Today, 29 September, is the feast of...
Michael the Archangel: Actually, this is the feast of the dedication of
a basilica to Michael, either on the Salarian Way 9 km from Rome or on
Mount Gargano. Christian tradition gives Michael four offices: (1) To
fight against Satan. (2) To rescue the souls of the faithful from the
power of the devil, especially at the hour of death. (3) To be the
champion of God's people. (4) To call away from earth and bring people's
souls to judgement.
Last year Bill East added this to the posting:
Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
As Carolyn has informed us, or is about to inform us, today is the feast
of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael; the popular name of the feast
is Michaelmas. Hence Michaelmas Daisies, which flower at this time of
year - or so I assume; actually I scarcely know a daisy from a Dahlia.
Punters might appreciate an extract from a homily by Gregory the Great
on these saints:
"Angels are known by proper names as well, to indicate their powers and
their work. In that holy city where perfect knowledge is derived from
the vision of Almighty God, if proper names are assigned to them, it is
not that their persons could not be identified without names. But when
angels come to minister to us, even the names by which we know them are
taken from their ministry - Michael means 'Who is like God', Gabriel
'Strength of God', Raphael 'Healing of God.'
"Whenever a mighty deed is in question, Michael is assigned, so that by
his actions and name it may be made known that no one can do what God
can do. So in the case of our ancient enemy, who in his pride wanted to be like
God when he said: 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I
will set my throne on high; I will make myself like the Most High':
when he is shown to be condemned to eternal punishment at the end of
the world, he is described as about to do battle with Michael, as Saint
John says: 'War broke out with Michael the archangel.'
"Gabriel was sent to Mary, for Gabriel means 'Strength of God'. He came
to announce him who deigned to be lowly so as to wage war on the
spiritual powers of the air. He who came as God of power and as one
strong in battle was to be announced by Gabriel, the strength of God.
"Finally Raphael is interpreted, as we have said, as 'Healing of God',
since he wiped away the shadows of blindness from Tobias when he
touched his eyes to cure him. The one who is sent to cure, was indeed
worthy of the name 'Healing of God'."
(From Homily 34)
** Thanks Bill!
Rhipsime, Gaiana and companions, virgins and martyrs (312): Apparently
the protomartyrs of the Armenian Church.
Theodota, martyr (318): While being martyred, kept asking to receive
more tortures inflicted upon herself.
Richard of Hampole, mystic (1349): Also known as Richard Rolle, author
of *Incendium amoris*. The Breviary of the Church of York had an office
prepared for his feast, to which this warning was attached: "The Office
of Saint Richard, hermit, after he shall be canonized by the Church, but
in the meantime it is not allowed to sing the canonical hours *de eo* in
public, nor to solemnize his feast. Nevertheless, having evidence of the
extreme sanctity of his life, we may venerate him in our private
devotions seek his intercession, and commend ourselves to his prayers."
(Richard was never officially canonized.)
Dr Carolyn Muessig
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Bristol
Bristol BS8 1TB
e-mail: [log in to unmask]