Practice: to take Certain Days every Month and every Week for the Purpose of Honouring more especially the Holy Angels, and to Celebrate their Feasts with all Possible Devotion.

Sts. Simon and Jude, ora pro nobis.

Practice: to take Certain Days every Month and every Week for the Purpose of Honouring more especially the Holy Angels, and to Celebrate their Feasts with all Possible Devotion.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Practice: to take Certain Days every Month and every Week for the Purpose of Honouring more especially the Holy Angels, and to Celebrate their Feasts with all Possible Devotion.

I KNOW of a holy community of Carmelite nuns, where every month they select one of the nine choirs of the holy angels to pay it peculiar honour; and as three months remain of the twelve in the year, these three months are devoted to some one of the choirs towards which they feel more peculiarly drawn; as, for instance, that of the Seraphim. My dear readers, it is in your power to do the very same thing; the practice is an easy one.

If you like, you can choose the first nine days of each month to pay your respects to these angelic spirits, and then select some other days for invoking those angels to whom you are specially indebted; or, if you have the good will to undertake it, you might apply yourself on Sundays to honour the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones; on Mondays, the Dominations, the Virtues, and the Powers: on Tuesdays, the Principalities, Archangels, and Angels; on Wednesdays, the angels of unbelievers and heretics; on Thursdays, the angels of kingdoms and provinces, of churches and altars, and specially those who attend on our Divine King in the Most Holy Sacrament; on Fridays, the angels of your enemies, or of such persons as are a cause of trouble to you, or from whom you have reason to apprehend some injury; on Saturdays, the angels of your relatives and friends, and of those with whom you most frequently associate; if you belong to a community, of those with whom you live, particularly your spiritual friends and your director. These angels take much greater interest in your welfare than you imagine. Do not forget the angels of the town or village where you reside.

As for the angel who is your guardian, every day of your life ought to be a day of devotion to him, and of thanksgiving for his marvellous goodness to you. Some set apart their birthday as an especial festival in his honour, doing exactly as they would upon the festivals of those saints to whom they have the greatest devotion, both in the way of preparation and in keeping the octave. In addition, those whose circumstances permit of it, give as many alms in his honour as they have lived years, or else make as many acts of some virtue, or offer as many acts of devotion to their amiable guardian.

I knew a person who used at such times to distribute the years of his life over several days, in order to consider at leisure the mercies of God towards him; the misfortunes from which he had been preserved or delivered, whether affecting body or soul; the graces he had received from the infinite goodness of the Adorable Jesus; the protection of the most holy Virgin, and that of the angels and saints. Such considerations powerfully touch the heart when they are well made; and as our holy angel is the minister whom God employs to shield us from all evil, and to convey to us His benefits, this furnishes full occasion to thank him and to bless him in detail for all his loving care in our youth, in more advanced years, and in our old age, if we have attained it, carefully calling to mind the principal things which have occurred to us in the course of our life. We ought at least to remember that Tuesday is a day dedicated to the honour of the holy angels; and this day ought to be one of great devotion with such as love them. The twenty-ninth of September is the day of the great feast of St. Michael and of all the other angels. The eighth of May is the feast of his Apparition on Mount Garganus. And in Normandy the sixteenth of October is observed in commemoration of the Apparition of this glorious Archangel on the Hill of Tombe, commonly called Mont Saint-Michel.

This place is very famous owing to the concourse of persons who flock to it from all quarters to pay their homage to this amiable prince of Heaven; and the great miracles which the Omnipotence of God has worked there are prevailing motives to excite the devotion of the faithful more and more to honour on this holy hill the God of all mercy, and to implore the succour of the highest prince in His heavenly court. Pilgrimages may be undertaken to this holy spot for every manner of need, but especially for deliverance from the temptations and assaults of the malignant spirits, and to obtain purity of mind and body and an invincible fortitude in the ways of salvation. Those who are devoted to the interests of our Lord Jesus Christ and His most holy Mother, ought to address themselves to this glorious Archangel, who so zealously maintained Their cause from the very beginning of the world; it would be desirable, however, that persons should perform this pilgrimage with more devotion than is usually seen, conversing together of God as they journey along, raising their hearts often to our Lord and to His most holy Mother, imploring the aid of St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and all the nine choirs of angels; being very watchful to avoid all manner of sin; and finally, on reaching their destination, not neglecting to confess and communicate. A voice from Heaven made known that this place is very agreeable to God and frequented by holy angels. Truly such an oracle must serve to soften any hardships which may be incurred in visiting this sacred mount; and it is sweeter than words can express, or the imagination can conceive, to find one’s self in a spot so dear to God and the constant resort of the princes of His court.

Divine Providence has even ordered that it should not be any man of this earth, however holy, but a pure spirit of Heaven, and the highest of all the blessed spirits, who should consecrate the church; for St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, when about to perform that ceremony, was prevented by St. Michael, who apprised him that he himself had already consecrated it. This is the holy bishop to whom the Archangel appeared on three several occasions, more than nine hundred years ago, to inform him that the Hill of Tombe was under his protection and that of all the other angels; and that it was the will of God that a church should be built in their honour. On the third occasion he touched the good bishop’s head, and left thereon a mark which is visible to this day.[1] An admirable prodigy likewise occurred, for a rock, which stood there, proving an impediment to the convenient erection of the sanctuary of the church, the Archangel directed that an infant still in its cradle should be brought to the spot, and on the child touching the rock with its foot, immediately it fell and left the necessary space for the sanctuary. Blessed are the chaste and the innocent, the pure and clean of heart, since they are so dear to God and to His angels!

St. Michael, not content with working all these wonders, and desiring to bestow still greater visible tokens of his favour upon the holy Mount of Tombe, commanded St. Aubert to send to Mount Garganus, and ask, in his name, for a portion of the vermilion cloth which he had left there, and for a fragment of the marble on which he was seated when he appeared on that mountain in human form; which being granted at the request of the good bishop’s deputies, twelve blind persons, at different places, received their sight by touching these holy things; and near the Mount of Tombe a blind woman also had her sight restored, whereat the people were so deeply moved, that, in memory of so great a miracle, the village, which had been heretofore called Astériat, was named Beauvoir, and so it is called at this present day. I enjoyed the honour and the blessing of beholding, in this very year 1667, on the day of the feast of the Apparition of the glorious St. Michael, at this sacred spot, these precious tokens of the incomparable love of this great prince of Paradise for men, as also the shield and the sword which are preserved there in the treasury of the church, and which are additional proofs of his marvellous goodness. The shield is adorned with little crosses, and its material is brass, as is that also of the sword; these are also gifts of the Archangel, which he made on the occasion of a miracle wrought in Great Britain by his invincible strength, and which he commanded to be brought to this place.

History relates that there was a dragon there of a monstrous size, who, poisoning the waters with his venom, infecting the air with his breath, and killing every one he met, had rendered the country around almost uninhabitable. This affliction constrained the bishop of the place to have recourse to God; and, after having proclaimed a three days’ fast, and given abundant alms, all the inhabitants armed themselves and marched, accompanied by the clergy, who walked in procession, imploring the succour of Heaven to give strength to the people to destroy the dragon; but great was their astonishment when, having nearly reached the place of his retreat, they found him dead, with the aforementioned shield and sword lying by him; and while they were wondering who it was that had been able to kill this monster with such feeble weapons, St. Michael appeared to the bishop, and told him that it was he who had slain the dragon; and that, although he needed not those weak arms to effect his purpose, yet he had been pleased to make use of them, that he might leave visible tokens of the assistance he had rendered. He then commanded these arms to be carried to the church on the Mount of Tombe, where they are still preserved with singular veneration.

Since it has pleased God, about three years ago, to manifest anew in our days the great St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Evreux, through the discovery of his holy body five leagues from Mont Saint-Michel, it has appeared to me that our Lord would be glorified if, when speaking of the miracles He has wrought to the glory of the angels on the Mount of Tombe, I said a word of those He works at this present time near that holy hill in honour of this truly angelic man. Entirely given to God, having no longer about him anything of this earth, and seeming to breathe only the air of Paradise, he voluntarily resigned the government of the see of Evreux, and quitted the society of men that he might converse only with the angels in solitude. Having left, then, his dear fiock, who accompanied him for the distance of two leagues from the town of Evreux to a spot where, in memory of this last farewell, a holy chapel was built in honour of the Blessed Virgin, who is the special Lady and Patroness of this diocese, and in honour of St. Michael, which chapel is commonly called Nôtre Dame de Gaud, this great prelate retired into a solitary district near Granville, on the sea shore, five leagues, as we have said, from Mont Saint-Michel, where, having ended his days and left his precious relics, God, who delights in manifesting those who hide themselves for the love of Him, was not contented with glorifying him at the period of his holy death, but five hundred years afterwards made known his glory by the first invention of his body, which was then found perfectly uncorrupted, and was suffered to remain in the sepulchre where he bad been interred. Many miracles occurred at that time, and it became a place of resort for afflicted persons; but in the lapse of ages, about five hundred years and more after this first invention, it pleased Divine Providence to reveal once again the greatness of this saint by the second invention of his relics about three years ago, followed in like manner by many miracles; on which account the place has become very famous, and a most favourable spot for those who desire to implore the intercession of St. Gaudentius. I should be most ungrateful were I not to publish the help I myself received from this great saint, in a dangerous illness, when the physicians had pronounced my case to be hopeless. Blessed for ever be God for His great mercies, which He never ceases to bestow on men through the merits of His most blessed Mother, His angels, and His saints. Near the tomb of St. Gaudentius is that of St. Paternus, Bishop of Avranches, and of the Abbot St. Scubilion, who were his companions in his retreat. St. Senator is also buried there, as well as many other holy persons. Remains are still visible of the hermitages of these saintly recluses.

The feast of St. Gabriel is celebrated on the eighteenth of March, and in some places on the twenty-fourth of the same month, the vigil of the feast of the sacred Mother of God. That of St. Raphael is kept on the twentieth of November, and in some places on one of the Sundays occurring between Easter and Pentecost. That of the Guardian Angels is solemnised on the first day of October not occupied by a feast of nine lessons, and it is also celebrated on the first day of March. All these ought to be great days with such as are devout to the holy angels. They should hear Mass and communicate in honour of them; practise some mortification or do some work of charity; but besides this, at least for one, if not for more, of these feasts special preparation ought to be made. St. Francis used to fast forty days to prepare himself for the feast of St. Michael; and it was during this quarantine that a Seraph imprinted on him the sacred stigmata. St. Elisabeth used to observe the same practice, fasting on bread and water. I have already spoken of St. Mecthilde, who, having asked our Lord what she could do to honour the angels, He replied, “Daughter, you will say the Pater nine times in honour of their nine choirs.” To these she added nine more in honour of her good angel, that he might present this her devotion to these glorious spirits. A preparation for their festivals might be made by a novena, according to the manner indicated in the last chapter. Moreover, we must not forget to keep their octaves, performing each day some pious duty towards these princes of Heaven.

Care should be taken to recite the offices and litanies of these holy spirits, at least on certain days, and at certain times of the year. There is a rosary which can be said in honour of our holy angel-guardian. At the cross we say the Credo, or the Te Deum, followed by the Paternoster and the Ave Maria; then upon the large beads, either the Gloria Patri or the Ave Maria; and upon all the little beads, the Angele Dei;[2] or those who do not know the short prayer, may say the words, “My good angel, I love thee, and desire to love thee.” If we wish to say it in honour of all the nine choirs, we may make use of these other words : “Holy angels, I love you, and desire to love you.” The use of ejaculatory prayers is wonderfully profitable. If you love the heavenly spirits you will often converse with them, and pour forth your heart in their presence; nothing can be easier to a heart that loves than to tell them of its grief for the ingratitude of men, its astonishment at the forgetfulness in which they live of their perfections and their goodness; nothing easier than to express its own gratitude for their care, and its desire to profit by it; nothing easier than to call them to our assistance in our necessities, and to beseech them to interest themselves for us with Jesus and Mary, in order to render Them favourable to us, to say to Them what we would desire to say, but alas! are not able. We understand nothing of the language of the court of Paradise; and we need the intervention of these princes of the court to speak for us. We may express all this during the course of the day in two or three fervent words, sometimes in one way, and sometimes in another.

I had almost forgotten to mention a practice which will enable you to keep a festival, sometimes to one angel, and sometimes to another. With this view you must form the intention, when you keep the feast of any saint, to keep, at the same time, that of the holy angel who was his guardian here below. This will not multiply your devotions: you have only to make the intention of honouring the holy angel of the saint by all the good works you shall perform in the saint’s honour, and by this means you will spend the whole year in keeping the feasts of different angels. You will thus lay an obligation on the saints to offer your homage to these glorious spirits, to whom they are so greatly indebted; you will gain the favour of all these angels, and will draw down upon yourself the sweetest benedictions of Paradise.

[1] The cathedral of Avranches, as is well known, was levelled to the ground, not one stone being left upon another, and all its sacred treasures scattered to the winds, by the impious revolutionists of the last century.

[2] “Angele Dei, qui custos es mei, me tibi commissum pietat supernâ illumina, custodi, et guberna.”

“Angel of God, who art my guardian, enlighten, guard, direct, and govern me, who have been committed to thee by the divine mercy.”

The above prayer is indulgenced.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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October Devotion: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary.

Virtues to practice: Confidence.


Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

ANTIPHON.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.

Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

GABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Gabriel the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 28, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Raphael the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

PRAYER TO S. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL.

Glorious Archangel, S. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

THE ANGEL GUARDIAN.
PRAYER
.

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna
illumina, custodi,
rege, et guberna.Amen.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.
Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a brief, Oct. 2, 1795, granted to all the faithful, every time that, with at least contrite heart and devotion, they shall say this prayer:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, on the feast of the holy guardian angels (Oct. 2), to those who shall have said this prayer, morning and evening, throughout the year, provided that, on the day of the feast, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The same Sovereign Pontiff, by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 11, 1796, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, at the hour of death, to all those who, during life, shall have frequently said this prayer, provided they shall have the proper dispositions.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 15, 1821, not only confirmed the above mentioned indulgences, but, moreover, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a month, to all the faithful who shall have said it every day for a month, as above directed, on any day, when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church, and pray devoutly for the intention of his Holiness.

NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript dated at Gaeta, Jan. 5, 1849, and by another of the S. Congr. of Bishops and Regulars, Jan. 28, 1850, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of the Guardian Angel, published by the Rev. Joseph M. Falcone, of the Congregation of the Missions:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, either during the novena or upon one of the eight days immediately following, if, truly penitent, they confess and communicate, and say some prayers for the holy Church and for the Sovereign Pontiff.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, the same Sovereign Pontiff deigned to approve that these indulgences may be gained by those who make the novena to the Guardian Angel with any other formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.

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