Michael and All Angels Day

St Michael, the Archangel

St Michael and All Angels Day or the Feast of Saint Michael takes place every year on the 29th of September. It is the day we celebrate both named and unnamed angels and of course St Michael himself. The holiday is celebrated by both Jews and Christians. Michael is one of only three angels mentioned in the Bible, the others being Gabriel and Lucifer.

However Michael is the only angel referred to as an archangel. The name Michael means; “Who is like God”? Michael is described as a “great prince who stands up for the children and young people, a “prince of the first rank” and a “leader of other angels”. He is God’s enforcer of law and judgment. Michael therefore, is the defender of all people typically portrayed in bright shining armor. Although there are no angels in Jewish history or Hebrew Scripture, Archangel Michael manages to have a special role.

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St Michael in Judaism

The Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible often mentions intelligent beings other than humans who worship God in heaven and act as his messengers and agents on earth. So instead of being called an archangel in Judaism, Saint Michael is referred to in the Tanakh as “no mere man, but a messenger of God” or simply as “the messenger”.

Michael is important in Jewish culture and is proudly portrayed in Judaism as a guardian of the holy land and protector of the Jewish people. In the Old Testament, a prophet named Daniel experiences a vision after an extensive period of fasting. In his visions, Daniel sees the archangel Michael as the protector of Israel. It is here that Daniel refers to Michael as “prince of the first rank”.

Saint Michael is thought to be the one who fought with, and expelled the Devil from Heaven. The story of a fallen angel is also found in Judaism among the texts of the second temple era.

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The archangel Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel (which is found both in the Ketuvim writings and in the Christian Bible). The archangel Michael, and the other notable saints, became such a popular advocate of the Jewish people that he had two prayers written praising him as the prince of mercy and for his protection of Israel.

Despite Jewish scripture traditionally warning people against appealing to the angels of God, Michael came to occupy such a place in Jewish history and Jewish people’s hearts that many praise him.

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