Explore the Saints of St. Mary’s Basilica found in stained glass windows and rediscover the beauty of the Basilica visited by St. Pope John Paul II in 1987. Together let’s rediscover our saintly companions on our journey of faith. Today we visit St. Michael the Archangel.
Who is St. Michael the Archangel?
Saint Michael (Who is like God) the Archangel isn’t a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title “Archangel” means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we know from scripture and Christian tradition.
Angels and their Attributes
Artists have developed standard ways of representing the archangels, allowing their images to be ‘read’ to reveal their identities. Artists often show the archangels with particular symbols, known as attributes. These attributes recall important actions or events from their lives. Through attributes we are able to identify the archangels and tell their stories.
What are St. Michael the Archangel’s attributes?
The image of St. Michael that you are most likely to see in museums and churches is like the stained glass window at St. Mary’s Basilica: An angel suited up as a warrior, the angel uses a spear or sword to vanquish Satan, who is portrayed as a dragon or demon at his feet.
Dressed as Warrior with Sword and Shield:
Suited up as a warrior, the angel uses a sword to vanquish Satan, who is portrayed as a dragon or demon at his feet. On his shield are the Latin words QVIS VT DEVS, which means “Who is like God?” This image recalls the scripture passage from Revelation 12:7-9…
And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Dragon Beneath his Feet:
Satan is portrayed as a dragon an image used to describe Satan in the Book of Revelation 12:1-8.
Patron Saint of:
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel:
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle;
be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do you, O prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits
who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls.
To schedule a group docent tour to explore the history, architecture, art, sacred symbols and mission of St. Mary’s Basilica please contact us.