Catholics should not need to be reminded that what is happening today with the Islamic invasion of Europe is primarily a battle in the spiritual war against the devil. Islamic terrorism works by instilling fear – that is its aim and purpose. If we become terrorised, then the devil has obtained a foothold in our own souls. We must strengthen our own faith and courage.
Catholics have nothing to fear. We have the all the angels and saints and the entire company of the heavenly host on our side. We have, in particular, Our Lady, St Michael, St Eric and St Brigit, Patron Saint of Europe.
Whilst we do not deliberately seek martyrdom, if it comes, we avoid the torments of purgatory and gain the crown of glory with the saints in heaven.
Our first efforts must be to increase our efforts at prayer, including this one which has been neglected for many decades, which was revealed to Pope Leo XIII in a vision in 1884.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan
and all evil spirits who wander through the world
for the ruin of souls.
In this connection, it is worth remembering that at the end of his Angelus message given in St. Peter’s Square, Sunday, April 24, 1994, Pope John Paul II urged Catholics to recite this prayer to Saint Michael once again:
"The prayer can fortify us for that spiritual battle about which the Letter to the Ephesians speaks: "Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power."(Ephesians 6:10). And to this same battle that the Book of the Apocalypse refers [to], recalling in front of our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (cf. Revelations 12:7). Surely, this scene was very present to Pope Leon XIII, when, at the end of the previous century, he introduced to the entire Church a special prayer to St. Michael: ‘St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil… ’
Even if today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of the Eucharistic celebration, I urge all of us to not forget it, but to recite it in order to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and the spirit of this world.”
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