**Most glorious Prince of the Heavenly Armies, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in “our battle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Eph., 6,12). Come to the assistance of men whom God has created to His likeness and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Holy Church venerates thee as her guardian and protector; to thee, the Lord has entrusted the souls of the redeemed to be led into heaven. Pray therefore the God of Peace to crush Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive and do injury to the Church. Offer our prayers to the Most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us; take hold of “the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan”, bind him and cast him into the bottomless pit … “that he may no longer seduce the nations” (Apoc. 20, 2-3).
Obviously, I’m not opposed to the added scripture, but it seems forced, not added through divine inspiration, but to prove something. “See! It IS Christian!” it seems to scream, in conjunction with its petition for protection and encouragement of Christian courage and strength.
Not that added Scripture is bad. One Orthodox parish provides a booklet on a Scriptural rosary which helped me to pray it with greater understanding.
I even hesitate to “dissect” prayers like this, but I’m just asking a question about the tradition and the apparent change.
I’m not sure what exactly the question is: but if you are asking how old the prayer is then:
It was initially approved in a much longer form by Pope Leo XIII is 1888 approved for the rite of exorcism in 1890 and modified to the form you posted in 1902.
As to why there is a second prayer I would say:
the familiar prayer to St. Michael is quite short. This made it very suitable for recitation after Mass at the time when this was commanded.
the longer prayer initially described pressing temporal problems of the Church in more detail
This was some of the initial deleted content:
Fight this day the battle of the Lord with the legions of holy Angels, even as of old thou didst fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud spirits and all his rebel angels, who were powerless to stand against thee, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that apostate angel, transformed into an angel of darkness who still creeps about the earth to encompass our ruin, was cast headlong into the abyss together with his followers.
But behold, that first enemy of mankind, and a murderer from the beginning, has regained his confidence. Changing himself into an angel of light, he goes about with the whole multitude of the wicked spirits to invade the earth and blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to plunder, to slay and to consign to eternal damnation the souls that have been destined for a crown of everlasting life.
This wicked serpent, like an unclean torrent, pours into men of depraved minds and corrupt hearts the poison of his malice, the spirit of lying, impiety and blasphemy, and the deadly breath of impurity and every form of vice and iniquity. These crafty enemies of mankind have filled to overflowing with gall and wormwood the Church, which is the Bride of the Lamb without spot; they have laid profane hands upon her most sacred treasures.
[In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most blessed Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous de*sign that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered]
I can’t speak for AJV but when an explination of why Catholics pray as we do takes up a bulk of the prayer it seems unlikely. The Psalms and the Our Father for example do not have the reasons for each part of the prayer stuffed in them.
Imagine the Our Father for an explanation for each verse being prayed after the verse is said to get an idea.
It seems that many Catholic prayers are having stuff shoe horned onto them to scream LOOK WE REALLY ARE CHRISTIAN!
Look at the Prayer to gain a favor from the intercession of Archbishop Folten J. Sheen.
Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and by the working of the Holy Spirit.
The first part of the prayer is just a restatement of dogma. It at least to me seems to be hitting people over the head WE DON’T WORSHIP SAINTS REALLY WE DON’T!
If it be according to Your Will, glorify Your servant, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession (mention your request). I make this prayer confidently through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
So we are asking God, to get Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen to pray to God to grant us a favor… As my Niece loves to say when you tell her something she doesn’t want to hear HUH!? :hypno: That almost begs the often heard protestant question why bother in the first place just go straight to God and cut out the middle man.
So to restate the above question so people can understand why is there so much effort to shoehorn scripture in prayers and statements of dogma into our prayers?
Like AJV there is nothing wrong with scripture in prayers but don’t just shoe horn them in to make the prayer overly complex especially if your only reason is to not offend the Protestants…
Something I am glad is being phased out by the Church.
This is not a new prayer. It is a very old prayer of excorcism. Usually said by a priest. There is a line missing about mid-way that says “by the power of our ministry”. making reference to the holy orders of the priesthood.
I completely agree. It seems cumbersome and bulky. I don’t know about a previous poster’s assertion that it’s an old exorcism prayer, but I do know that it seems, in my limited and humble opinion, to go out of its way to- how do you say?- put our separated brethren at ease (“Offer our prayers to the Most High” - i.e. we’re not praying to YOU, but asking you to take our prayers to God, “to crush Satan beneath our feet” i.e.- let’s not get into the whole Genesis 3:15 discussion about whose foot is crushing the serpent’s head, etc. etc.)
So I have no idea if this is a new prayer, I have no idea if this is a tinkering of the original St. Michael prayer, or if its an older version of it. I just know I have the same reaction to it you seem to have.
Cyberwolf001 and Feedmysheep seemed to hit the nail on the head…the calling attention to the Bible verses seems to be for no one but the squeamish.
bpbasilphx: I’m not the supreme judge of all that is divinely inspired, but it just seemed tacked on to me. For example, if my memory serves, you’re Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic (please correct me if I’m wrong, I have a bad memory). If you’ve ever been to a Divine Liturgy where the choir/congregation sings “Mosy Holy Theotokos, save us,” after we ask for her intercession, think about who weird it would sound if we sung instead “Most holy Theotokos, save us – by your prayers because we know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all.” Of course we know that, and it’s because we know that that we can pray to our Mother in peace and understanding without bending over backwards to make sure we know what we mean.