St. Michael is invoked for protection, especially from lethal enemies. He is also the patron of soldiers, police and doctors. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we know from scripture and Christian tradition. They are, to combat Satan, escort the faithful to heaven at their hour of death, to be a champion of all Christians (and the Church itself), and to call men from life on Earth to their heavenly judgment.
History of the Saint Michael Scapular and Prayer
The Saint Michael Scapular originated under the Papacy of Pope Pius IX in the middle of the 19th Century. Pope Leo XIII formally approved the Scapular in 1878, designating it the badge of the Arch-confraternity of the Scapular of Saint Michael, founded in that same year. It was Pope Leo XIII who had a remarkable vision in 1884 of the apocalyptic battle between good and evil, with Jesus and Mary on one side, and Satan on the other. After this vision, he composed the prayer to Saint Michael, decreeing that it be prayed at the end of Mass.
The Characteristics of the Saint Michael Scapular
Unlike a traditional rectangle, this scapular is shaped as a shield. One side is blue, and the other black, and both sides bear the image of Saint Michael the Archangel slaying the dragon (the devil). Underneath the image is the inscription Quis ut Deus (Who is like to God) which is a literal translation of the name Michael from the Hebrew. One band of the Scapular is blue, the other black.
Who can wear a Saint Michael Scapular or Medal?
Currently, the confraternity has been extinguished and the blessing and enrollment of the scapular has fallen in the previous reserved rites, so that now it is possible for the faithful to be enrolled in this scapular by any priest. The scapular places the wearer under the special protection of Saint Michael and is considered a “visual prayer".
The scapular or medal of St. Michael the Archangel is an outward sign of entrustment to St. Michael. It is worn in order to propagate the veneration of St. Michael the Archangel. It should remind us of our Christian duties and of the assurance of St. Michaels intercession on our behalf.
In addition, the devotee should recite the Saint Michael Prayer daily.
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