In this week’s Spirit & Life, Fr. Boquet announces that HLI is relaunching the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer Campaign. You can join the battle in defense of life and family when you pledge to say the St. Michael prayer daily.
“The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan,” said Servant of God, Sister Lucia, “will be about marriage and the family.” This battle will not be easy but Sister Lucia reminds us, “don’t be afraid because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue… however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.”
It is an undeniable fact that we are immersed in a great battle, a battle between two diametrically opposed forces with radically different visions of human life and the human person. Our country and world are in moral decline, spinning out of control, and one must be spiritually blind not to see what is so vividly on display. At the heart of the battle are the sacred institutions of marriage and the family because they touch upon the very pillar of creation, which is the truth about the relationship between man and woman, who are made in the likeness and image of God. If these heavenly created institutions are compromised, then the entire building collapses.
The Family is Satan’s Enemy #1
The evil one too knows the indispensable role of marriage and the family. This is why he attacked our first parents and continues his aggression today upon these God-given institutions. As Pope St. John Paul II, the great defender of life and the family stated, “society passes through the family.” Marriage is the only institution that unites parents with their children. The family is the first cell of society, the domestic church, first government, first school, first hospital, first economy, and the first mediating institution of society. Within this primary school, children learn moral and gospel values, which ultimately give shape to our cultures and societies.
Paralleling the affront against God’s divine plan for marriage and the family is a constant barrage upon Judeo-Christian values and morality that have shaped civilizations for millennia. There is an unrelenting attack on the sanctity of human life itself. The widespread acceptance of so many of the worst evils of the culture of death – contraception, abortion, homosexuality, divorce, promiscuity, gender ideology, embryonic stem cell research, inhumane reproductive technologies with their eugenic undertones, and euthanasia and assisted suicide – is perhaps the clearest proof of this reality. Instead of immortal beings made in the likeness and image of the Almighty God, human persons are degraded to purely mundane realities and treated as merchandise and specimens to be manipulated.
No one is unaffected, and it would seem that there is no end in sight. And sadly, many lack the will and the courage to challenge this reality or do anything about it. So, what is to be our response to the battle raging around us? How do we open the eyes of the blind to this spiritual struggle that is progressively destroying the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our own homes?
We must do as St. Paul exhorts,
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. ─ Ephesians 6:11-12
We Need Heavenly Intervention
The biblical tradition speaks of the evil one as the “seducer of the world” and the “father of lies.” The evil one, the great adversary, “a murderer from the beginning,” presents himself as an angel of light, under a cloak of good, yet sows deceit and discord. St. Michael, whose name in Hebrew means “Who is like God,” leads the armies of God in battle against the forces of evil, casting Satan and his minions out of heaven!
Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. ─ Revelation 12:7-9
St. Michael, charged with casting out the power of evil that looms over those who invoke his protection, epitomizes victory over evil, a reminder that Christians struggle with the forces of evil in the world.
After a vision of attacks on the Church, Pope Leo XIII composed the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer in response to the threats of evil consuming the world and required it to be recited after the celebration of every Holy Mass. Pope Pius XI asked the faithful to pray the prayer for the restoration of religious freedom in Russia, at a time when the country was threatening to “spread her errors throughout the world.” As we know, the Soviet Union was the first country to legalize abortion. Pope St. John Paul II in 1994 urged the faithful to devoutly recite the prayer in order to obtain heavenly assistance in the battle against the forces of darkness.
Recognizing the current difficulties and threats the faithful confront around the world, Pope Francis in 2018 invited all Catholics to conclude the daily recitation of the Rosary with two powerful prayers, the ancient invocation to the Holy Mother of God, “Sub Tuum Praesidium” (Under Thy Protection)
We fly to Thy protection, O holy Mother of God; do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.
and the prayer of St. Michael the Archangel.
You Play a Role in the Spiritual Battle
Pope Francis, in his homily during Holy Mass in Santa Marta’s chapel on October 30, 2014, describes Christian life as a continuous battle being waged against Satan, the world, and the passions of the flesh. In his reflections, the pontiff rejects the notion of some who deny the existence of Satan saying, “This generation, and many others have been led to believe that the devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil… But the devil exists, and we must fight against him.”
The evil one opposes what we hold precious, and despises God, His creation, and all that is good and beautiful. He abhors God’s divine plan for us and our families. Pope St. John Paul II repeatedly warned us of the insidious impact of evil and the “structure of sin” – what he called a “culture of death”. This anti-culture is shamelessly displayed and characterized by a denial of the inherent and immutable dignity of the human person and of our solidarity with our neighbor, especially with the poor and vulnerable. He saw what so many didn’t care to see and acknowledge. In a society where materialism, individualism, and personal lifestyle choices are idolized, the saintly pope warns that “a person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favored tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of ‘conspiracy against life’ is unleashed” (Evangelium Vitae, 12).
HLI Relaunches St. Michael the Archangel Prayer Campaign
In response to these threatening realities and in adherence to the call of the Vicar of Christ, Human Life International is relaunching its St. Michael the Archangel Prayer Campaign on September 29, on the Feast of the Archangels. We the people of life around the world need to invoke St. Michael the Archangel’s protection as we battle the wiles of the enemy and all who collaborate with evil.
In the original campaign promulgated in 2008, the intention was for the conversion of abortionists and all agents involved in promoting the violence of abortion. We urged our supporters to pray earnestly that God would lovingly pull these lost souls out of the grip of darkness; after all, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). Through this campaign, HLI has united hundreds of thousands of people around the world in this powerful prayer of intercession and invocation. Nearly 3 million prayer cards in 28 different languages have been distributed since then. The value and commitment to this intention remains; however, as the scope of worldwide violence against the dignity of life, the family, and society vigorously escalates, threatening us all, we earnestly need heavenly intervention and the protection of St. Michael.
In relaunching this campaign, we are uniting ourselves in prayer, asking St. Michael to protect us from the snares of the culture of death, to protect every human life from the moment of conception to its natural end, to protect our families, our children, our poor and vulnerable, our sick and handicapped, and our persecuted brothers and sisters. We also pledge to constantly pray for the conversion of those who actively participate in the culture of death.
Members of our HLI staff will continue to take St. Michael Prayer cards with them whenever they travel to pro-life events – speaking engagements, conferences, mission trips, training sessions with seminarians, priests, and religious. There, they will recruit more PRAYER WARRIORS to join us as we wage war in this spiritual battle.
Change the World with the St. Michael Prayer
God became man to destroy the power of evil forever so that we might live and never die. It’s God who wins these battles, and He wants to do so with our collaboration in prayer. This is how His grace works! St. Michael reminds us of the infinite goodness of the Heavenly Father and the mercy He extends towards all He loves. If we can spread this devotion, we can help bring about the conversion of souls, the protection of human life, and the building up of a Culture of Life.
I am humbly asking you to sign the pledge and join HLI’s global pro-life family in praying the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer every day, especially after Holy Mass. If unable to participate in daily Mass, then pray the prayer after the recitation of your Rosary, after the Angelus, before a meal, or at any time that is convenient. I especially ask that you pray as a family, teaching your children and grandchildren this powerful prayer of invocation. Please also encourage others — friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners — to join us in this prayer, helping us spread this powerful devotion to as many as possible. And please, pray for the mission of HLI that it may bear fruit in accordance with God’s will.
To make your personal pledge to join HLI in this worldwide campaign, obtain more information, or to order copies of the St. Michael Prayer, please visit https://stmichaelprayercampaign.org.
United in prayer, let begin this campaign by asking:
St. 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 power of God,
cast into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.