This is the allocutio I will deliver this evening at our Legion meeting. It comes from Ch. 24, part 4: St. Michael. The allocutio is a spiritual talk given by the spiritual director or, when he is not there, the president, during the Legion of Mary meeting.
Notes from the reading:
· The prince of all the heavenly court
· The most zealous in honoring Mary
· The task of the good angels is the protection of people and solicitude for their salvation
· Michael is the angel associated with covenant with the Jews – he is their special protector, as well
· He is the loyal defender of the Church
This week we are strong on the angel theme, as our handbook study from Mary Shall Reign also covers the importance of the angels to the Legion. I read a book about angels recently that opened with this quote from Pope St. Leo: “Make friends with the angels.”
Why should we make friends with the angels, and what role do they play in our lives? Personally, I know I neglect my thought and prayer toward them, aside from maybe asking for their protection ahead of going on a trip. With all the other figures we can pray to, the angels are simply not at the top of my list – I am sad to say I forget about them.
We should make friends with the angels because they are powerful figures in our lives and the lives of all those we interact with, and their intercession is a powerful tool. If you are arguing with a friend and family member, you can ask their guardian angel to help or intercede, along with your own. If you are worried for your safety, you can ask your guardian angel to be at your side. Angels have been credited with stopping traffic incidents, shielding people from harm and even bringing couples together for marriage, as was the case with Tobia, who was led by the angel Raphael to his future wife, Sarah, as we learned in the recent readings from the Book of Tobit.
Just the idea of angels is really astonishing – beings whose whole reason for existence is to look after us. They are our best friends and allies, and they share in our joy and sadness equally with us. We must make friends of them and lean on them, because that is what God designed them and us for.
We are fortunate in the Legion to have St. Michael the Archangel watching over us. It is particularly fitting given the military lexicon in the Legion – we are Mary’s army, and he leads the army of angels. We know him as the angel who cast Satan from Heaven. He is the guardian of the church, patron of police officers, paramedics and the military. He also has a special role related to death – he carries souls as they depart, giving them a chance to come back to God and redeem themselves. He is depicted with a sword and, often, scales, where he is measuring souls with mercy. The sword is his weapon against evil, and he wields it on our behalf.
St. Michael will always come to our aid, and it is a good idea to invoke him before performing our works each week. He is, as Frank Duff noted, zealous in his willingness to render service to Mary’s servants (that’s us).
I will close with the powerful words of St. Michaels’ prayer:
St. Michael the Archangel,
Defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and the snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
oh Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.