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Ikon of St. Michael the Archangel
Ikon of St. Michael the Archangel

Feast of St. Michael the Archangel

On 21st of November we celebrate the feast of St. Michael the Archangel.

With this feast the church brings us into the presence of the aspect of spiritual life: the ministry of the angels. It is this aspect that the church now invites us to contemplate today. The angels are pure spirits, but created spirits who are destined to adore and reflect the infinite divine beauty, and secondarily, who are sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (Heb. 1.14).

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The Old Testament shows us how frequently they intervened with the patriarchs and prophets; the Hebrews considered angels as the visible manifestation of God, as the bearers of his image and of his power.

The gospels show them to us announcing the birth of Jesus, ministering to him in the desert and in his agony, and as witnesses of his resurrection. They are intimately involved in the life of the apostles and in the beginnings of the Church.

The Holy Scriptures name only three angels: Gabriel, Raphael and Michael, round whom the Church groups the whole ‘body’ of angels. The Hebrew name Michael means ; ‘Who is like unto God’. Christian tradition thinks of Michael as the one who is successful in combating Satan.

Today we sing an antiphon of biblical origin, which proclaims that God has made his angels winds and his messengers a flaming fire. Wind and fire: thus the angels are closely connected both with Pentecost and the Holy Spirit.

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