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On Mount Gargano St. Michael appeared with a censer in his hand, on the spot where a church was to be built; hence it is said of him in the Office of the Church: “The angel stood before the altar of the temple, having a golden censer in his hand;” an unmistakable allusion is here made to the vision of the heavenly altar which St. John saw.
(Apoc. 8, 3-4)
Saint Michael and the Bull by Sebastian López de Arteaga; c.1650; Denver Art Museum, Colorado, US; https://www.denverartmuseum.org
Excerpt from The Feast of the Dedication of the Archangel Saint Michael Homily
by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1877
Today’s festival is called in the breviary of the Church, the Dedication of the Holy Archangel St. Michael. To understand this, it is necessary to know an event which took place at the time of Pope Gelasius I. in the latter part of the fifth Century. In Apulia, there is a mountain formerly called Gargano, now Monte St. Angelo, or Angel’s mountain.

Near this mountain, a herdsman was keeping his cattle. A steer strayed away from his herd and went into the woods on the mountain, to the entrance of a cave which was concealed by bushes. The herdsman, to drive the animal out of the cave back to the herd, shot an arrow at it. The arrow, however, turned and flew with great force back to him. The herdsman and those who were present were terrified at this and none dared to go nearer to the cave.
They went to the bishop, who was at Siponto, a neighboring city, and informed him of what had occurred. The bishop, not doubting that a divine mystery was concealed under it, ordered his congregation to fast and pray three days, in order that God might graciously reveal it to them. At the expiration of the three days, St. Michael, the Archangel, appeared to the bishop and announced to him that the place whither the steer had fled was under his especial protection, and that he desired that they should dedicate the spot to the honor of God, and to the memory of St. Michael and all the Angels.

The bishop, greatly rejoiced, called the clergy and the people together, and having informed them of the revelation, formed a large procession and ascended the mountain. They found a large cave which was like a Church hewn out of the rock.

Above the entrance was an opening by which the whole interior received light. To offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass in it, only the altar was wanting; but it was speedily erected by the pious bishop.

The Church itself was soon after dedicated with great solemnity to St. Michael and all holy Angels.
Saint Michael the Archangel, "Who is like unto God?"
"It is said of this special guardian and protector of the Church that, during the final persecution of Antichrist, he will powerfully defend it: "At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince who protects the children of thy people."
(Dan. 12:1).

Reflection - Saint Michael is not only the protector of the Church, but of every faithful soul. By humility he defeated the devil; we who are enlisted in the same warfare must adopt his weapons - humility and ardent love of God. Regarding this Archangel as our leader under God, let us courageously resist the devil in all his assaults with our protector’s famous exclamation:
"Who is like unto God?"
The Apparition of St Michael the Archangel
From the Saint Andrew Daily Missal
The Easter feasts are those of angelical spirits, for the Resurrection "gives joy also to the angels," says Saint Gregory, "because in opening heaven to us again, it makes up for the losses which their ranks had sustained."

The feast of the apparition of St. Michasel, the chief of the celestial hosts, shows forth, in this Paschaltide, all the grandeur of the Saviour’s triumph. St. Michael himself comes to defend us in battle. He came down from heaven and appeared in Italy towards the year 525 under the pontificate of Gelasius I, in Apulia, on the summit of Monte Gargano, near the Adriatic and the ancient Sipontum. He requested that a sanctuary should be erected to him where God should be worshipped, in memory of himself and all the angels, and this place became celebrated on account of numerous miracles.
Interior of the Saint Michael Shrine
An inscription over the doorway to the grotto reads:
The above words were used by Saint Michael when he appeared here to Bishop Saint Lawrence Maiorono
Statue of Saint Michael overlooking the entrance of the Sanctuary of Mont Sant’Angelo sul Gargano, Catholic sanctuary on Mount Gargano, Italy; https://en.wikipedia.org
As tradition tells us Saint Francis arrived at Monte Sant’Angelo to obtain the angelic pardon, feeling himself to be unworthy to enter the grotto, he stopped in prayer and recollection at the entrance, kissed the ground and carved on a stone the sign of the cross in the form of "T" (tau). In biblical language the sign "T" is the symbol of salvation.
The Grotto of Saint Michael, at Monte Saint Michael, Gargano, Italy; https://www.breviary.net
Prayer to Saint Michael as our Patron Saint
Saint Michael, whom I have chosen as my special patron, pray for me that I, too, may one day glorify the Blessed Trinity in heaven. Obtain for me your lively faith, that I may consider all persons, things, and events in the light of almighty God. Pray, that I may be generous in making sacrifices of temporal things to promote my eternal interests, as you so wisely did.

Set me on fire with a love for Jesus, that I may thirst for His sacraments and burn with zeal for the spread of His kingdom. By your powerful intercession, help me in the performance of my duties to God, myself and all the world.

Win for me the virtue of purity and a great confidence in the Blessed Virgin. Protect me this day, and every day of my life. Keep me from mortal sin. Obtain for me the grace of a happy death. Amen
May 8 - The Feast of the dedication of the Archangel Saint Michael - The Apparition of Saint Michael on Mount Gargano
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