Tag Archives: St. Michael the Archangel

A Day of Archangels

Today is the Feast Day of the Archangels!

September 29 traditionally was set aside as the Feast Day of St. Michael the Archangel. (The word “saint” simply means “holy.”) Then the Church made it the feast day of all the Archangels.

Three Angels are named in the Bible:

  1. Michael
  2. Gabriel: in Hebrew, the name means “God is my might”
  3. Raphael: in Hebrew, the name means “God has healed”

Notice that all three names end with “El” — which means God, in Hebrew. Thus, each Archangel’s name ending in “el” means they are “of God.”

Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary
The Annunciation by Sandro Botticelli, 1485

The word “angel,” in Greek is angelos; in Hebrew is malach; in Arabic is mala’ika – which all mean “messenger.”

Angels are incorporeal (bodiless) spiritual beings who act as intermediaries between God and humanity. Angels are defined by their function as messengers or message-bearers, although this function does not exhaust their activities. As spirits, they are believed to have been created by God to serve the supreme deity by fulfilling any and all tasks assigned to them.

Major philosophers — such as Thomas Aquinas, René Descartes, John Locke, and most recently, the American philosopher Mortimer Adler — have put forth compelling reasons for the existence of Angels. (For the conversion of Adler, a Jew, to the Catholic faith, click here.)

Theologians maintain there is a hierarchy of Angels, due to the fact that in Genesis 3:24, Isaiah 6:1-7, Ezekiel 1, 10, Romans 8:38, Ephesians 1:21, 3:10, 6:12, Colossians 1:16, 2:10, 2:15, allusions are made to “seraphim,” “cherubim,” “thrones,” “dominions,” “mights,” “powers,” and “principalities” in the “heavenly places.”

Dionysius and Aquinas delineated three hierarchies of Angels, with each hierarchy comprised of three orders:

  • 1st hierarchy: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones.
  • 2nd hierarchy: Dominions, Virtues, Powers.
  • 3rd hierarchy: Principalities, Archangels, Angels.

Of the nine angelic orders, five are sent by God for external ministry among bodily creatures, as indicated by their names of Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels—all of which refer to some kind of administrative or executive office. Of these five orders, only the last three minister to human beings:

  • Principalities are in charge of the whole of humanity.
  • Archangels minister to nations — their leaders and those persons whom God tasks with special work to do on earth.
  • Angels, the last order, are God’s messengers to and guardians of individual human beings.

The name “Lucifer” means “Morning Star,” “Son of the Dawn,” or “Light Carrier.” For that reason, theologians believe that Lucifer was a high-order Angel, most likely a Seraphim. Aquinas thought him to be “probably the highest of all the angels.” But Lucifer admires and loves himself more than his Creator and thinks himself to be “as God.” And so, full of himself, Lucifer rebelled, taking a third of the angelic beings with him.

StMichaelTheArchangelBut, a lower-order Angel, full of courage and love of God, rallied together two-thirds of the angelic ranks against the apostates, in the First War that began the enduring conflict between good and evil:

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. (Revelation 12:7-9)

That braveheart’s name is Micha-el, which means “Who is like God?”

I like to think “Who is like God?” is Michael’s battle cry . . . .

St. Michael the Archangel is believed to be the captain or prince of the heavenly armies and the most beloved of all the Angels. He is mentioned in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those of the great dragon).

Described in Revelation 10:1 as a “mighty angel…with a halo around his head; his face was like the sun and his feet were like pillars of fire,” St. Michael is generally portrayed by artists as wearing full armor and carrying a sword or lance, with his foot on the neck of a dragon. (Pictures of the martyred St. George are often similar, but only Michael has wings.)

michaelfrMichael has four main titles or offices. He is:

  • Patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament.
  • Patron saint and defender of the Catholic Church.
  • The Angel of death, who assists Jesus in the final judgment (thus, Michael is sometimes depicted with a scale).
  • Leading the good angels against the fallen angels or demons. For that reason, Christians consider St. Michael as the most powerful defender of God’s people against evil. As such, Michael is also the patron saint of soldiers and policemen. (For the Prayer to St. Michael, go here.)
All of which is why St. Michael the Archangel is my most favorite saint, whom I admire and love with all my heart. As you can see from this blog’s masthead, he is also the protector of Fellowship of the Minds. :D

Happy Feast Day, St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael!

Thank you for inspiring us with your humility, courage, goodness, and love for God.

~Eowyn

Check out FOTM’s other saints and angels posts, here!

Sources:

  1. Mortimer J. Adler, The Angels and Us (New York: Macmillan, 1982).
  2. Matthew Bunson, Angels A to Z: A Who’s Who of the Heavenly Host (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1996), pp. 181-184.
  3. Michael H. Brown, Prayer of the Warrior (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Co., 1993), p. 34.
  4. René Descartes, Meditations On First Philosophy, trans. by Donald A. Cress (Indianapolis & Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1979).
  5. John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, edited with an introduction by A. D. Woozley (Cleveland & New York: Meridian Books, 1968),
  6. Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Volume One(New York: Benziger Brothers, 1947).

Obama as demonic dragon

The name Barack sounds the same as the Hebrew name Bârâq (ברק), which means ligntning. The name Obama sounds the same as the Hebrew word bâmâh (בּוּם), which means height or high place.

“He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’” -Luke 10:18

fall-of-satan

I used to get these mail order catalogs from a company named Design Toscano that specializes in statues and figurines for indoors and out. I’d even ordered some merchandize from them.

Some time along the way, Toscano stopped sending me the catalogs. So it’s been years since I’ve looked at a Toscano mail order catalog. In fact, I’d completely forgotten about the company, until FOTM’s silent reader CSM brought this to my attention.

Toscano is selling a grotesque statue of Obama as a Gothic dragon. Here’s the description from the company’s website, followed by a pic of the figurine:

President Barack Obama Gothic Dragon Statue

Celebrate the historic election of the 44th US president with our Toscano-exclusive Barack Obama figurine. Our, limited edition, collectible dragon statue showcases Barack Obama as a fiercely committed young dragon of mystic strength. Our dragon figurine, cast in quality designer resin, joins the distinguished American political tradition of collectible campaign buttons, patriotic pins and party election sashes. Makes the perfect collectible gift for any history lover or political aficionados!

President Barack Obama Dragon: 5″Wx3″Dx5″H.

Obama dragon

“Barack Obama as a fiercely committed young dragon of mystic strength”?

Toscano must be smoking some powerful dope.

The figurine looks downright DEMONIC.

Just so there’s no doubt about the political partisanship of Toscano, the company also offers an even more grotesque-looking Senator John McCain Gargoyle (4½”Wx3″Dx6½”H), not that I’m fond of McCain. On the contrary, I quite loathe him — McCain the warmonger who wants yet another war (Syria), and supports the detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial (National Defense Authorization Act) and the Gang of 8 immigration reform amnesty bill.

McCain gargoyleI had no idea that Toscano has gone full-tilt Obamaturd and partisan Demonrat.

I hereby vow I will NEVER EVER buy anything from Toscano.

But Toscano really should read the Scriptures, specifically Revelation 12:7-17:

“As soon as the dragon found himself hurled down to the earth, he sprang in pursuit of the woman, the mother of the male child, but she was given a pair of the great eagle’s wings to fly away from the serpent into the desert, to the place where she was to be looked after for a time, two times and half a time. So the serpent vomited water from his mouth, like a river, after the woman, to sweep her away in the current, but the earth came to her rescue; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river spewed from the dragon’s mouth. Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, who obey God’s commandments and have in themselves the witness of Jesus.

And now war broke out in heaven, when Michael with his angels attacked the dragon. The dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated and driven out of heaven. The great dragon, the primeval serpent, known as the devil or Satan, who had led all the world astray, was hurled down to the earth and his angels were hurled down with him. Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Salvation and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the accuser, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down. They have triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word to which they bore witness, because even in the face of death they did not cling to life. So let the heavens rejoice and all who live there; but for you, earth and sea, disaster is coming — because the devil has gone down to you in a rage, knowing that he has little time left.’”

StMichael

~Eowyn

St. Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc2Today, May 30th, is the Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc, my favorite saint.

St. Jeanne La Pucelle was born in Domremy, a small village of Champagne, on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1412, to Jacques d’Arc, her father, a peasant farmer who was a leader in his community, and to Isabelle, her devout mother.  Isabelle taught Joan her Catholic Faith and her prayers.  Joan was a pious young person, who loved to pray and receive the Sacraments, Penance and the Holy Eucharist.  She was very kind, having cared for individuals who were sick and helping people who were wanderers, offering them her bed so that they might rest.  She enjoyed her childhood and was most proficient with the household chores, wherein she loved to sew and spin.  Joan said, “I fear no woman in Rouen at sewing and spinning.”

Joan lived in the throes of the Hundred Years War.  King Henry V of England invaded France, took over Normandy and claimed the crown of Charles VI of France.  To make matters worse, there was also a civil war between the Duke of Burgundy and his allies and Orleans.  The Duke was murdered and thereafter, the Burgundians allied themselves with the English.  France was literally falling apart, with town after town falling to the English and/or the Burgundians.  In the meantime, the new individual who should be king, was Charles VII, known as the Dauphin; he did little to help France’s dire situation.

Joan of Arc1

When Joan was 13 years of age, Joan saw St. Michael the Archangel, who comforted her and told her not to be afraid.  She then saw Sts. Catherine and Margaret, telling her about her mission from the King of Heaven, to save France advising her that she must lead the army of France.  Joan stated in testimony:

“When I was thirteen, I had a voice from God to help me to govern myself. The first time, I was terrified. The voice came to me about noon: it was summer, and I was in my father’s garden. I had not fasted the day before. I heard the voice on my right hand, towards the church. There was a great light all about.

I vowed then to keep my virginity for as long as it should please God.

I saw it many times before I knew that it was Saint Michael. Afterwards, he taught me and showed me such things that I knew that it was he.

He was not alone, but duly attended by heavenly angels. I saw them with the eyes of my body as well as I see you. And when they left me, I wept,and I wished that they might have taken me with them. And I kissed the ground where they had stood, to do them reverence.

Above all, St. Michael told me that I must be a good child, and that God would help me.  He taught me to behave rightly and to go often to church.  He said that I would have to go into France.

He told me that St. Catherine and St. Margaret would come to me, and that I must follow their counsel; that they were appointed to guide and counsel me in what I had to do, and that I must believe what they would tell me, for it was at Our Lord’s command.

He told me the pitiful state of the Kingdom of France.  And he told me that I must go to succour the King of France.

St. Catherine and St. Margaret had rich crowns on their heads.  They spoke well and fairly, and their voices are beautiful-sweet and soft.

The name by which they often named me was Jehanne the Maid, child of God.

They told me that my King would be restored to his Kingdom, despite his enemies.  They promised to lead me to Paradise, for that was what I asked of them.

Twice and thrice a week the voice told met hat I must depart and go into France.

And the voice said that I would raise the siege before Orleans.  And it told me to go to Vaucouleurs, to Robert de Baudricourt, captain of the town, who would give me men to go with me.

And I answered the voice that I was a poor girl who knew nothing of riding and warfare.”

Joan went three times to speak to Robert de Baudricourt about the instructions she received from the King of Heaven.  On the third occasion, Baudricourt listened to Joan, as a previous prediction she had made to him regarding a defeat for the French army came true.  Accordingly, Baudricourt gave Joan an escort of three soldiers to protect her, to present herself to Charles VII.  Joan travelled wearing the clothing of men and reached Chinon on March 6, 1429.  The Dauphin disguised himself to see if Joan would be able to point him out amongst the other individuals in his Court.  Of course, Joan identified the real Dauphin.  She spoke with him in private and gave him a secret message told to her by her heavenly messengers, which convinced Chales that what Joan said was true.  He gave her soldiers so that she could lead them towards the relief of Orleans.  However, this decision came with opposition from some of the members of Charle’s court.  Therefore, she was sent to Poitiers to be examined by a learned body of theologians.  After extensive questions and a thorough investigation, these theologians found Joan to be pure and true, finding no fault with her.  Indeed, they advised Charles to use this pure human being for the good of France.

After Joan returned to Chinon from Poitiers, she was equipped with an expeditionary force, and she was provided with white armor and other supplies, with a banner or standard which was Joan’s favorite possession.  Upon the banner was a representation of God the Father to whom two kneeling angels were presenting a fleur-de-lis, with the writing upon it, “Jesus:Maria”.

Joan of Arc3On April 27, the army left Blois with Joan in her white armor and banner, leading the French army.  They entered Orleans on April 29th, and Joan’s presence in the city gave hope to the people.  And by May 8th, the English forts which surrounded Orleans were captured and the siege raised.

Joan the Maid was then allowed to lead the French army in yet another campaign on the Loire with the Duc d’ Alencon, one of her dearest friends.  This campaign was successful, and she ended with another victory at Patay in which the English forces suffered yet another defeat.

On July 17, 1429, Charles VII, the Dauphin, was crowned with Joan beside him holding her treasured banner.  Joan was successful in this important campaign.  Nevertheless, troubles ensued and she went to the relief of Compiegne which was holding out against the Burgundians.  On May 23, 1430, because of some miscalculation, the drawbridge over which her company was retiring was raised too soon, leaving Joan and some of her men outside at the mercy of the Burgundians.  She was taken by the enemy and remained the prisoner of the Duke of Burgundy.  Charles, the Dauphin, did not come to Joan’s aid during the entire time of her imprisonment.  Clearly, he betrayed her.  On  November 21st she was sold to the English.  They knew that they could not condemn her for her defeat of them in war, but contrived that they could harm her if she was tried as a sorceress and a heretic.

Joan was in prison in the castle of Rouen.  On February 21, 1431, she appeared before Peter Cauchon, who was Bishop of Beauvais, who hoped that through English influence he could become the Archbishop of Rouen. This Tribunal consisted of Cauchon, dignitaries and doctors carefully selected by Cauchon, as well as of the ordinary officials of an ecclesiastical court.  During the course of her sessions, Joan was examined and cross-examined as to her visions and her voices, her assumption of male attire, her faith and her willingness to submit to the Church.  Joan answered their questions boldly.  Her answers were not only cogent, but logical and embarrassing for her inquisitors.  For example, when Joan was asked whether she would refer herself to the determination of the Church, she stated:

“I refer myself to Our Lord who sent me, to Our Lady, and to all the blessed saints in Paradise.  It seems to me that Our Lord and the Church are one and the same, and that no one shold make difficulties about that.  Why do you make difficulties about its not being one and the same?”   

Joan further reiterated this comment stating her allegiance to the Church and also stating, “Our Lord first served!”

This alleged unfair tribunal summed up her answers as revelations from the devil wherein these misrepresentations were submitted to the judges and then to the University of Paris.  Joan was denounced.

The tribunal decided that she must be handed over to the secular arm as a heretic if she refused to retract.    In a final attempt  to obtain her admission and retraction, Joan was threatened with torture.  She, out of extreme fear, made a retraction of her testimony.  She was taken back to prison.  Joan knew that her retraction was wrong, and again put on the male attire that she wore as a soldier for France even though she was expected to discard this dress.  Cauchon and his assistants visited Joan in her cell and saw what she had done, noticing that she had recovered from her previous weakness.  Therefore, Joan again declared that she was sent by the King of Heaven and that the voices of the saints she heard came from Heaven also.

On May 29, 1431, the judges heard Cauchon’s report, condemning Joan as a relapsed heretic to be delivered over to the secular arm.

On May 30, 1431, the 19-year-0ld Joan was fastened to a stake being prepared to be burned upon it.  A Dominican friar at her request held up a cross in front of her eyes, and as the flames lept upon her, she cried, “Jesus, Jesus”.  Some of the people cried that they had burned a saint.  Her ashes were hurled into the Seine.

Twenty-three years later, Joan’s mother and her two brothers appealed to Pope Callistus II to have her case reviewed.  The Pope granted this request and appointed a commission to review what happened, to examine the witnesses and review the written testimony.  On July 7, 1456, the trial was declared biased and unfair, quashing the trial and its verdict, completely exonerating dear Joan.

Four-hundred and fifty years later, on May 16, 1920, Joan was canonized as a saint with all solemnity, by the Catholic Church.  She is the Patron Saint of France, soldiers, military personnel and prisoners.  And finally, St. Joan is also the Patron Saint of individuals who are ridiculed for their Faith.

St. Joan is very dear to me as she has helped me so much in my life.  It is my hope that I will also live my life with kindness, courage, bravery and loyalty, and putting my Faith first above all things, loving Our Triune God with great passion and zeal.  She is an example of a pure young lady, full of love for God, for His Church and for his people.  Yes, dear brave Joan, may Our Lord always be first served! 

With love, reverence and respect for St. Joan,

Joan

Sources:

Butler’s Lives of the Saints, Edited by Michael Walsh

One Hundred Saints, Bulfinch Press AOL Time Warner Book Group

Joan of Arc In Her Own Words, Compiled and Translated by Willard Trask; Afterword by Sir Edward S. Creasy

St. Joan of Arc:  Maid for God, EWTN, May 30, 2013

What happened to the boy in “The Exorcist”

“Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out….” Matthew 10:1

In truth I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18

Did you know that the famous 1973 movie “The Exorcist” was based on a real-life case of a successful exorcism? But instead of a young girl, played by Linda Blair in the movie, in real life it was a 13-year-old boy who became demonically possessed.

The Exorcist

I’ve always wondered what happened to that boy. Thanks to an account by Pat McGonigle for KSDK5 in St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 30, 2012, we now know. Here’s McGonigle’s report:

It’s one of the biggest questions about the most well documented cases of an exorcism in U.S. history.

What ever happened to the 13-year-old boy at the center of the exorcism performed by Jesuits at Saint Louis University?

The story was the basis for the best-selling book and blockbuster horror movie, “The Exorcist.”

With a few rare exceptions, the boy’s identity has remained a closely guarded secret for decades.

“He’s still alive,” said David Waide, SLU archivist.

In almost all of the accounts of the famous case, the boy is referred to as “Robbie.”

Robbie’s ordeal began at his home in Maryland in 1949. Bizarre, unexplained things started happening in Robbie’s home, up to and including marks and welts on his body.

Robbie’s parents came to St. Louis to stay with relatives, partially in hopes that a change of scenery would stop the unexplained activities.

It didn’t help.

One of Robbie’s cousins was a student at St. Louis University at the time. She relayed accounts of Robbie’s ordeal to Jesuits at SLU.

Eventually, Fr. William Bowdern, S.J. led the exorcism with the help of Fr. Raymond Bishop and Fr. Walter Halloran, among others.

The ordeal ended at a now-demolished wing of the Alexian Brothers Hospital in south St. Louis.

It’s believed Robbie would be 77 today.

He’s had several children,” Waide said. “He’s moved back to the Washington D.C. area. He was non-Catholic, Lutheran nominally, but he became a Catholic. He was baptized during this whole episode.

It’s been reported that Robbie named a son Michael. In the exorcism records, Robby tells the priests he was saved by St. Michael the Archangel.

Robbie returned to St. Louis two years after his ordeal ended in 1949.

In a priest’s diary about the exorcism, this is the final footnote entry on page 29:

“Follow up: August 19, 1951. R and his father and mother visited the Brothers. R, now 16 is a fine young man. His father and mother also became Catholic, having received their first Holy Communion on Christmas Day, 1950.”

You can read the entire diary on KSDK.COM.

StMichaelTheArchangel

In 1993, Thomas B. Allen wrote a book on the real life exorcism of “Robbie.” Titled Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism, the book is based on the diary kept by a Jesuit priest who assisted Father Bowdern in the exorcism. One big difference between the movie and the book is that in the book, “Robbie” identified St. Michael the Archangel as playing a pivotal role, by the power of God, in the eventual expulsion of the demon.

~Eowyn

Send Us Pics of Your Garden/Flowers!

A glimpse of my garden on a cool rainy day.

Thank you for your positive reaction every time I do a post on my garden or nature or my new kitten. (See “Room With a View“, “Eowyn’s Garden“, “A Walk in the Rain“, “Peekaboo“.)

The beauty of God’s creation feeds our soul because they are reminders of His presence and love. That is why we hunger for those visual reminders.

If you have pics of your garden, home, pet, or something that makes your heart sing, please send it to me:

FellowshipTips@aol.com

I’ll post them on the Fellowship of the Minds so that you can share what you love with us all….

~Eowyn