The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

St. Michael, defend us

"Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail."
Revelation 12:7-8

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels. I've long had a devotion to St. Michael the Archangel, probably due in large part to my upbringing in Findlay, Ohio, where I was a member of St. Michael the Archangel Parish. I also attended the parish school up through eighth grade (there is no Catholic high school in Findlay).

Michael, in fact, was one of the three possibilities I proposed to our Abbot for my religious name shortly before first profession in 2008. (Francis was at the top of my list, and I think the right choice was made.) Findlay's St. Michael the Archangel Parish is well represented here in the monastery. There are three of us--Fr. Sean Hoppe (professed 1977) and Novice Timothy Herrmann. All from Findlay, Ohio. All from St. Michael's. More are welcome!

Posted here are a few photos of the old "downtown" church in Findlay (built in the 1860s), which I took during vacation a few years ago. The main parish complex these days (much bigger and more modern) is now located on the east side of Findlay--church, school, parish offices, etc. However, as I was growing up in the 1970s, the situation was reversed. The downtown church, rectory, convent (we had teaching sisters!), parish offices and school grades 4-8 were all located in the same area along West Main Cross Street, Western Avenue, and Adams Street. (Only the church and convent--which is used for another purpose now--are still standing downtown.) The much smaller complex on the east side of Findlay, known as "The Annex," consisted at that time of a 1960s church and grades 1-3.

Although the parish's operations are now concentrated (and significantly enlarged) within the old "Annex" area, my heart will always remain with the downtown church and former school complex. As I've written here before, that's where most of my school-day memories were born. I served Mass before school in the downtown church for several years. It is where we normally attended Sunday Mass as a family. It's where my parents were married, where I was baptized, and where the funeral Mass for my father (2003) was held.

So, on this day every year, September 29th, the Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels, in addition to meditating on the spiritual realities that extend both throughout and beyond the here and now, I also think back to my days at St. Mike's, as we used to call it. In a special way, I pray this day for the parish in Findlay and for all its parishioners (which include many relatives and friends).

And, of course, on this day (and quite often on many other days throughout the year), I pray for St. Michael's protection for the entire People of God and the whole world:

Saint 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 through the world
seeking the ruin of souls.



  1. So interesting to read about your devotion to Saint Michael the Archangel, and the church you grew up with. Thank you for praying for Saint Michael's protection for me (and all others). It feels good and 'safe' to be under his protection

  2. I've worn a St. Michael medal (as well as a St Benedict medal and a Miraculous medal) for many years. Sts Michael and Benedict to help fight off sin, and Mary to help me obtain her Son's graces. I love the St. Michael prayer that we pray at the end of every mass at my parish.

  3. Thank you, Tulle and John. May St. Michael defend us always.

    Br. Francis