It had never even occurred to me to pray to Archangel Michael before. I constantly pray to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, St. Seraphim of Sarov, other saints, and first of all, to the Swift Defender and Queen of Heaven, the Most Holy Theotokos. I constantly pray for help in every matter and ask for protection in difficult life situations. They are people, they will understand and help. We all pray to our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, and to whom else should we entrust our souls and lives, if not to the Heavenly Father?! But to pray, to ask for something from Archangel Michael, the Archangel of the entire Heavenly Host, who has cast Satan into the abyss of hell… Does he, the radiant Angel, who is “uncompromising toward evil,” care about us sinful people? He has a very different agenda. So I thought, until on November 21 last year I heard an amazing “Sermon delivered by the Very Reverend Timothy, Patriarch of Alexandria on the feast of the Miracle of Archangel Michael, proclaiming the great mercy bestowed by God on men,” read to the parishioners before the Sacrament of Communion by Archpriest Grigory Grigoriyev, rector of the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist in Yukki. This sermon turned my ideas about archangels upside down, and “gave” me another heavenly intercessor.
“May the peace of God come upon you, brothers. I will tell you what happened to me, Timothy, a servant of Jesus Christ. One day I went to the Holy Life-giving Cross and the Holy Sepulcher of the Lord and to all the holy places through which our Lord Jesus Christ passed. I went to the house of St. Procorus, the beloved disciple of the evangelist John the Theologian. Here I found a book written by St. Procorus. In this wonderful book I read the following great consolation by John the Theologian.
“’One day I was accompanied by an Angel of God, who revealed to me Heavenly mysteries about people. And then I heard a noise like that of many waters falling from a great height. When the Angel and I came closer, I saw a huge lake and the horrible punishment of unrepentant sinners. I asked my guide, and he explained to me what this terrible abyss was. We saw great flames coming from this underworld, with a cloud of great smoke above it. The flames raged and noisily rose 300 meters high. Vile worms, the size of vipers, crawled over the bodies of sinners in this lake-abyss. “O John, friend of God, the torment that we have seen now is more terrible than all other punishments. This lake of fire can contain the whole world. Its depth is infinite. The worm-snakes that gnaw the bodies of sinners cause them to rise up.” John wept bitterly over the death of human souls. “Do not cry, John, friend of God, do not cry. Soon you will see great joy. The Lord in great favor the Archangel of God, Michael.”
“ ‘At that time, I saw with wondrous beauty the Archangel Michael himself, who, in a beautiful boat of cherubim and seraphim, accompanied by many angels, saints, prophets and martyrs, was approaching the lake of fire. They were all clothed with beauty beyond description. Soon the angels approached the sinners who were being put to death. Immediately the fire went out, the abyss stopped smoking, the hideous animals disappeared. When everything calmed down, Archangel Michael plunged his snow-white wing into the lake, brought out many human souls and brought them to the shore. Then he lowered the same right wing a second time and brought even more souls out of the lake than the first time. Then the cherubim and seraphim prostrated themselves before him and began to ask him to immerse the wing for the third time. Archangel Michael turned his kind, supplicating gaze to the Lord and offered up fervent heartfelt prayers for the salvation of those suffering for their sins. Then again, he plunged the snow-white wing into the lake and brought out countless new souls. Then the angels and saints, having received these souls with great joy, washed them with the water of Grace, anointed them with the fragrance of joy and set them before the face of God. At that hour a voice came out of the veil of the Lord: “Through the intercession of Archangel Michael and My Mother, the Blessed Virgin, and all My angels and chosen ones who have fulfilled the will of My Father on earth, lead these souls into Paradise of bliss, eternity and peace. Amen.” At this awesome and holy deed, St. John marveled at the compassion of Michael the Archangel.
“ ‘The angel said: “Know this, John, friend of God, that the miracle that you saw is repeated every year on September 6/19, in honor of the feast day of the leader of the Heavenly Host, for the great victory that he won over the forces of Satan. When the Jews mercilessly nailed the Savior to the Cross, Michael the Archangel was in such grief that heaven and earth faded, unable to bear it. When our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the tomb, it was Michael the Archangel who rolled away the stone and brought the good news to the Myrrh-bearing Women. He held Satan in Hell and took away everything he had. God has given Archangel Michael great power and authority to save those who are in torment. The Lord has referred to him the ranks of the Heavenly Bodiless Powers, and every year on September 6/19 and November 8/21, He allows him, accompanied by angels and saints, to approach souls condemned to torment.
Photo: etsy.com “ ‘Archangel Michael helps those who have given alms in his name, as well as in the name of martyrs and saints, to be saved. Archangel Michael intercedes for them, for the saints have endured sorrow and suffering in the name of the Lord. He forever frees from execution those for whom sacrifices and prayers are offered. Archangel Michael never ceases to do God’s mercy every year on September 6/19 and on his day on November 8/21, which will continue until the end of time. On these momentous days, he falls to his knees before the veil of God, prostrates himself and prays for the souls in the terrible torments of hell, until God is pleased to have mercy on those people for whom Christians especially diligently pray on earth, giving generous alms for them. He also prays for everyone living on earth. On his holy feasts, all the angels gather around the Archangel Michael at the veil of God.
“ ‘With the blessing of God, Archangel Michael approaches, clothed in the robes of goodness and mercy, and proclaims to everyone that God has once again had mercy on the world. You have seen now, John, that everyone who does a work of mercy in the name of the Archangel Michael, or who takes the trouble to copy this book, where this description is found, and reads it to others, will not be forgotten by God. Neither will anyone who places a candle, or lights a lamp, or incense, or makes any honest offering in the name of the Archangel Michael. He will not forget the worshipper and will reward his piety. If someone shows mercy to the poor within his means, and after death, because of a sinful life, he is thrown into hell, the Lord will not forget his goodness and will save him through the intercession of the Archangel Michael. If anyone wishes to write down these words, the written words should be kept at home with reverence. No bullet, no serpent, no enemy force can harm that person or his house. No worm, no locust, no reptile can harm his garden or orchard. This list will serve him as a weapon and a shield of protection in all troubles. For the power of these words is great and wonderful. May the Lord and Archangel Michael protect you.’ That’s what the holy Angel of God told me. Then he took me to the Mount of Olives, and then left me, soaring into heaven. I marveled much and glorified God and Archangel Michael.”