Expert Answer Forum

St. Michael's war with Lucifer QUESTION from Sherry Brown March 12, 1999 Where do we find this story? It was so familar to me as a child but I don't know how to find it.
Thanks for your help.
Sherry
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on March 14, 1999 Dear Miss Brown:
Thanks for your question.
The story of the war in heaven in which St. Michael evicted Satan is found in Revelations 12.
Since you brought this up, let me give a quick Bible Study on St. Michael using the famous prayer of Pope Leo:
St. Michael the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly hosts, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Revelations 12:7-9 is the reference for St. Michael defend us in battle, and cast into Hell Satan and all the other evil spirits.

The phrase May the God rebuke him we humbly pray is based on Jude 9, where the archangel Michael says May the Lord rebuke you! to the devil in a dispute over the body of Moses.

There are two scriptural references for the phrase: And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts... In Daniel 10:13, the archangel Michael is referred to as one of the chief princes who helped in the fight against the prince of Persia, a demon opposing the work of another angel. St. Michael is also referred to as a prince in Daniel 12:1, which states At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people.

The phrase snares of the devil is from 2 Tim 2:26 which says, that they may return to their senses out of the devil's snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will.

The phrase who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls is from 1 Peter 5:8 which says, Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Finally it is clear from scripture that we can address the angels in our prayer, because Psalm 103:20-21 says Bless the Lord, all you angels... Bless the Lord all you hosts, ministers who do God's will.
Pope Leo XIII knew his scriptures when he composed the St. Michael prayer (along with a longer formal exorcism) at the end of the 19th century.
So an annotated version of the prayer would look something like this:
St. Michael the archangel (Ps 103:20-21), defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil (2Tim 2:26). May God rebuke him we humbly pray (Jude 9), and do thou, O prince of the heavenly hosts (Dan 10:13, 12:1), cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits (Rev 12:9) who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls (1Pet 5:8). Amen. God Bless
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