Throughout the ages, Archangel St. Michael had always been a subject of fascination for people and has fueled our imaginations. The Archangel is described as a fearsome being with a towering structure and a luminous presence. Which explains why he greeted most mortals with the phrase “Be Not Afraid.”
Archangel St. Michael was perhaps the most powerful of all angels. He is well known for his role in banishing Lucifer and his fellow angels from the realm of Heaven. And that, he works ceaselessly against evil forces in bringing an era of peace for all beings.
Let your imaginations take flight as we go and discover some of the famous myths and legends of St. Michael, the greatest warrior of heaven.
1. Who is St. Michael?
St. Michael the Archangel is, as you might imagine, a mysterious celestial being. There are so much intrigue and enigma around his mysterious presence. Let’s dive in to discover some famous legends and myths of the mythological figure, Archangel St. Michael.
St. Michael was biblical God’s finest champion, being so powerful that he banished Lucifer from the Heavens. Perhaps, he was the most powerful and regarded as the chief among Archangels.
‘Michael’ is a Hebrew name, and its meaning is a question: ‘Who is like God? ‘. He resides in Heaven with the Lord and is considered the supreme foe of Satan.
St. Michael is the Guardian of the houses of God throughout the world. He led the army in the war against Lucifer and his angels and chained him for an ear of peace.
The Archangel is charged with the tasks of protecting the believers of God, transporting the souls of the dead to Heaven at the “Hour of Death,” and leading the battles against Satan.
The images of St. Michael often depict him at battle with Satan. He is also shown with a spear, banner, and scales.
2. St. Michael: Myths and Legends
St. Michael was God’s finest champion and the most powerful among angels in the realm of heaven. With the Bible full of obscurity, with some of its characters, there is perhaps no one more ambiguous than the Archangel known as Michael. Despite his infinitesimal presence in the Bible, he sure has cultivated massive devotion not only from the Christians but also from the Jewish and Islamic faiths.
2.1. St. Michael in the Bible
St. Michael is mentioned in the Bible for a total of six times. He is merely mentioned as an unknown entity and not explicitly named. Perhaps this is where the fascination of Archangel stems from. The accounts of scriptures supporting St. Michael is loose at best. The Bible does not tell us much about this bold and brilliant persona.
2.2. St. Michael in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament, Archangel Michael appeared in the Book of Daniel, verse 10: 5-6. He appears in the form of an unknown entity and is not explicitly identified.
The Being had a body like topaz, his face like lightning and eyes like flaming torches. He is dressed in linen with a belt of fine gold from U pass around his waist. His arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze and a voice, like the sound of a multitude.
In this encounter, the entity explains to Daniel the future fate of Israel. As powerful as he seems to be, he claims that the Prince of Persia had resisted him for 21 days, which delayed him in seeking Daniel. While the details of Michael’s help is not beyond this, we can gather that the entity in question is reinforced by Michael and thus on God’s side.
Michael is bought up again one last time in the Old Testament in Daniel 12, verse 1. Essentially, Daniel is told that the Archangel Michael would be the one who brings salvation upon Israel.
This passage highlights Michael’s importance and gives us an inkling knowledge that Michael harness some form of superior power and should be respected and revered by Daniel and his people.
Based on the Old Testament alone, defining Michael is a mighty giant killer task because he isn’t physically present.
Still, we get a better understanding of the Archangel’s persona later in the New Testament, most notably the Book of Revelation.
2.3. St. Michael in the New Testament
The Bible believed that the Biblical God created a perfect being who was called Lucifer, so divine and mighty in comparison to his peers, that he grew woefully arrogant. Before long, he believed he could rule Heavens instead. More fellow angels took to Lucifer’s charisma and passion and thought he could overthrow their God and so joined him in his quest.
Unfortunately for Lucifer, challenging God was a secondary concern for him because first, he had to get through the resistance led by Archangel Michael himself.
Revelation 12, verse 7-8 tells us that a fierce battle took place in the realms of heaven, between the armies of Lucifer and Michael. Upon realizing that Michael was more substantial than expected, Lucifer transformed himself into a dragon.
But this does not hinder Michael’s strength, and he is said to have defeated Lucifer and all his angels.
This passage portrays Chief Michael as courageous and fearless; and his timeless loyalty to God.
2.4. St. Michael and Satan Debating over the Body of Moses
In the chapter of Jude, Archangel Michael and Satan are seen debating over the body of Moses. The Devil knew very well about the materialistic nature of man and their devotion to idols. Since Moses was the messenger of God, and he had fed millions of people, the Devil knew that the people of Israel revered him.
So he argued that the body of Moses should be left in the ground for the people; to thwart God’s plan in the ‘Ten Commandments’, which clearly states that he doesn’t want any strange Gods before him. Worship of idols was Satan’s goal.
However, Michael doesn’t condemn Satan. He reacts in a properly Christian way and tells him, “The Lord rebuke you.”
He knew that the children of Israel would have adorned and worshipped the body of Moses; therefore, he buries Moses opposite the Dead Sea. It reflects Archangel Michael’s respect for God’s plan.
Then we find a reference to St. Michael in Thessalonians 4:16. Whether or not its Michael, it shows the significance of the Archangel.
St. Paul writes to the Christians at Thessalonica that during the end times, His voice will be heard, and the same voice will signal the rising of the dead from their graves. Here, God is using the voice of the Archangel to interact with the people.
2.5. Feast of St. Michael
St. Michael is the moved loved of all saints in the tradition of the Catholic Church because of his strength and dedication to God. He is, in fact considered as the guardian of the church. They pray ‘St. Michael’s Prayer’ for defense and protection.
The believers, mainly the Roman Catholic, keeps a special day known as ‘Feast of St. Michael’ for Archangel Michael to honor him. His feast, originally combined with the remembrance of all angels, had been celebrated in Rome from the early centuries on September 29.
The feast is known as ‘Michaelmas.’ It is one of the oldest angel festivals having its origin in the medieval age.
The intuitive wisdom of people from olden days had placed this festival at each of the four turning points of the solar years. In autumn, this festival is named after St. Michael, the heavenly warrior.
2.6. St. Michael and Hour of Death
It is believed that Angels visit all people when they die. Archangel St. Michael appears just before the moment of death to the souls who are yet to connect with God. He gives them one last opportunity to place their faith to the Lord to go to Heaven.
St. Michael receives your soul at the hour of death and protects us from the last-minute attacks of Satan and his demons.
Ever since Adam, the very first human being, died, God had assigned his highest-ranking angel- St. Michael, to escort human souls to the eternal kingdom of Heaven.
2.7. How Jerusalem Miraculously Survived the Assyrian Invasion?
In the Bible, we come across a passage in II Kings where an Archangel visits 185,000 armies of Sennacherib. A plague soon spreads among them and disrupts the Assyrian invasion. In the end, Sennacherib’s abandoned Jerusalem. Herodotus has even acknowledged this event but he couldn’t explain this mysterious event. The Archangel was believed to be St. Michael.
2.8. St. Michael and Joan of Arc
How could a teenage peasant girl lead thousands of soldiers in a battle and save the entire nation from foreign invasion and emerged victoriously?
Yes, you heard it right!. That’s Joan of Arc, the greatest saint of history. She was a French peasant girl whose vision of angels led her to become a military leader. She declared that God helped her through an angel. It was St. Michael, the Archangel.
With his guidance, Joan of Arc led France in victory during the Hundred Years War with England. The Archangel encouraged Joan to fight evil with good. And he predicted that French dauphin Charles VII would be crowned the King of France at a particular time after Joan’s successive battles. All of Michael’s prophecies came true.
3. Legends of St. Michael Around the World
St. Michael was the single most potent creation of God. He is expounded as God because of the great virtue he had done. Men have always been enthralled by the words and deeds of St. Michael. They call out his name in times of potential danger so that he will deliver them safely to the shore. Many believed they could feel the Archangel’s presence when he is summoned. At the same time, others have claimed that they have heard him speak to them.
Today, St. Michael is considered the patron saint of death, firemen, grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police officers, and military personnel.
Many cultures in history have honored St. Michael for his deeds, and is considered one of the oldest angelic devotions.
3.1. French Legend of Mont Saint Michael
Did you know that every village in France is under the influence of some protecting Saint?
The Mont Saint Michael is modelled according to the characteristic of the inhabitants. Saint Michael watches over Lower Normandy.
The Lower Normandy peasants tell this legendary tale of the struggle between the great Saint and the Devil.
Saint Michael and the Devil lived closed to each other. One day, they got into a quarrel over the limits of their powers. Satan remarked that he was all-powerful but Michael said his God was almighty.
‘Well, call to God for help and built a castle’, said the Devil. ‘I will build one too, and we shall see which one is better.’ St. Michael agreed.
Satan sends out multiple small devil’s to fetch huge granite blocks from all the corners of the earth. Soon, a whole granite mountain rose out of the ocean.
The Saint took fewer pains. He erected transparent castle walls and dauntless towers and adorned it with delicate columns on the shore, out of ice crystals. This sparkling castle shinning in diamantine splendor outshone the somber granite masses.
Envy prevented Satan from sleeping. He asked St. Michael whether he would be willing to exchange the castle. Michael agreed. But when summer came, the Devil’s castle melted under the hot sun. The court of Saint Michael is still standing today. It is the Mont Saint-Michel.
3.2. How St. Michael Got Rid of The Devil in Normandy
After this, the devil settled in a humble cottage on the hill owing all the salt marshes, rich fertile lands, and the wooded valleys. At the same time, the Saint ruled over the sands. After a few years, the Saint grew tired of this state of affairs and began to think of some compromise with the devil.
He went to the devil, saying, “Let me have thy land. I will cultivate in the best possible way and then divide the harvest with thee.‘ But the matter wasn’t easy, and Satan kept a good hold of the crops.
Saint Michael went on: ‘I do not want thee to complain about the bargain later on. Choose what thou wantest: what grows above the earth or what grows underneath it.’ The Devil Cried, “what grows above!”.
Six months later, over the immense domain of the devil, one could see nothing but carrots, turnips, and onions. Satan harvested nothing and wanted to abolish the agreement. But Saint Michael developed a taste in agriculture. He said, “To make up for the loss, I will give thee this year all that grows underneath the earth.”
The following spring, Satan’s land was covered with golden wheat, oats, peas, cabbage, and everything that turned into grains or fruit in the sunlight.
Once more, Satan did not receive anything. Anger made him mad as a lobster. Just as he was about to strike Saint Michael, the Archangel kicked him so violently in the rump that Satan was hurled through space like a ball.
Even today, traces of his horns and claws can be seen on the rocks of Mortain, where he fell on earth.
4. St. Michael’s Mount
The St. Michael’s Mount has inspired people through the ages with its legends and myths. From as far as 495 AD, seafarers and fishermen had claimed to see the apparition of Archangel St. Michael, who has guided them to safety in St. Michael’s Mount.
Famous legends tell that St. Michael appeared on the Western side of the Island- below where the entrance of the castle is today, toward fishers from dangers.
The legend of Mount St. Michael had ever since added to the spiritual magnetism that drew pilgrims, monks, and people from all walks of life. The Archangel was soon made the patron saint of fishers.
Whether the Mount of St. Michael harbors spiritual energies or is simply a pleasant place to stop by and self reflect, people from every walk of life have been attracted to this castle on a tiny island to pause and ponder about the miracles of Archangel St. Michael. Finally, St Michaels Mount was purchased by Colonel John St Aubyn.
A realistic person might scoff at this tale, but such things are entirely believable when you come across the Island. Myths and legends swirl in its waters.
5. St. Michael Appears in Folktales
St. Michael is appreciated and found in simple folktales too. We see St. Michael in the tale of “Why the Sole of Man’s foot is not even?”.
It was said that when the devils rebelled against God and fled to earth, they took the sun along with them. But the world complained that it was being burned up by the sun. Then God sent the Holy Archangel St. Michael to fetch the sun from the devils.
St. Michael came down to earth and became a friend of the emperor of the devils. Once on time, both were strolling around on land and came near the ocean. They proceeded to take a bath, and the devil thrust the lance with the sun on the ground.
After the bath, the angel said, “Now let us dive and see who goes down deeper.” Thereupon, St. Michael went down and brought up sand from the bottom, between his teeth. Now it was the devil’s turn. He was suspicious of the angel, so he formed a magpie from his spit and entrusted it with guarding the sun until he came up from the bottom of the ocean.
As soon as Satan disappeared in the water, St. Michael made the sign of the cross with his hand. Immediately, the ocean floor was covered with ice that was nine cells thick. Then he seized the sun and fled up to heaven.
Meanwhile, the magpie alerted the devil with its cries, and he quickly came up to the surface to realize that the ocean was already frozen. He then returned to the bottom of the sea and brought a huge stone to break the ice.
By the time he came out of the surface of the ocean to pursue the astute Archangel, St. Michael was already one foot in heaven. The devil grasped his other foot and, with his claws, tore a large piece of flesh from the sole.
Wounded, the Archangel appeared before the Lord and handed him the Sun. Weeping and lamenting, he said: “See, Oh Lord, how disfigured I am!”
Then spoke the Lord, “Do not grieve! Henceforth, all men shall have an uneven sole!”. And thus, has it remained.
6. St. Michael and Cosmic Activity
Another legend tells that St. Michael was sent out into the cosmos by God to seek a name for a man. With sublime spirit-power, Michael, with his fellow Archangels as messengers of God, proclaimed man’s first earthly name: Adam.
6.1. Are Angels Real?
Despite centuries of theological speculation about Angels, which originated from Hebrew Testaments, no one knows if they exist out of the myths and legends.
Many people believe they do. About 70% of Americans think that Angels are real. And many great thinkers of history were convinced that they exist.
Believers hold that the Archangel St. Michael possesses miraculous powers, which led him to make the plagues of Egypt, divide the Red Sea, lead the people of Israel by the desert, and set them safely in the land promised.
The intervention of Angels during wars is popular stories of the modern era. Most soldiers have claimed that they have seen apparitions of heavenly angels.
British soldiers claimed to have seen the Archangel St. Michael hovering in the air over German lines during the Great Wars.
People even believed that St. Michael was behind the daylight blackout of a city during World War II just as the Japanese planes were ready to drop its atomic bomb.
Whether it’s real or fictional, angels have been with humans since the beginning of times, and their presence will continue to comfort the modern soul searching society.
If you have more stories with you about Archangel St. Michael or Angels, feel free to tell us in the comments. We would love to hear them!