Since ancient times, Archangel Michael has been recognized as a heavenly warrior and protector, who has always been characterized by his closeness with God.
However, despite being mentioned multiple times in both the Old and New Testaments of The Bible, not much is known about this powerful angelic figure. While many churches sign him up for service over a number of activities, his role in relation to humans continues to be shrouded in mystery even today.
In this article, we’ll delve into not just who Archangel Michael is but also how both believers and non-believers alike can benefit from understanding him better.
Michael is a mighty figure in the celestial realm, ranking high among all other angels. The very name of this archangel which means ‘who is like God?’ bestows an idea of his exalted position and power; being second only to Seraphim, Cherubim and those sitting around God’s throne itself. Scriptures such as Daniel, Jude & Revelation have depicted him time and again as a valiant warrior for justice – always ready to face-off against any spiritual adversaries.
Saint Michael is the patron saint of military personnel, paramedics, and police forces. He’s also known as the protector of the Jewish people, and guardian of the Catholic Church and the Vatican City.
Despite possessing immense power, Michael shows remarkable humility and reverence for God’s authority. A significant lesson in Jude 1:9 that can be taken away by modern-day Christians is the example set forth by this profound angelic character. When confronted with difficult disputes against Satan himself, Michael held steadfast to his faith in allowing only God to make a decision – demonstrating an admirable trustworthiness ultimately suitable of any servant of Christendom today.
The Bible does not give any direct description of what the chief angel looks like. But the general assumption is that like all angels, he has an extremely beautiful appearance, perhaps with a powerful or imposing presence.
In Christian art, Micheal is usually portrayed as an angelic warrior, armed with a helmet, sword, and shield. He is sometimes depicted standing or trampling on a serpent, a dragon, or any other figure of Satan, whom he is slaying with a sword, lance, or spear.
The archangel Michael is captured in all his glory in the painting of “St. Michael vanquishing Satan” by Raphael. The painting features the archangel as he stands atop of defeated Satan. Michael is depicted with colorful wings, strong masculine features, clad in golden armor and is carrying a spear and a sword.
In another instance, Michelangelo depicted Saint archangel Michael as a heavenly conqueror, valiantly holding the banner of Heaven in one hand and with the other attending to matters of justice by bearing both palm leaves signifying martyrdom and scales of judgment.
Speaking about this, Revelations 12:7-9 says,
“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back,
8. but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
9. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”
In Daniel 10:13, he fought against the Prince of Persia alongside the angel Gabriel who was to deliver the answer to Daniel’s prayers.
Today he is also considered a hero of justice, a healer of the sick, and the guardian angel of Israel or God’s people the Church.
Michael the Archangel is said to have an integral part in Biblical prophecies of the end-times. As it is noted in Daniel 12:1, a period of immense suffering will follow his arising. But worry not – verse two reveals that God’s children shall be shielded from harm during this time of tribulation and despair. A great resurrection follows soon after – rewarding believers with eternity everlasting while others are condemned to an unpleasant fate beyond our world.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 also talks about an archangel whose voice, along with God’s command and His trumpet, accompanies the rapture of the universal church. While it is not directly recorded that this archangel is Michael, it is regarded as a possible reference to him.
On the 29th of September every year, the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches celebrate the feast of St. Michael. This day is usually called “Michaelmas” and was first observed in Europe. He is celebrated along with the Archangels Rafael and Gabriel and in some churches, all the angels.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, St. Michael’s feast day is on September 8th and the Miracle at Chonae is commemorated on 6th September.
Other variations to the feast day include the Church of England’s diocese of Truro which celebrates Archangel Michael, patron saint and Protector of Cornwall on 8th May. The Coptic churches also hold their feast on the 12th of each month in the Coptic calendar.
On Michaelmas, it is the tradition to go to mass in the mornings and then spend the day doing good. There could also be dancing, singing, sharing bread, and a dinner of roast geese stuffed with potatoes, vegetables, and herbs.
Many people also pick blackberries on this day because of the popular belief that when the devil fell to the earth after losing to Michael and his angels, he landed in a blackberry bush which he spat on and cursed.
In Ireland and England, Michaelmas is also marked with a pilgrimage to holy wells affiliated with this chief angel. It also marks the end of a quarter of the year for judicial, financial, and academic matters.
Love is beautiful, isn’t it? There is a need for us to have the perfect person to walk by the sea, the interlocking of our eyes to stir up passion, and the fullness of love in our hearts that never end, sometimes…automatically. Love is beautiful, but not perfect.
Holy Michael the Archangel,
Defend us in the day of 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 host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
In a nutshell, archangel Michael is a powerful angelic being who submits fully to God and wages war against the devil and his demons. But despite his princely beauty and power, he serves God in humility, unlike Lucifer who was jealous of God and wanted to take his place. This is a virtue worthy of emulation for all Christians today.
As awe-inspiring as angels like Michael are, believers are to be reminded that they are all ministering spirits to them who are God’s children and are therefore not to be worshiped.
God alone is deserving of every praise, honor, and adoration for He is sovereign. He created all that was created, included angels.