declare that Michael entered upon his role of defender at the time of the biblical patriarchs. Thus, according to Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob, it was Michael who rescued Abraham from the furnace into which he had been thrown by Nimrod (Midrash Genesis Rabbah xliv. 16). It was Michael, the "one that had escaped" (Genesis 14:13), who told Abraham that Lot had been taken captive (Midrash Pirke R. El.), and who protected Sarah from being defiled by Abimelech. He announced to Sarah that she would bear a son and he rescued Lot at the destruction of Sodom.

Midrash


It is said that Michael prevented Isaac
Isaac
Isaac as described in the Hebrew Bible, was the only son Abraham had with his wife Sarah, and was the father of Jacob and Esau. Isaac was one of the three patriarchs of the Israelites...

 from being sacrificed by his father by substituting a ram in his place, and saved Jacob, while yet in his mother's womb, from being killed by Samael. Later Michael prevented Laban from harming Jacob (Pirke R. El. xxxvi.). According to one source, it was Michael who wrestled with Jacob and who afterward blessed him.

The midrash
Midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....

 Exodus Rabbah holds that Michael exercised his function of advocate of Israel at the time of the Exodus also, when Satan (as an adversary) accused the Israelites of idolatry and declared that they were consequently deserving of death by drowning
Drowning
Drowning is death from asphyxia due to suffocation caused by water entering the lungs and preventing the absorption of oxygen leading to cerebral hypoxia....

 in the Red Sea. Michael is also said to have destroyed the army of Sennacherib
Sennacherib
Sennacherib |Sîn]] has replaced brothers for me"; Aramaic: ) was the son of Sargon II, whom he succeeded on the throne of Assyria .-Rise to power:...

.

Early Christian views and devotions



The early Christians regarded some of the martyr
Martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

s such as Saint George
Saint George
Saint George was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic , Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox...

, and Saint Theodore
Theodore of Amasea
See also Theodore StratelatesSaint Theodore of Amasea is one of the two saints called Theodore who are venerated as Warrior Saints and Great Martyrs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He is also known as Theodore Tiro...

, as military patrons ; but to St Michael they gave the care of their sick and he was first venerated as a healer in Phrygia
Phrygia
In antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Phrygians initially lived in the southern Balkans; according to Herodotus, under the name of Bryges , changing it to Phruges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the...

 (modern-day Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

).

The earliest and most famous sanctuary to Saint Michael in the ancient near east was also associated with healing waters. It was the Michaelion
Michaelion
The Michaelion was the earliest and most famous sanctuary to Archangel Michael in the ancient Near East. It was built in the 4th century by Emperor Constantine, and was located just south of Constantinople....

built in early 4th century by Emperor Constantine at Chalcedon
Chalcedon
Chalcedon , sometimes transliterated as Chalkedon) was an ancient maritime town of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, almost directly opposite Byzantium, south of Scutari . It is now a district of the city of Istanbul named Kadıköy...

, on the site of an earlier Temple called Sosthenion.

A painting of the Archangel slaying a serpent became a major art piece at the Michaelion after Constantine defeated Licinius
Licinius
Licinius I , was Roman Emperor from 308 to 324. Co-author of the Edict of Milan that granted official toleration to Christians in the Roman Empire, for the majority of his reign he was the rival of Constantine I...

 near there in 324, eventually leading to the standard iconography
Iconography
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

 of Archangel Michael as a warrior saint slaying a dragon. The Michaelion was a magnificent church and in time became a model for hundreds of other churches in Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

 which spread devotions to the Archangel.

In the 4th century, Saint Basil the Great's homily (De Angelis) placed Saint Michael over all the angels. He was called "Archangel" because he is the prince of the other angels. Into the 6th century, the view of Michael as a healer continued in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, when after a plague the sick slept at night in the church of Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family...

(dedicated to him for saving Rome), waiting for his manifestation.

In the 6th century the growth of devotions to the saint in the Western Church were manifested by the feasts dedicated to him, as recorded in the Leonine Sacramentary. The 7th century Gelasian Sacramentary
Gelasian Sacramentary
The so-called "Gelasian Sacramentary" is a book of Christian liturgy. A sacramentary contains the priest's texts for celebrating the Eucharist throughout the year...

 included the feast "S. Michaelis Archangeli", as did the 8th century Gregorian Sacramentary. Some of these documents refer to a no longer extant Basilica Archangeli on via Salaria
Via Salaria
The Via Salaria was an ancient Roman road in Italy.It eventually ran from Rome to Castrum Truentinum on the Adriatic coast - a distance of 242 km. The road also passed through Reate and Asculum...

 in Rome.

The angelology of Pseudo-Dionysius
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, also known as Pseudo-Denys, was a Christian theologian and philosopher of the late 5th to early 6th century, the author of the Corpus Areopagiticum . The author is identified as "Dionysos" in the corpus, which later incorrectly came to be attributed to Dionysius...

 which was widely read as of the 6th century gave Michael a rank in the celestial hierarchy. Later, in the 13th century, others such as Bonaventure
Bonaventure
Saint Bonaventure, O.F.M., , born John of Fidanza , was an Italian medieval scholastic theologian and philosopher. The seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, he was also a Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was canonized on 14 April 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV and declared a Doctor of the...

 believed that he is the prince of the Seraphim, the first of the nine angelic orders. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 (Summa
Summa Theologica
The Summa Theologiæ is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas , and although unfinished, "one of the classics of the history of philosophy and one of the most influential works of Western literature." It is intended as a manual for beginners in theology and a compendium of all of the main...

Ia. 113.3), he is the Prince of the last and lowest choir, the angels.

Catholicism



Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians often refer to Michael as "Saint Michael", an honorific title that does not indicate canonisation. He is generally referred to in Christian litanies
Litany
A litany, in Christian worship and some forms of Jewish worship, is a form of prayer used in services and processions, and consisting of a number of petitions...

 as "Saint Michael the Archangel." Orthodoxy accords him the title "Archistrategos", or "Supreme Commander of the Heavenly Hosts."

In the Roman Catholic teachings Saint Michael has four main roles or offices. His first role is the leader of the Army of God and the leader of heaven's forces in their triumph over the powers of hell. He is viewed as the angelic model for the virtues of the spiritual warrior, with the conflict against evil at times viewed as the battle within.

The second and third roles of Michael in Catholic teachings deal with death. In his second role, Michael is the angel of death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to heaven. In this role, at the hour of death, Michael descends and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing, thus consternating the devil and his minions. Catholic prayers often refer to this role of Michael. In his third role, he weighs souls in his perfectly balanced scales (hence Michael is often depicted holding scales).

In his fourth role, St Michael, the special patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament, is also the guardian of the Church; it was thus not unusual for the angel to be revered by the military orders of knights during the Middle Ages. This role also extends to his being the patron saint of a number of cities and countries.

Roman Catholicism includes traditions such as the Prayer to Saint Michael
Prayer to Saint Michael
The Prayer to Saint Michael is a prayer, used mainly by Catholics, which is addressed to Michael the archangel.Pope Leo XIII added it in 1886 to the Leonine Prayers, which he had directed to be said after Low Mass two years earlier. The practice of reciting these prayers after Mass was suppressed...

which specifically asks for the faithful to be "defended" by the saint. The Chaplet of Saint Michael
Chaplet of Saint Michael
The Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel is a chaplet resulting from a reported private revelation by the Archangel Michael to the Portuguese Carmelite nun Antónia d'Astónaco...

consists of nine salutations, one for each choir of angels.

Early Protestant views


Some early Protestant scholars identified Michael with the pre-incarnate Christ
Pre-existence of Christ
The pre-existence of Christ refers to the doctrine of the ontological or personal existence of Christ before his conception. One of the relevant Bible passages is where, in the Trinitarian view, Christ is identified with a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos or Word...

, basing their view, partly on the juxtaposition of the "child" and the archangel in Revelation 12, and partly on the attributes ascribed to him in Daniel.

Jehovah's Witnesses


Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

 believe that there is only one "archangel" in heaven and in the Bible. They teach that the pre-human and post-resurrection Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 and the Archangel Michael are the same person, saying: "the evidence indicates that the Son of God was known as Michael before he came to earth and is known also by that name since his return to heaven where he resides as the glorified spirit Son of God." They point out that the actual term "Archangel" in the Bible is only used in the singular, never clearly in the plural. They also say that Michael is the same "Angel of the Lord
Angel of the Lord
The Angel of the Lord is one of many terms in the Hebrew Bible used for an angel. The Biblical name for angel, מלאך mal'ach, which translates simply as "messenger," obtained the further signification of "angel" only through the addition of God's name, as The Angel of the Lord (or the Angel of...

" who led the Israelites in the wilderness. In this view, the spirit being who bears the name Michael is referred to as "one of the chief princes," "the great prince who has charge of your (Daniel's) people," and as "the archangel." (Daniel 10:13; 12:1: Jude 9) Taking also into account that the Bible refers to one archangel only using a definite article (Jude 9), Jehovah's Witnesses have concluded that Michael and the pre-human and post-resurrection Jesus are one and the same.

Seventh-day Adventists


Seventh-day Adventists
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

 believe that Michael was another name for the Word-of-God (as in John 1
John 1
John 1 is the first chapter in the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.-Analysis:The first chapter of the Gospel of John can be divided in two parts:The first part John 1 is the first chapter in the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.-Analysis:The...

) before He became incarnate as Jesus. Archangel (meaning "Chief of the Angels") was the leadership position held by the Word-of-God as Michael while among the angels. Michael was the Word-of-God, not a created being, by whom all things were created. The Word-of-God was then born incarnate as Jesus.

In the Seventh-day Adventist view, the statement in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God" identifies Jesus as Archangel, which is Michael. And the Seventh-day Adventists believe that John 5:25-29 also confirms that Jesus and Michael are the same.

Latter-day Saints



Latter-day Saints believe that Michael is Adam, the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7), a prince, and the patriarch of the human family and that Michael assisted Jehovah
Jehovah
Jehovah is an anglicized representation of Hebrew , a vocalization of the Tetragrammaton , the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible....

 (the heavenly form of Jesus Christ
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

) in the creation of the world under the direction of God the Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

.

Feasts



In the Roman Catholic calendar of saints
Roman Catholic calendar of saints
The General Roman Calendar indicates the days of the year to which are assigned the liturgical celebrations of saints and of the mysteries of the Lord that are to be observed wherever the Roman Rite is used...

, Anglican Calendar of Saints
Calendar of saints (Church of England)
The Church of England commemorates many of the same saints as those in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, mostly on the same days, but also commemorates various notable Christians who have not been canonised by Rome, with a particular though not exclusive emphasis on those of English origin...

, and the Lutheran Calendar of Saints
Calendar of Saints (Lutheran)
The Lutheran Calendar of Saints is a listing which details the primary annual festivals and events that are celebrated liturgically by some Lutheran Churches in the United States. The calendars of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod are from the...

, the archangel's feast is celebrated on Michaelmas
Michaelmas
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September...

 Day. The day is also considered the feast of Saints Gabriel
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

, and Raphael
Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

 or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels. On the Western Christian calendar the feast is celebrated on 29th of September.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, Saint Michael's principal feast day is November 8 (November 21 by most Orthodox churches since they use the Julian calendar
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

), where he is honored along with the rest of the "Bodiless Powers of Heaven" (i.e. angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

s) as their Supreme Commander, and the Miracle at Chonae is commemorated on September 6.

Patronages and orders


In late medieval Christianity, Michael, together with Saint George
Saint George
Saint George was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic , Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox...

, became the patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of chivalry
Chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...

 and is now also considered the patron saint of police officers and the military.

In the 15th century, Jean Molinet
Jean Molinet
Jean Molinet was a French poet, chronicler, and composer. He is best remembered for his prose translation of Roman de la rose.Born in Desvres, which is now part of France, he studied in Paris...

 glorified the primordial feat of arms of the archangel as "the first deed of knighthood and chivalrous prowess that was ever achieved." Thus Michael was the natural patron of the first chivalric order
Chivalric order
Chivalric orders are societies and fellowships of knights that have been created by European monarchs in imitation of the military orders of the Crusades...

 of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the Order of Saint Michael
Order of Saint Michael
The Order of Saint Michael was a French chivalric order, founded by Louis XI of France in 1469, in competitive response to the Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece founded by Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, Louis' chief competitor for the allegiance of the great houses of France, the Dukes of...

 of 1469. In the British honours system
British honours system
The British honours system is a means of rewarding individuals' personal bravery, achievement, or service to the United Kingdom and the British Overseas Territories...

, a chivalric order founded in 1818 is also named for these two saints, the Order of St Michael and St George
Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

. The Order of Michael the Brave
Order of Michael the Brave
The Order of Michael the Brave is Romania's highest military decoration, instituted by King Ferdinand I during the early stages of the Romanian Campaign of World War I, and was again awarded in World War II...

 is Romania's highest military decoration.

Apart from his being a patron of warriors, the sick and the suffering also consider Archangel Michael their patron saint. Based on the legend of his 8th century apparition at Mont-Saint-Michel, France, the Archangel is the patron of mariners
Sailors
Sailors is the plural form of Sailor, or mariner.Sailors may also refer to:*Sailors , a 1964 Swedish film*Ken Sailors , American basketball playerSports teams*Erie Sailors, baseball teams in Pennsylvania, USA...

 in this famous sanctuary. After the evangelisation of Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, where mountains were often dedicated to pagan gods, Christians placed many mountains under the patronage of the Archangel, and numerous mountain chapels of St. Michael appeared all over Germany. He has been the patron saint of Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 since the Middle Ages. The city of Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk , formerly known as Archangel in English, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the north of European Russia. The city spreads for over along the banks of the river...

 in Russia is named for the Archangel. Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and its capital Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 also consider Michael their patron saint and protector.

The Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel
Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel
The Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel , in Latin Congregatio Sancti Michaëlis Archangeli and also known as the Michaelite Fathers, is a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church founded in 1897 by the Blessed Father Bronisław Markiewicz, a Polish priest from Miejsce Piastowe, Poland...

 (CSMA), also known as the Michaelite Fathers, is a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church founded in 1897.

Major shrines

For a larger gallery (and hence a structured list) of church images, please see: Saint Michael church gallery.
  • St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, in Brussels
    Brussels
    Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

    , Belgium
    Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

  • Mont Saint Michel, Normandy
    Normandy
    Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

    , France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     - a World Heritage Site
    World Heritage Site
    A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

  • St. Michael's Cathedral (Toronto), Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

  • St. Michael's Cathedral (Izhevsk)
    St. Michael's Cathedral (Izhevsk)
    Saint Michael's Cathedral in Izhevsk rivals the older Alexander Nevsky Cathedral as the main Orthodox church of Udmurtia in Russia....

    , Russia
  • St. Michael's Cathedral, Qingdao
    St. Michael's Cathedral, Qingdao
    St. Michael's Cathedral is a Catholic church in Qingdao , Shandong Province, China and is the seat of the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Qingdao. It is located in the oldest part of Qingdao, at 15 Zhejiang Road, on the east side of Zhongshan Road in Shinan District...

    , China
  • Chudov Monastery
    Chudov Monastery
    The Chudov Monastery was founded in the Moscow Kremlin in 1358 by Metropolitan Alexius of Moscow. The monastery was dedicated to the miracle of the Archangel Michael at Chonae...

     in the Moscow Kremlin
    Kremlin
    A kremlin , same root as in kremen is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the best-known one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there...

  • Archangel Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin
    Moscow Kremlin
    The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

     - a World Heritage Site
  • Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano, Gargano
    Gargano
    Gargano is a historical and geographical Italian sub-region situated in Apulia, consisting of a wide isolated mountain massif made of highland and several peaks and forming the backbone of the Gargano Promontory projecting into the Adriatic Sea. The high point is Monte Calvo at . Most of the upland...

    , Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

  • St Michael's Mount
    St Michael's Mount
    St Michael's Mount is a tidal island located off the Mount's Bay coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is a civil parish and is united with the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low water....

    , Cornwall
    Cornwall
    Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

    , UK
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

  • St. Michael's Basilica, Miramichi, Canada
  • Skellig Michael
    Skellig Michael
    Skellig Michael , also known as Great Skellig, is a steep rocky island in the Atlantic Ocean about 9 miles from the coast of County Kerry, Ireland. It is the larger of the two Skellig Islands...

    , off the Irish
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

     west coast - a World Heritage Site
  • St Michael's Cathedral
    Coventry Cathedral
    Coventry Cathedral, also known as St Michael's Cathedral, is the seat of the Bishop of Coventry and the Diocese of Coventry, in Coventry, West Midlands, England. The current bishop is the Right Revd Christopher Cocksworth....

    , Coventry
    Coventry
    Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is also the second largest city in the English Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 300,848, although...

    , UK
  • St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery
    St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery
    St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery is a functioning monastery in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The monastery is located on the right bank of the Dnieper River on the edge of a bluff northeast of the Saint Sophia Cathedral...

    , Kiev
    Kiev
    Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

    , Ukraine
    Ukraine
    Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

  • St Michael's Church
    Michaelerkirche (Vienna)
    St. Michael's Church , dedicated to the Archangel Michael, is one of the oldest churches in Vienna, Austria, and also one of its few remaining Romanesque buildings. Over time, there have been many alterations, resulting in its present day aspect, unchanged since 1792...

     in Vienna
    Vienna
    Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

    , Austria
    Austria
    Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

  • Basilica of St Michael the Archangel
    Basilica of St Michael the Archangel
    The Minor Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel is a Roman Catholic basilica located in Tayabas, Quezon. It is the largest Catholic church in the Province of Quezon.It is renowned for having the shape of a key...

    , Tayabas, Quezon, Philippines
  • Saint Michael's church, Berlin
    Saint Michael's church, Berlin
    Saint Michael's church is a Roman Catholic church in Berlin, Germany, dedicated to Archangel Michael. The church was completed in 1851 and was partially destroyed during the Second World War. It is protected as a historical monument in Berlin....

  • St. Michael's Cathedral in Belgrade
    Belgrade
    Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

    , Serbia
    Serbia
    Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...


Judaism


There is a legend which seems to be of Jewish origin, and which was adopted by the Copt
Copt
The Copts are the native Egyptian Christians , a major ethnoreligious group in Egypt....

s, to the effect that Michael was first sent by God to bring Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar was the name of several kings of Babylonia.* Nebuchadnezzar I, who ruled the Babylonian Empire in the 12th century BC* Nebuchadnezzar II , the Babylonian ruler mentioned in the biblical Book of Daniel...

 (c. 600 BC) against Jerusalem, and that Michael was afterward very active in freeing his nation from Babylonian captivity.
According to midrash Genesis Rabbah, Michael saved Hananiah
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are characters in the biblical Hebrew book of Daniel Chapters 1 – 3, known for their exclusive devotion to God. In particular, they are known for being saved by divine intervention from the Babylonian execution of being burned alive in a fiery furnace...

 and his companions from the Fiery furnace
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are characters in the biblical Hebrew book of Daniel Chapters 1 – 3, known for their exclusive devotion to God. In particular, they are known for being saved by divine intervention from the Babylonian execution of being burned alive in a fiery furnace...

. Michael was active in the time of Esther
Esther
Esther , born Hadassah, is the eponymous heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther.According to the Bible, she was a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus...

: "The more Haman accused Israel on earth, the more Michael defended Israel in heaven". It was Michael who reminded Ahasuerus
Ahasuerus
Ahasuerus is a name used several times in the Hebrew Bible, as well as related legends and Apocrypha. This name is applied in the Hebrew Scriptures to three rulers...

 that he was Mordecai
Mordecai
Mordecai or Mordechai is one of the main personalities in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible. He was the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin.-Biblical account:...

's debtor; and there is a legend that Michael appeared to the high priest Hyrcanus, promising him assistance.

Christendom



The Orthodox Church celebrates the Miracle at Chonae on September 6th. The legend states that the pagans directed a stream against the sanctuary of St Michael to destroy it, but Archippus (the custodian) prayed to Michael, the archangel appeared and split the rock to open up a new bed for the stream, directing the flow away from the church and sanctifying forever the waters which came from the new gorge. The legend existed in earlier times, but the 5th-7th century texts that refer to the miracle at Chonae formed the basis of specific paradigms for "properly approaching" angelic intermediaries for more effective prayers within the Christian culture.

There is a late 5th century
5th century
The 5th century is the period from 401 to 500 in accordance with the Julian calendar in Anno Domini/Common Era.-Overview:This century is noted for being a time of repeated disaster and instability both internally and externally for the Western Roman Empire, which finally unravelled, and came to an...

 legend in Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 that the Archangel appeared to fishermen on St Michael's Mount
St Michael's Mount
St Michael's Mount is a tidal island located off the Mount's Bay coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is a civil parish and is united with the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low water....

. According to author Richard Freeman Johnson this legend is likely a nationalistic twist to a myth. Cornish legends also hold that the mount itself was constructed by giants and that King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

 battled a giant there.


The legend of the apparition of the Archangel at around 490 AD at a secluded hilltop cave on Monte Gargano
Monte Gargano
Gargano is a historical and geographical Italian sub-region situated in Apulia, consisting of a wide isolated mountain massif made of highland and several peaks and forming the backbone of the Gargano Promontory projecting into the Adriatic Sea. The high point is Monte Calvo at . Most of the upland...

 in Italy gained a following among the Lombards
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 in the immediate period thereafter, and by the 8th century pilgrims arrived from as far away as England. The Roman Breviary then recorded it on May 8, the date on which the Lombards attributed their 663 victory over the Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 Neopolitan
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 to the intercession of the Archangel. The Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo
Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo
The Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano, sometimes called simply Monte Gargano, is a Catholic sanctuary on Mount Gargano, Italy, part of the commune of Monte Sant'Angelo, in the province of Foggia, northern Apulia....

 at Gargano is a major Catholic pilgrimage site.

According to Roman legends, while a devastating plague persisted in Rome, Archangel Michael appeared with a sword over the mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 of Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

, in apparent answer to the prayers of Pope St Gregory I the Great (c. 590-604) that the plague should cease. After the plague ended, in honor of the occasion, the pope called the mausoleum "Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family...

"
(Castle of the Holy Angel), the name by which it is still known.


According to Norman
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

 legend, Michael is said to have appeared to St Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, in 708, giving instruction to build a church on the rocky islet now known as Mont Saint Michel.
In 966 the Duke of Normandy
Duke of Normandy
The Duke of Normandy is the title of the reigning monarch of the British Crown Dependancies of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey. The title traces its roots to the Duchy of Normandy . Whether the reigning sovereign is a male or female, they are always titled as the "Duke of...

 commissioned a Benedictine abbey on the mount, and it remains a major pilgrimage site.

A Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 Carmelite
Carmelites
The Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel or Carmelites is a Catholic religious order perhaps founded in the 12th century on Mount Carmel, hence its name. However, historical records about its origin remain uncertain...

 nun, Antónia d'Astónaco
Antónia d'Astónaco
Antónia d'Astónaco was a Portuguese Carmelite nun who reported a private revelation by Saint Michael the Archangel.Based on that revelation, the Archangel Michael had told in an apparition to the devoted Servant of God that he would like to be honored, and God glorified, by the praying of nine...

, had reported an apparition and private revelation
Private revelation
In the teaching of the Catholic Church, a private revelation refers to visions and revelations from God to a specific Christian which have taken place since the completion of the New Testament...

 of the Archangel Michael who had told to this devoted Servant of God, in 1751, that he would like to be honored, and God glorified, by the praying of nine special invocations. These nine invocations correspond to invocations to the nine choirs of angels and origins the famous Chaplet of Saint Michael
Chaplet of Saint Michael
The Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel is a chaplet resulting from a reported private revelation by the Archangel Michael to the Portuguese Carmelite nun Antónia d'Astónaco...

. This private revelation and prayers were approved by Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX
Blessed Pope Pius IX , born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was the longest-reigning elected Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving from 16 June 1846 until his death, a period of nearly 32 years. During his pontificate, he convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed papal...

 in 1851.

From 1961 to 1965, four young schoolgirls had reported several apparitions of Archangel Michael in the small village of Garabandal
San Sebastian de Garabandal
The Garabandal apparitions are claimed apparitions of, firstly, Saint Michael the Archangel and then the Blessed Virgin Mary to four young schoolgirls in the village of San Sebastian de Garabandal in Cantabria, north Spain, from 1961 to 1965...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. At Garabandal, the apparitions of the Archangel Michael were mainly reported as announcing the arrivals of the Virgin Mary. The Catholic Church has neither approved, nor condemned the Garabandal apparitions.

In literature


In the English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 epic poem Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse...

by John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

, Michael commands the army of angels loyal to God against the rebel forces of Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

. Armed with a sword from God's armory, he bests Satan in personal combat, wounding his side.

Artistic depictions


Most Jewish teachings interpret the Second Commandment
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

 as against the use of "graven images" as visual art. Islamic art's focus on calligraphy
Calligraphy
Calligraphy is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering . A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner"...

, rather than painting and sculpture, similarly derives from the association of idolatry
Idolatry
Idolatry is a pejorative term for the worship of an idol, a physical object such as a cult image, as a god, or practices believed to verge on worship, such as giving undue honour and regard to created forms other than God. In all the Abrahamic religions idolatry is strongly forbidden, although...

 with the depiction of human or angelic forms.

In Christian art
Christian art
Christian art is sacred art produced in an attempt to illustrate, supplement and portray in tangible form the principles of Christianity, though other definitions are possible. Most Christian groups use or have used art to some extent, although some have had strong objections to some forms of...

, Archangel Michael may be depicted alone or with other angels such as Gabriel
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

. Some depictions with Gabriel date back to the 8th century, e.g. the stone casket at Notre Dame de Mortain
Mortain
Mortain is a commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.-Geography:Mortain is situated on a rocky hill rising above the gorge of the Cance, a tributary of the Sélune.-Administration:Mortain is the seat of a canton...

 church in France.

The widely reproduced image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Our Lady of Perpetual Help or "Sancta Mater de Perpetuo Succursu" Holy Mother of Perpetual Help is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Pope Pius IX, associated with a Byzantine icon of the same name dating from the 15th century...

, an icon of the Cretan school
Cretan School
The term Cretan School describes an important school of icon painting, also known as Post-Byzantine art, which flourished while Crete was under Venetian rule during the late Middle Ages, reaching its climax after the Fall of Constantinople, becoming the central force in Greek painting during the...

, depicts Michael on the left carrying the lance and sponge of the crucifixion of Jesus
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

, with Gabriel on the right side of Mary and Jesus.

In many depictions Michael is represented as an angelic warrior, fully armed with helmet, sword, and shield. The shield may bears the Latin inscription Quis ut Deus. He may be standing over a serpent, a dragon, or the defeated figure of Satan, whom he sometimes pierces with a lance. The iconography of Michael slaying a serpent goes back to the early 4th century, when Emperor Constantine defeated Licinius
Licinius
Licinius I , was Roman Emperor from 308 to 324. Co-author of the Edict of Milan that granted official toleration to Christians in the Roman Empire, for the majority of his reign he was the rival of Constantine I...

 at the Battle of Adrianople
Battle of Adrianople (324)
The Battle of Adrianople was fought on July 3, 324 during a Roman civil war, the second to be waged between the two emperors Constantine I and Licinius; Licinius suffered a heavy defeat.-Background:...

 in 324 AD, not far from the Michaelion
Michaelion
The Michaelion was the earliest and most famous sanctuary to Archangel Michael in the ancient Near East. It was built in the 4th century by Emperor Constantine, and was located just south of Constantinople....

a church dedicated to Archangel Michael.

Constantine felt that Licinius was an agent of Satan, and associated him with the serpent described in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

 (12:9). After the victory, Constantine commissioned a depiction of himself and his sons slaying Licinius represented as a serpent - a symbolism borrowed from the Christian teachings on the Archangel to whom he attributed the victory. A similar painting, this time with the Archangel Michael himself slaying a serpent then became a major art piece at the Michaelion and eventually lead to the standard iconography
Iconography
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

 of Archangel Michael as a warrior saint.

In other depictions Michael may be holding a pair of scales in which he weighs the souls of the departed and may hold the book of life (as in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

), to show that he takes part in the judgment. However this form of depiction is less common than the slaying of the dragon. Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

 depicted this scene on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio...

.

In Byzantine art
Byzantine art
Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453....

 Michael was often shown as a princely court dignitary, rather than a warrior who battled Satan or with scales for weighing souls on the Day of Judgement.

See also


  • Chaplet of Saint Michael
    Chaplet of Saint Michael
    The Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel is a chaplet resulting from a reported private revelation by the Archangel Michael to the Portuguese Carmelite nun Antónia d'Astónaco...

  • Fallen angel
    Fallen angel
    Fallen angel is a concept developed in Jewish mythology from interpretation of the Book of Enoch. The actual term fallen angel is not found in either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament. Christians adopted the concept of fallen angels mainly based on their interpretations of the Book of...

    s
  • Prayer to Saint Michael
    Prayer to Saint Michael
    The Prayer to Saint Michael is a prayer, used mainly by Catholics, which is addressed to Michael the archangel.Pope Leo XIII added it in 1886 to the Leonine Prayers, which he had directed to be said after Low Mass two years earlier. The practice of reciting these prayers after Mass was suppressed...

  • San Michele
    San Michele
    San Michele is the Italian name of the Archangel Michael .Derived from the angel's name, it is the name of various locations and churches in Italy, the most well-known being* Isola di San Michele - island cemetery of Venice...

  • War in Heaven
  • Warrior saints

External links