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 St Michael's Tetbury
 A Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Clifton

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St Michael, the Archangel

The name Michael in Aramaic means "Who is like to God?" The Scriptures describe St Michael as "one of the chief princes," and leader of the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of all that is harmful. He has been especially honoured and invoked as patron and protector by the Christian Church from the time of the Apostles.

Although he is always called "the Archangel," the Greek Fathers and many others place him over all the angels - as Prince of the Seraphim.

St Michael is the patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police and sickness and the feast day is September 29th.

Scripture references

Daniel 10 Gabriel says to Daniel, when he asks God to permit the Jews to return to Jerusalem: "The Angel [ prince] of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me . . . and, behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me . . . and none is my helper in all these things, but Michael your prince."

Daniel 12 The Angel speaking of the end of the world and the Antichrist says: "At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who stands up for the children of thy people."

In the Epistle of St Jude "When Michael the Archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses", etc. St Jude alludes to an ancient Jewish tradition of a dispute between Michael and Satan over the body of Moses, an account of which is also found in the apocryphal book on the assumption of Moses (Origen, De Pincipiis III.2.2). St Michael concealed the tomb of Moses; Satan, however, by disclosing it, tried to seduce the Jewish people to the sin of hero-worship. St Michael also guards the body of Eve, according to the "Revelation of Moses" ("Apocryphal Gospels", etc., ed. A. Walker, Edinburgh, p. 647).

Apocalypse 12:7 "And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon." St John speaks of the great conflict at the end of time, which reflects also the battle in heaven at the beginning of time.

According to the Ancient Christian Writers there is often question of St Michael in Scripture where his name is not mentioned. They say he was the cherub who stood at the gate of paradise, "to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24), the angel through whom God published the Ten Commandments to his chosen people, the angel who stood in the way against Balaam (Numbers 22:22 ff.), and the angel who routed the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35).