FROM ARCHBISHOP ANTHONY
September 29, A. D. 2017
Saint Michael and All Angels
To the Most Reverend and Right Reverend Hierarchs, Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy, Monastics,
and Faithful of The Orthodox Archdiocese of America (New York)
Dearly Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
One of the earliest prayers Western Orthodox Christians learn is that to Saint Michael the Archangel:
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 Hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
A story was related to me by an Old Catholic bishop. As a young man, he had gone to an Old Catholic Benedictine monastery for a retreat. The abbot went over the horarium with him and told him that the monks get up every night at 3 am, gather in the chapel, and say the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, then go back to sleep. He asked, “Why 3 am?” So the abbot relayed a dream that one of the monks had many years before and how the Mother of God appeared to the monk in a dream and told him that as long as this prayer was said every night this country would be protected. The monastery continued the practice until then monks died off and the last monk was in a nursing home and died September 11, 2001 at 2 am.
We read in Psalm 91:
11 For he shall give his angels charge over you, *
to keep you in all your ways.
12 They shall bear you in their hands, *
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
We many times do not stop to think of how God uses his messengers to protect us. We each have a Guardian Angel who is specifically charged to guard and guide us. Little children still learn the prayer:
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits thee here.
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide. Amen.
As Christians we are never alone. The Holy Spirit is within us. (This is recognized when the Deacon or Thurifer incenses the congregation at the Divine Liturgy.) Our Guardian Angel is always beside us urging us to do the good and noble thing in every situation. Let us give thanks to God for these “Watchers and Holy Ones.”
Affectionately in Christ,
Archbishop of New York
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Over the years, some have asked to have a copy of Archbishop Anthony’s Prayer. Here it is: