Friday, May 8, 2015
The 2 Feast Days in Honor of St. Michael

Greater Double (1955 Calendar): May 8

Today is the Feast of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel.

Traditionally in the Liturgy of the Church prior to the year 1960, there were two feasts in honor of St. Michael.  Those familiar with the Litany of Saints will also recall that his name is mentioned by name in the Litany.  And those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass will be familiar with several references to St. Michael in the course of the Liturgy.

St. Michael is regarded as the special Guardian Angel of Saint Joseph and the Guardian Angel of each one of the Popes and one of the seven great angels who stand before the throne of God.  In the 6th century, the angelic St. Michael appeared in southern Italy on a mountain named Gargano.  In this apparition, St. Michael asked that the cave in which he appeared would become a shrine to the True God in order to make amends for the pagan worship that once occurred there.  The Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano still remains to this day.

St. Michael later appeared with a flaming sword atop the mountain during a storm on the eve of battle for the Lombards.  The Lombards attributed their victory in battle on that day, May 8, 663, to St. Michael.  And the Church then established a Feast in honor of the Apparition of St. Michael on May 8th, the anniversary of the battle.

This feast is still kept by priests who offer the pre-1955 Liturgy. It's quite unfortunate that a decree was issued on July 26, 1960, that dropped this feast from the Universal Calendar. While the feastday is not kept even in the 1962 Missal, priests who offer the 1962 Missal may (and arguably should) say a Votive Mass today for St. Michael. Since in the 1962 Missal May 8th is a feria, a Votive Mass may be offered today (unless today falls on a Sunday or another high ranking day in the sanctoral cycle like Ascension Thursday).

On September 29th the Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael occurs on which we, for the second time in the year, honor the Glorious St. Michael. The blog Carmelite spirituality and the practice of mental prayer further explains:
The first apparitions of the archangel Michael in Western Europe were granted to the Bishop of Sipontum in Apulia. Three times the Archangel appeared, nightly, the last time on September 29, 493. The Archangel indicated the transformation into a Christian church of a grotto sacred to Mithras, on Monte Tumba. Miraculously, when the bishop and companions arrived, they found that a primitive altar had already been erected, covered with a vermilion altar cloth and surmounted by a Cross; moreover, according to the legend, they found the footprint of Saint Michael in the rock. With immense joy the holy bishop offered the first divine Sacrifice. It was 29 September.
The Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel is the September 29th Feast often just called: The Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. 


O God, Who hast ordained and constituted the services of angels and men in a wonderful order, mercifully grant that as thy holy angels always do thee service in heaven, so, by thy appointment, they may succor and defend us on earth. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

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