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

Greater Double (1955 Calendar): May 8th

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

Traditionally in the Liturgy of the Church, 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.  That Feast is still kept in the Roman Catholic Calendar of 1962 used in the Tridentine Latin Mass.

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. 

Let us read from the Roman Martryology for September 29th which explains the reason why his Feast is kept on this date:
On Mount Gargano, the commemoration of the blessed archangel Michael. This festival is kept in memory of the day when, under his invocation, there was consecrated a church, unpretending in its exterior, but endowed with celestial virtue.
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. 


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