- WHY FATIMA
- FATIMA CENTER
- PRAYER & DEVOTION
Who is like unto God?
You probably recognize the above words as belonging to St. Michael. They were his battle cry of love and loyalty to God, uttered by him in opposition to the cry of Lucifer and the rebellious angels just prior to engaging in battle against them.
As we have been taught, after God created the angels, before admitting them to Heaven, He placed them under probation (just as later Adam and Eve were given a trial of obedience).
The exact nature of the trial they were tested with is not known for certain, but it has been proposed by saints and Doctors of the Church that God the Father revealed to the angels the future Incarnation of His Divine Son, Who they were to adore in His Sacred Humanity.
It was also revealed to the angels the dignity and glory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Who, as the Mother of God, they were to venerate as their Queen.
Lucifer, considered the most glorious, beautiful and gifted of the angels, rebelled at the thought that human nature should be preferred to his own angelic nature. He also rejected the thought that a woman inferior to him in nature should at some future time be made his Queen.
In rebellion, he raised his great battle-cry: I will be like unto the Most High! It is estimated that in their pride, a third of the angels took up Lucifers rebellious cry.
At the same time, the great archangel Michael prostrated himself before the throne of God. With an act of profound adoration, he opposed the cry of the rebellious angels with his own battle cry — Who is like unto God? Then followed the battle between the good and the bad angels which St. John describes in Apocalypse 12:7-9 : And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in Heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
St. Michael and his faithful followers won a glorious victory. In reward for his zeal and fidelity, the holy Archangel Michael was made prince and commander-in-chief of all the heavenly legions.
The angels willingly and gratefully acknowledge his supremacy recognizing, after God (and Our Lady), they owe to him their perseverance in grace and their eternal happiness. With loving submission they receive from him their various offices. They are attentive to his slightest wish, seeing in his commands and regulations the will of God.
St. Michael receives the highest honor in the heavenly court. He also deserves high honor from us. After Our Lady, he was the first to recognize and adore the Word-made-flesh, and the first to be illumined by His grace.
He is also the first apostle, because he was the first to announce the Savior to the angelic choirs. He is the first lieutenant of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for he was the first to lead the faithful servants of God to victory against the enemy.
Both in the Old and New Testaments, St. Michael is called the guardian angel of the People of God. The Fathers of the Church are united in teaching that St. Michael is the primary guardian angel and protector of the Catholic Church.
Innumerable spiritual and temporal blessings have been attributed to him from the earliest days of Christianity. There are countless stories in the history of the Church pertaining to St. Michael coming to the rescue, when dreadful wars and persecutions threatened to destroy Christianity.
St. Michael, at the command of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Angels, came to the assistance of Constantine the Great in the Fourth Century, and helped his forces gain a brilliant victory over the pagan Emperor Maxentius.
St. Michael has appeared at different times to those who needed help and invoked his aid. One well authenticated example is his assisting St. Joan of Arc in the extraordinary Divine mission given her, to aid the French king in restoring peace and prosperity to his kingdom and expelling his enemies from its shores.
In 1884 Pope Leo XIII, after celebrating Mass one day, suddenly sank to the floor in a deep swoon. Physicians were called immediately and it was feared he had already expired, because they could not find a pulse. After a short interval, the Holy Father rallied. Opening his eyes, he exclaimed with great emotion: Oh what a horrible picture I was permitted to see!
He had been shown, in spirit, the tremendous activities of the evil spirits and their fierce attacks against the Church. In the midst of this vision of horror he also saw consoling visions of the glorious Archangel Michael, who had appeared and cast satan and his legions back into the abyss of Hell.
Soon afterward Pope Leo XIII composed that well-known prayer: St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil ...
St. Michael has numerous titles attributed to him, among them are: Protector of the Church, Helper and Defender of Christians, Heavenly Physician, Advocate of the Dying, Consoler of Poor Souls, Guardian of the Blessed Sacrament and of the Pope.
He is honored as the herald of the general judgment and the guardian of paradise.
It is also generally believed by Fatima scholars that the Angel who appeared to Lucy, Francisco and Jacinta, in Fatima in 1916, was St. Michael.
Although he never identified himself by name, he referred to himself in the first apparition as the Angel of Peace, which is also one of St. Michaels titles.
At the first apparition, the Angel taught the children a prayer of adoration and entreated them to pray often, he said The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.
The second apparition of the Angel was in the summer of 1916, at which time the Angel reinforced the need for prayer, and identified himself as the Angel Guardian of Portugal.
The third apparition of the Angel occurred in the fall of 1916. At that apparition, the Angel taught the children a second prayer, and also taught them the very great reverence which should be given to Our Lord in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. He then gave them Holy Communion. St. Michael is the Angel of the Holy Eucharist.
According to St. Alphonsus de Liguori, one of the most learned doctors of the Church, veneration of the holy angels, and particularly of St. Michael, is an outstanding sign of predestination.
We dedicate this letter to St. Michael in preparation for September 29, the day Holy Mother Church dedicates to him. We wanted to give you plenty of time to promote devotion to him. We ask you to invoke him in prayer and encourage others to do so as well, in order to fight against the evils and devils of our time.
To help spread devotion, we have enclosed two prayer cards and a true story. The first prayer card contains the famous prayer to St. Michael composed by Pope Leo XIII. The second one contains the prayers taught by the Angel to the 3 child seers at Fatima.
The story enclosed is titled simply, The Story of Michael. It is a true story relayed by an American soldier in a letter to his mom during the Korean War.
Please join us in a 9 day novena in preparation for the Feast of St. Michael (September 21 - 29), daily praying the Prayer to St. Michael, the prayers taught by him to the children at Fatima and any other prayers you would like to add to it.
For more copies of any of these three items simply fill out and return the enclosed reply form, or call us at 1-800-845-3047.
In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
P.S.Dont forget, September 15 is the Feast of The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Last year we sent to you a new prayer card of Our Lady of Sorrows and a leaflet on The Devotion of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We encourage you to do a novena in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows in preparation for this day. If you would like any of these prayer cards or leaflets, simply request it on the enclosed reply form.
P.P.S.In July, you and our other volunteers distributed 100,582 pieces of literature and 35,076 sacramentals; you made 5,355 Rosaries and 10,762 Green Scapulars.