Saint Michael the Archangel, Defend us in battle…. Long before I ever heard the “Saint Michael prayer” spoken out loud by the congregation at the end of a Mass, I had heard about angels. I pictured them as smiling ladies with long hair flowing and wings.
As a child, I had seen angles in Christmas scenes. As a teen, I tossed out angels along with Santa Claus, a bit of fun historical tradition. My unexpected personal encounter with God in my early 20’s left me with no doubt in my mind that there were realms beyond what is naturally visible. I now know first hand the experience of that awesome realm that is full of light, love, and joy. By the same token, and perhaps in the light of that truth, I have no doubt that evil exists.
I had trouble reconciling the images of the fluttery things with smiling faces of my youth with the powerful angel figures mentioned in the book of revelation. It was the Catholic Church’s rich literary and artistic history, along with the writings of the saints, that allowed me a clearer window into the Archangels and the many and varied works they do to defend us.
This masculine image of Saint Michael was inspired by a stained glass window in a museum in New York. I worked with the 7th and 8th grade boys at Spiritus Sanctus Academy to create the original 16″ X 20″ painted paper mosaic. The framed piece was donated by the boys to the school’s charity auction, raising $1,700 to benefit Catholic Education.