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Archangel Michael is represented with the armor of a warrior or a centurion soldier. The most frequent image shows him as the conqueror of Satan, with the heel on the head of the fallen angel. Almost always carries a sword or a spear with which to defeat his enemy. You can also carry a scale, keys or chains in your hands, and a cloak.
The attributes of Archangel Michael refer to his role as a vigilante, protector of the innocent and judge of evil.
The image of the archangel Michael is based literally on the biblical verses. The book of Joshua mentions him as “Captain of the Lord’s Armies” (Joshua 5: 13-15). However, it also has another level of meaning that reflects the human condition and need. Each attribute of the archangel Michael has an essential symbolism to understand its role in the life of the human being.
The image of a warrior represents the defense against the forces of evil and darkness that beset the human being, such as ignorance, unconsciousness and slavery to material and emotional attachments.
His title “Prince of Light” represents the illumination of the path of the human being to free him from the darkness of fear.
His armor means the willpower to face the challenges of life. It also represents faith and security in good.
The helmet means invisibility, invulnerability and power. Protect thoughts from negativity.
The shield represents the universe. It is the protection that tells your adversary that he can not overcome love.The sword represents the light that gives spiritual strength. Divine peace and justice are established with this force. The sword also means the weapon of truth. With it the veil that creates ignorance is broken.
The scale means justice, balance and order. In the balance hang the good and bad actions, balanced by the love and kindness that redeem the human soul.
When he carries keys, they represent the power to open the door of heaven to the souls that through their actions, thoughts and feelings have gained entrance.
The chains represent their power to break the bonds that enslave the human being through vices and attachments.
The mantle represents protection and the power to inhabit the space where positive and negative beings coexist. With it, it protects human beings from the negative vibrations of evil beings.
Both literally and symbolically, the archangel Michael represents justice and the struggle for good. His role in the biblical scriptures highlights him as the captain of the armies of God, which are the forces of good in the universe. Its meaning implies protection, security, power, overcoming obstacles and the destruction of fear and doubt. Therefore, the archangel Michael inspires the human being to dress with the symbols of his armor.
Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel. The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that, in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and his people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy.
In the New Testament Michael leads God’s armies against Satan’s forces in the Book of Revelation, where during the war in heaven he defeats Satan. In the Epistle of Jude Michael is specifically referred to as “the archangel Michael”. Catholic sanctuaries to Michael appeared in the 4th century, when he was first seen as a healing angel, and then over time as a protector and the leader of the army of God against the forces of evil.
Catholics often refer to Michael as “Holy Michael, the Archangel” or “Saint Michael”, a title that does not indicate canonisation. He is generally referred to in Christian litanies as “Saint Michael”, as in the Litany of the Saints. In the shortened version of this litany used in the Easter Vigil, he alone of the angels and archangels is mentioned by name, omitting Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael.
In the Roman Catholic teachings Saint Michael has four main roles or offices. His first role is the leader of the Army of God and the leader of heaven’s forces in their triumph over the powers of hell. He is viewed as the angelic model for the virtues of the spiritual warrior, with the conflict against evil at times viewed as the battle within.
St. Michael weighing souls during the Last Judgement, Antiphonale Cisterciense, Abbey Bibliotheca, Rein Abbey, Austria
The second and third roles of Michael in Catholic teachings deal with death. In his second role, Michael is the angel of death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to heaven. In this role Michael descends at the hour of death, and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing; thus consternating the devil and his minions. Catholic prayers often refer to this role of Michael. In his third role, he weighs souls in his perfectly balanced scales. For this reason, Michael is often depicted holding scales.
In his fourth role, Saint Michael, the special patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament, is also the guardian of the Church; it was thus not unusual for the angel to be revered by the military orders of knights during the Middle Ages. Thus, the nomenclature of villages around the Bay of Biscay reflects that history. This role also extends to his being the patron saint of a number of cities and countries.
Roman Catholicism includes traditions such as the Prayer to Saint Michael which specifically asks for the faithful to be “defended” by the saint.The Chaplet of Saint Michael consists of nine salutations, one for each choir of angels