Faith/Spirituality Forum: Saint Michael Prayer
Saint Michael Prayer QUESTION from Ignatius Maria Faustina on November 2, 2002 Dear Bro. Ignatius,
Praised be Jesus Christ!
I was reading your comment on the Prayer in front of abortion clinics and was curious about your comment on the St. Michael exorcism prayer. I had come across a tract with the prayer and my spiritual director said that it was not allowed. I gave him the tract because I thought it was a very powerful prayer. I heard the story behind it of Pope Leo (I believe it was him) and the way that he was inspired to write the prayer.
Could you tell me why the prayer is not allowed. Is it reserved for the clergy? When was it banned and for what reason.
In Jesus and Mary,
Ignatius Maria Faustina
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on November 3, 2002 Dear Mr. Ignatius:
Your spiritual director is correct. The Long Version of the St. Michael Prayer (not the short version said after Mass) cannot be prayed as written.
There is one phrase in the prayer that refers to the ministerial priesthood and thus laymen praying this pray must change that phrase.
Also, as of 1985, the church has proscribed the praying of this prayer, or any other prayer, that has imprecatory commands to the devil contained in them.
An example of an imprecatory command is: I rebuke you demon of hatred!
Such language needs to be edited. A proper revision of this phrase may be: Father in heaven please rebuke this demon of hatred.
It is very dangerous to personally command a demon. Even St. Michael the Archangel in Jude 9 did not do such a thing.
Because of this danger and because of many abuses that were taking place among deliverance teams (mostly in the Charismatic Renewal), the Holy See issued a formal legislation forbiding the use of imprecatory commands or the direct speaking to demons or the direct disturbance of demons by anyone, clergy or laity, outside of a church-approved Solemn Exorcism.
The document that declares this is: Inde Ab Aliquot Annis
There are some questions about some vague language in this document. We have written to Cardinal Ratzinger for clarification. In the meantime it is prudent to interpret the document strictly as is the principle of interpretation used by the Church for interpreting restrictions.
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