I’ve learned by now that there are different degrees of inadequate rest, and all of these affect my life in different ways. I can go a few weeks under the high stress of a family emergency (or multiple) and recover fairly quickly. I can go a few weeks without a decent night’s sleep and jump back into my daily work as soon as I get one good night’s sleep.
But when my prayer schedule starts to slip, when a regular daily prayer gets excluded for more than one day within a week, that’s usually a sign that I need to take time to step back, to recalibrate my heart to make sure it’s beating in time with the Sacred Heart, to move away from the world and simply rest in Him.
I’ll be honest. Not one but two of my daily prayers have nearly slipped the schedule entirely, since the end of May. And in between studying for and taking a comprehensive exam (I passed), editing a book while revising my own, multiple family emergencies, and trying to force my body to recover too quickly from an infection that’s still causing some issues… it’s really only been a few days since I realized how hugely my routine has slipped as far as a daily Rosary and St. Michael Chaplet go.
Daily Mass has remained a steady constant. Liturgy of the Hours is the music that underscores the entire day. But those two smaller devotions, to Our Blessed Mother and St. Michael (and all the Holy Angels), would normally be opportunities for me to get up, walk away from the work or the play or the stress of the moment, and rest in God’s creation while meditating on His Word, while remembering His deeds, while praying alongside His closest friends.
St. Michael the Archangel, perhaps more properly called Holy Archangel Michael, is my Confirmation saint. And the Holy Guardian Angels are the patron saints of my diocese. For me, this is a prayer that reminds me that I am guarded, protected, and loved by God, who sends even His angels to keep watch over me.
So as I work on re-incorporating the St. Michael Chaplet into my prayer life ahead of his feast day on September 29th, and as we prepare to launch Saints for Slackers Season 4, I’d like to share more about this prayer to one of my special guardians, and this holy guardian of the Church.
History of the St. Michael Chaplet
In the year 1750, St. Michael the Archangel reportedly appeared to Antónia d’Astónaco, a Carmelite nun. St. Michael gave her a set of nine salutations (to each of the nine choirs of angels) with the promise that anyone who practiced this devotion would be escorted by an angel from each choir when approaching Holy Communion. In addition, for those who recite the chaplet daily, St. Michael promised continual assistance from him and all the holy angels during life. Pope Pius IX approved this chaplet in 1851.
[Make the Sign of the Cross] O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.
[Say one Our Father and three Hail Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine Choirs of Angels]
- By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen.
- By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection. Amen.
- By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen.
- By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominions may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions. Amen.
- By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
- By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. Amen.
- By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
- By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven. Amen.
- By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven. Amen.
Say one Our Father in honor of each of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and our Guardian Angel.
O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.
Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence. This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.