Practice: to Place great Confidence in the Protection of the Holy Angels, and to have Recourse to them in all our Necessities, Bodily and Spiritual.

Feast of Christ the King

Practice: to Place great Confidence in the Protection of the Holy Angels, and to have Recourse to them in all our Necessities, Bodily and Spiritual.

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 Place great Confidence in the Protection of the Holy Angels, and to have Recourse to them in all our Necessities, Bodily and Spiritual.

“THEY that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Sion; he shall not be moved for ever that dwelleth in Jerusalem. Mountains are round about it: so the Lord is round about His people” (Ps. cxxiv. 1, 2). Now, these mountains, which serve as impregnable bulwarks and fortresses to the soul which places all its hopes in the God of mercies, are none other than the holy angels; these are the holy mountains of the Psalmist (cxx. 1), whence he looked confidently for help. Oh, how blessed is that soul which lives under such protection! It shall be delivered from the snare of the hunters; it shall not be afraid of the terror of the night; the arrow that flieth in the day shall not hurt it, nor the plottings of darkness, nor the noon-day devil. While a thousand fall on its right hand, and ten thousand on its left, it shall abide in safety, because it is in the keeping of the angels. It shall walk upon the asp and the basilisk; it shall trample under foot the lion and the dragon, and shall receive no injury (Ps. xc. 3-13). Its abode is so sure and lofty that evil cannot approach it; it shall fly like the eagles in mid-air without fear, and shall take its flight to the height of heaven, borne up by these glorious celestial powers. Whether it go or come, the angels accompany it as its guard; these are the warriors of whom the prophet Zacharias speaks (ix. 8), who encompassed the house of the Lord; they shall keep it in the midst of them, as heretofore they kept the heroic Machabeus, and will cover it on every side with their arms, rushing on its adversaries, and casting darts and tremendous fire-balls at all its enemies (2 Mach. x. 29, 30).

“Why, then, should we fear,” exclaimed St. Bernard, “seeing that we have friends so faithful, wise, and powerful?” “Joy be to thee always,” said St. Raphael the Archangel to Tobias (v. 11, 15); “I will conduct thee and bring thee back.” And, truly, I do not see how we ever can be sad, being assisted in all our ways by such powerful help. If monsters should come up to devour us, our faithful guardians will easily deliver us out of their jaws. Let all hell conspire against us, let all mankind take up arms to destroy us, our hearts ought to fear nothing, if the choirs of angels grant us their protection. How sweet to think of this multitude of angels of whom we have spoken in the first treatise of this little work, and to know that all are engaged in the service of men! Whithersoever, then, I may go, and in whatever place I may find myself, I have thousands of millions of these soldiers of Heaven watching to defend me. O my soul! why art thou troubled? Why all this anxiety? Seest thou not that all Heaven is fighting for thy salvation? It seems to thee sometimes that thou art lonely and forsaken, deprived of all human succour; but why dost thou not remember that thou hast around thee an army of terrible might, composed of an innumerable multitude of invincible warriors, who accompany and protect thee? While we sleep there are more eyes open to watch over our safety than there are stars in the firmament. Though all the creatures on earth should rise up against us on every side, yet are there more angels of Paradise to defend us than there are atoms in the sun’s rays and drops of water in the ocean.

Let us say, then, O my soul! We have more with us than our adversaries have with them. But oh, the blindness of men! Nothing affects us but what we behold with the eyes of flesh. We are feelingly alive to the presence of earthly creatures, as we are also to their withdrawal; when we see a good number on our side, or standing against us, our poor hearts expand with joy or contract with sadness; in vain are we reminded of the succours of Heaven: it is a language of which we understand nothing—in this resembling the servant of Eliseus[1] who, beholding the numerous array of picked and veteran troops sent by the king of Syria to capture his master, could not be reassured by anything the holy prophet could say to dispel his fears. In vain did he tell him that they had more with them for their defence, this poor man gave heed to nothing but what he saw; the invincible bands of the God of Hosts failed to encourage him, because they were not visible to him—herein how different from the man of God, who acted by faith, and whose confidence St. Ambrose has so highly extolled, exclaiming at the thought of it, “Oh, the faith of the holy prophet! He fears not his enemies whom he sees, because he knows that the angels of God are with him, although he sees them not. But oh, the goodness of God! The holiness of a man,” adds this Father, “draws more defenders down to him from Heaven than the malice of men raises up adversaries to him on earth.” What need have we in the midst of our darkness to betake ourselves to prayer, like that holy man, when he perceived his servant’s want of faith, and to say with him, “O Lord, open our eyes:” not to obtain a miracle, and to have mountains full of horses and chariots of fire disclosed to us, but to increase our faith, and make us live by it, and act always by this same virtue.

I must declare that I am perfectly astonished when I reflect upon the little confidence which men place in the protection of Heaven. “Oh, the avarice of the human heart!” said our Lord once to St. Teresa: it feels as if the very ground were slipping from under it. Everywhere there is nothing but anxiety, as in temporal things so in spiritual. Men could not be more attached to human means if there were no Providence. But how sad it is to behold spiritual persons, under the pretext of prudence, so immersed in solicitude about everything that concerns them, and placing so much reliance on their own diligence. Oh, the accursed prudence of the flesh! I hold thee in eternal abhorrence. O loving Providence of my God! I abandon myself without reserve into Thy hands. Let men say and do what they will, let them combine against us as much as they please, I know, O my God—I know it without a shadow of doubt—I know it with more certainty than I know that I am writing these lines—that in spite of all the efforts and all the rage of devils, Thy divine counsels shall be accomplished. He whom Thou wiliest to save shall never be lost, unless he wills it himself; in vain may men cast him down, when they think that he will never rise again—then it is that Thou wilt render him more glorious. Thou raisest him from the dust and mire of the earth, from the dunghill to which his humiliations had abased him, to make him sit with the princes of Thy people, and to give him a throne of glory. Oh, who is like unto Thee, who inhabitest the Heavens, and lookest down from Thy sanctuary with favour upon the meanest things of the earth, putting down the mighty from their seat, and exalting the humble? Full well dost Thou manifest what Thou art, as is written of Thee in the Book of Wisdom (xvi 8-10); giving death to the enemies of Thy people, and putting their adversaries to flight by the bitings of flies, whilst Thou givest victory to Thy children and to all Thy servants, whom not even the teeth of venomous serpents could overcome.

Let us, then, turn all our thoughts to the Lord, and commit all our cares to His Divine Providence, who watches over us by His holy angels with ineffable goodness. Let us lift up our hands and our eyes towards these holy mountains in all places and on all occasions. I have sufficiently shown the powerful help we receive from them both in spiritual and in temporal matters; and I will here only add to what has been already said, that on a thousand occasions angels have appeared in visible form to bring miserable sinners to the confession of their sins, and to the sacrament of penance. They have often administered the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar: as to St. Onuphrius, to whom they carried it every eight days in the desert. They assist in great numbers at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as St. Nilus testifies; and he relates that St. John Chrysostom saw them diligently assisting the priests when they were giving communion to the people. They sometimes make responses at Holy Mass, as occurred in the case of St. Oswald, the bishop. They join with men in their prayers, and recite them with them, as happened to the great St. Ouen, Archbishop of Rouen, who had a singular devotion to the most holy Virgin, their Queen; for this holy man having commenced a verse of a Psalm in the church of St. Peter at Rome, he heard the angels finishing it. Sometimes they show to those who fight for Jesus Christ the glorious crowns which are prepared for them.

When a heart experiences some difficulty in giving itself perfectly to God only, it need but address itself to them. St. Ignatius found the advantage of it; and it was the means he employed to gain St. Francis Xavier; thus it is to these glorious spirits that Japan owes her apostle. The holy Order of the Carmelites has given to our own France souls admirable for their saintliness; and here again it is to the holy angels to whom we are indebted; for St. Michael, the highest of these sublime Intelligences, appeared in complete armour, like a warrior returning from battle, to the Venerable Anne de Saint-Barthélemi, when the resolution was taken of bringing these holy virgins from the kingdom of Spain into France, notwithstanding all the opposition of hell; this archangel desiring thereby to make known the victory he had gained over the demons, and over the obstacles which men had opposed. In fine, our Lord, by employing the ministry of angels at His Birth, during His Life, after His Death, and at His Ascension, teaches us that in all our actions and in all our ways we ought to have recourse to them, and implore their assistance.

[1] 4 Kings vi. 15.

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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