Pass your mouse over the + for the relevant answer.
- What is recommended for the daily Bible reading if we are interested in becoming a Knight of St Michael. Do we start from the Book of Genesis?
Choose any passage from the New Testament. It is good to start from the Gospel of Matthew or Luke. Read the words and ask God to let the passage speak to you. Pay special attention to anything that strikes you and ask God what He wishes for you to draw from that message.
- What is the daily exorcism prayer to St Michael?
The daily exorcism prayer is the prayer by Pope Leo XIII which is on the back page of every magazine and in the new booklet.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host – by the Divine Power of God – cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
- Monthly Eucharistic Adoration and Reconciliation. Are there special prayers or anything in particular that is to be done during the Eucharistic Adoration?
Depending on the time availability (some people can only spare a short time, others can afford one hour) during the Monthly Eucharistic Adoration one should kneel before the Blessed Sacrament. If you are able to spend one hour this is a personal invitation from Jesus to you, reflect on some suggestions listed below.
1. Pray the Psalms or the Liturgy of the Hours
Whether you are praising, giving thanks, asking for forgiveness or seeking an answer, you will find an appropriate psalm. The ancient prayer of the Church called the Liturgy of the Hours presents an excellent way to pray through the Book of Psalms throughout the year.
2. Recite the “Jesus Prayer”
Say “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner”, repeatedly as you quiet your heart and mind.
3. Meditate using Scripture
Choose a passage from the Bible. read the words and ask God to let the passage speak to you. Pay special attention to anything that strikes you and ask God what He wishes for you to draw from that message.
4. Read the life of a saint and pray with him or her.
Most holy men and women have had a great devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist. Therese of Lisieux, Catherine of Siena, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, Peter Julian Eymard, Dorothy Day. Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Baroness Catherine de Hueck are just a few. Read about them and pray their prayers before the Blessed Sacrament.
5. Pour out your heart to Christ and adore Him
Speak to Jesus, aware that you are in His presence, and tell Him all that comes to your mind. Listen for His response. Pray the prayer that St Francis instructed his brothers to pray whenever they were before the Blessed Sacrament: “I adore You, O Christ, present here and in all the churches of the world, forby Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.”
6. Ask for forgiveness and intercede for others
Think of those who have hurt you and request a special blessing for them. Ask God to forgive you for all the times you have neglected or hurt someone else. Bring before the Blessed Sacrament all those who have asked you to pray for them. Ask the Lord to address their concerns.
7. Pray the Rosary
Pope John Paul II reminds us that “is not…” the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms, that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion?” (The Church and the Eucharist, 55) Ask Mary to join you as you gaze on Christ in the Eucharist and as you pray the Rosary.
8. Sit quietly and just “be” in the presence of God
Think of a visit to the Blessed Sacrament as coming to see your best friend. Sit quietly and enjoy being in each other’s company. Instead of talking to the Lord, try listening to what He wants to tell you.
- Is there an official enrolment to the Knighthood of St Michael?
This is a devotion and therefore there is no need for an official enrolment. However if the General Animator of the Knighthood, in this case Fr Peter Prusakiewicz CSMA, is on a mission in a particular country and a group want to make their promise before God then an official enrolment can take place after the Holy Mass with written prior notice given, this has happened in Ireland, the UK and the USA. Together the people will read the promise from page 8 of the new booklet.
- Why was the Statutes changed?
The original 40 Statutes were difficult for a good number of faithful laypeople with working and family commitments and other duties in life. There is a spiritual awakening and renewal to the devotion to St Michael. Like the Divine Mercy this devotion to St Michael is for the whole of mankind, giving everyone an opportunity to partake if they so wish. These are the seven weapons used for the spiritual battle:
Daily Bible reading
Daily exorcism prayer to St Michael
Daily angelic chaplet to St Michael
Fast each Friday on bread and water (or a good deed if a fast is impossible)
Monthly Eucharist Adoration
Nine day Novena to St Michael before the feast day on 29th September.
- The Scapular of St Michael the Archangel
Given the sheer number of telephone calls, emails and letters which we receive regarding the scapular, we thought it would be useful to include the following compendium of prepared answers to frequently-asked questions, compiled by Fr Rafał Szwajca CSMA. We would also encourage you to send us your own questions on this subject.
- What is the scapular of St Michael the Archangel?
The scapular of St Michael the Archangel is an outward sign of entrustment to St Michael and of belonging to the Michaelite family. It is worn in order to propagate the veneration of St Michael the Archangel. People who have accepted the scapular are called to serve Christ and His Church in the spirit of the Congregation of St Michael the Archangel, as seen in its mottoes of ‘Who is like to God?’ and ‘Temperance and Work’.
- When was the first such scapular introduced?
The very first scapular of St Michael the Archangel was introduced in the 19th century in the Church of St Eustace in Rome and belonged to the Brotherhood of St Michael the Archangel, established in Rome on 30th August 1878. Unlike most scapulars, rather than being rectangular in shape, it was made in the shape of a shield. One side is navy blue in colour, the other black, with these same two colours on the ribbons. Both ends of the scapular had a picture of St Michael the Archangel killing the dragon and the words ‘Quis ut Deus’.
- How does the scapular look today?
Today the scapular of St Michael consists of two layers of woollen cloth in the shape of a shield. The material comes in two colours, black and navy blue. The black side has the image of St Michael from the shrine at Monte Sant’Angelo on Mount Gargano, the navy-blue side, the image of Our Lady from Miejsce Piastowe (the motherhouse of the Michaelite Fathers). The ribbons to which the pieces of material are attached are of the same colours as the scapular.
- Has the scapular been officially endorsed by the Church?
Yes. The very first scapular of St Michael was approved by Pope Leo XIII in the 19th century. The present above God Himself, the Creator and Lord of all that lives.
- What is the symbolic meaning of the scapular?
The section worn on the back signifies an attitude of acceptance of God’s Will in bearing the crosses and difficulties of life. The front section of the scapular, worn on the chest, reminds us that our hearts should love God and our neighbour and that we should attempt to free ourselves from earthly attachments, and, through the intercession of St Michael the Archangel, strive to attain eternal goods.
- Of what should the wearing of the scapular remind us?
Wearing the scapular should remind us of our Christian duties and of the assurance of St Michael’s intercession on our behalf. The scapular expresses our Christian faith that we will meet God in eternity, thanks to the intercession and protection of St Michael the Archangel.
- What role does the scapular play?
- The scapular is a sign of having chosen St Michael the Archangel as our particular protector in the fight against sin and temptation.
- The scapular is the uniform of the angelic army. In the same way that we recognize a soldier, police officer or priest by their clothing, so we can also recognize the Brotherhood of the scapular by the wearing of this sign.
- The scapular is a garment and clothing is intended to protect the body. The scapular plays a similar role in the interior life: it protects us from every potential obstacle on the road to salvation, that is, from sin, from Satan and from hell.
- The wearing of the scapular is a source of grace which assists us in making the sacrifices required to fight sin and to imitate Christ.
- What is the purpose of accepting the scapular?
The purpose of accepting the scapular is to honor and venerate St Michael the Archangel, so that, by means of his assistance, we will obtain:
- The freedom, protection and growth of the Holy Church.
- The grace of a good confession for ourselves and for others, the strength to fight faults, addictions, protection against heresies, errors and false teachings, the strength to refrain from the use of bad language, blasphemy and from causing offence, as well as the conversion of all sinners.
- A spirit of mildness and humility of the heart, as well as an increase in faith, hope and love.
- The establishment of the Kingdom of God upon Earth, by means of the powerful intercession of the Queen of the Angels and of the Holy Angels.
- The deliverance of souls from purgatory, by means of prayer and the obtaining of indulgences for them.
- The grace of a good and holy death.
- What is meant by participation in the spiritual goods of the Congregation of St Michael the Archangel?
Acceptance of the scapular includes us in the Michaelite family. This is an additional grace granted to those practicing this devotion.Thanks to it, the faithful are granted access to all the spiritual goods of the Congregation, that is, to indulgences, to the merits of canonised and beatified members of the Congregation and to all Holy Masses, prayers, fasts and sacrifices offered-up for the Congregation.
- What are the conditions of accepting the scapular?
- You should accept the scapular from the hands of an accredited priest or deacon.
- You should wear it continually.
- You should recite Pope Leo XIII’s short prayer of exorcism daily.
- Which particular feasts or solemnities should wearers particularly remember?
Wearers of the scapular and those who wish to maintain a spiritual unity with the Congregation of St Michael the Archangel particularly celebrate the following feasts:
- The Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael – 29th September
- Blessed Bronisław Markiewicz (the founder of the Congregation) – 30th January
- The Guardian Angels – 2nd October
- The apparitions of St Michael the Archangel on Mount Gargano – 8th May.
- Should we receive the scapular personally?
Yes, we should receive it personally. The very dignity of him whom it represents, demands that we should do so, as well as the desire to form a personal relationship with St Michael the Archangel.
- When can I receive the scapular?
You can receive the scapular on a day of your own choosing. However, receiving on the feast of St Michael (29th September) accords it added significance.
- How should I prepare to receive the scapular?
Such preparation should include the Sacrament of Penance, in order to receive the scapular in a state of grace. This will allow the flow of Divine Grace onthe person entrusting themselves to the protection of St Michael the Archangel.
- Can I receive the scapular if I am in a non-sacramental relationship?
Yes, if there is a situation where confession is not possible, such as the existence of a relationship outside marriage, where a marriage cannot take place because of an impediment covered by canon law. In such circumstances, a person can receive the scapular, while expressing the desire that St Michael, who is present in this sacramental, will help them to persist in goodness, and, should the impediment be removed, ‘regulate’ their marital status.
- Can small children receive the scapular?
There is no impediment to small children receiving the scapular. It is advisable, however, that they should be of an age to be capable of understanding the basic truths of the Faith, preferably after having received their First Holy Communion.
- Can a non-Catholic person wear the scapular of St Michael the Archangel and have it blessed by a Catholic priest ?
Only a baptised person may wear the scapular. The scapular is an item blessed and approved by the Catholic Church so a person wearing it needs to belong to the same Church where the scapular is from. There should be cohesion and harmony between one's beliefs and religious items they wear. Those who wear crosses or medallions of St Michael or Our Lady are immediately identified as Christians. It should be the same with a scapular.
- Can I receive the scapular only once in my life?
The scapular can be received only once. The first scapular we receive must be made of cloth, which can later be replaced with a scapular medal. We can acquire a new cloth scapular once the first becomes worn-out, when we can simply put it on by ourselves. We also do this after we have taken it off or stopped wearing it, when the reason for this wa not contempt for the sacramental sign itself, in which case we need to receive it a second time.
- What happens if I fall short some days, due to illness and other times falling short through sin trying to do the ‘spiritual weapons’? It was my hope that on St Michael's feast day I could enrol as a Devotional Knight. Therefore, in the light of my failings should I now wait till next year and do I need to let the parish priest know concerning enrolment?
Some pious people who wish to become a Knight of St Michael make the promise between themselves and God when they are ready, any day of the year. However, some lay-people choose 29th September 2016, but this is not a requirement to be a knight because this is a devotion.
Our advice would be to not rush and take one step at a time. With commitment and dedication, when your illness allows, follow this devotion which is officially known as the Devotional Knights of Saint Michael the Archangel and overseen by the Congregation of St Michael the Archangel. Some laypeople give themselves a trial period of three months or even longer depending on their health and duties in life. If you are unable to fast each Friday on bread and water for example, due to work, illness or wheat allergy, maybe you could consider doing a good deed such as one extra prayer.
Regarding enrolment this can take place with prior written notice and only if the General Animator is in your parish or country or if you are part of one of Fr Peter Prusakiewicz's pilgrimages; the enrolment would happen on the last day after Holy Mass. Alternatively you can make your promise between yourself and God when you are feeling stronger.
- Do angels have free will?
Yes, they do. What distinguishes angels from people is a lack of body; what connects us is free will and intellect. Yet, because angels are not limited to matter, their free will and intellect is far more perfect than a human’s. If they didn’t have free will, some of them would never have rebelled against God. Their sin was based on their free choice of declaring their ego as more important than God. Angels became disobedient and do not repent of their sin.
- Does the guardian angel take care of a human being from the moment of their conception or from their birth? Does the guardian angel take care of the baby’s parents, too?
According to Church teaching angels accompany us from childhood till death; however, we can assume that they take care of us from the moment of conception. It would be hard to believe that God leaves us alone from the very moment of our life. Of course, such a view was not accepted in the Middle Ages; in 13th century St Thomas and St Bonaventure taught that the human soul was created just several dozen days after conception but their way of thinking equalled contemporary medical knowledge about pregnancy and the foetus. ‘Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?’ (Hebrews 1:14). Following the above-mentioned sentence from the Bible we become ensured that our guardian angel is sent to help us in our earthly pilgrimage. However, we can ask other angels for help if needed. The saints do not compete with one another in taking care of us; they act on the basis of the Law of Love and help anyone who asks for help.
- Is demonic possession possible by saying ‘Satan, come to my soul’ or by signing a pact with the devil?
If one says such words recklessly, it isn’t possible that demons seize one’s soul. We should remember that an invitation of Satan must be a conscious and free decision. One has to be aware of the consequences of one's choice. Calling demons due to fear or revenge does not work although it may also be dangerous. However, thanks to baptism we are ‘equipped’ with the inner knowledge of what is good and what is evil. Also thanks to baptism we are able to recognize evil and reject it as well as to choose good. Because we were created in God’s own image, calling Satan contradicts our nature as he ‘was a murderer from the beginning.’ (John 8:44) We are protected by Christ (‘the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.’ Romans 5:18) and by the saints and the angels; yet, if we voluntarily choose evil, Jesus can not make us do anything and insist on His care. It’s always our free will that decides what to choose.