Thursday 29 September 2016

'Archangel of the Archangels'

Now the reason why the Archangel Michael is called the Chief is the following: When God made the world he appointed a determinate chief to all creatures separately; viz., Lucifer for the demons; the sun for the stars; Mount Sion for the mountains; the river Jordan among rivers; the vine among trees; the dove among birds; the lion among beasts; the leviathan among fishes; Christ over mankind. Thus at that time the Archangel Michael was appointed in the chief place and supremacy over the angels of heaven; it is he who announces in the presence of God the intercessions which the saints make with Him; he is the archangel of the archangels; the star above stars; the brilliant fire: it is he who weeps and laments over the souls that are in hell; for when the folk of hell see the countenance of St. Michael the Archangel, they say: "O Michael, thou art our chief; thou art our king; thou labourest ever in our behalf." Then Michael makes them this reply: "I beseech the Lord for ever for the souls of mankind."

Homily XXVII 'On the Archangel Michael' in R. Atkinson, ed. and trans., The Passions and Homilies from Leabhar Breac, (Dublin, 1887) 456-457.

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