[This article is a sequel to the 9/19/21 email newsletter, “See the Unconquered Fortress of a Mighty Archangel”.]
Why does the Church venerate an invisible warrior? Because spiritual warfare is the lot of Christians on this earth. Pure and simple.
The great Archangel, St. Michael, is known as the Prince of the Heavenly Host because of the story in Revelation 12 and various teachings surrounding him that have come down through the Church’s long tradition. He ejected the Evil One and the apostate angels from heaven when they rebelled against God.
This revealed truth about Michael remains a symbol of his role in the life of the Church and in the life of anyone who invokes his intercession. He is the protector of the Holy Catholic Church in a spiritual sense, and he has always been invoked in times of crisis and spiritual need.
St. Michael’s Mystical Sword
Maybe this is why we can discern a mystical “sword” laying across the entire continent of Europe in the form of seven sanctuaries dedicated to St. Michael. I have no idea who was the first person to “connect the dots” of these sanctuaries, so to speak (see map), but the pattern is incontrovertible. The interpretation of this symbol is undoubtedly mystical and spiritual, fitting an angel.
If we imagine the hilt of the sword resting on Mount Carmel in modern day Israel, our Lord’s homeland, and the tip of the sword reaching all the way to the far Atlantic Coast of Ireland, we see the supernatural “Sword of St. Michael” lying across Europe. It’s a perfectly straight line with several of the sanctuaries evenly spaced along it.
Make of it what you will, but the line is crystal clear. If this spiritual sword does indeed belong to the greatest of angels, we can assume that, mystically, it has something to do with the preservation and spread of the ancient faith. Numerous of the sanctuaries were at one time places of pagan worship and one author notes that the line follows the exact trajectory of the sun during the Summer Solstice, an astrological phenomenon that was central to pagan worship.
As you look at the map below, note that the cut of the sword encompasses all areas that have been significant in the life of the Church: from the birthplace of the Church in the Holy Land; to the areas where the Church flourished in its infancy and the scenes of doctrinal disputes in the early centuries (the Greek and Roman empires); to the places of Christian battle in Europe and Asia (particularly the Crusades and other battlefields against Islam).
It became clear to me in my study, a few of the sanctuaries (particularly those in England and Ireland) have been the objects of an ongoing warfare. They are no longer functioning monasteries or centers of pilgrimage due to the divisions in the Church and the viciousness of men. We must pray for their restoration.
We must also pray that this sword will protect the ancient Christian heritage of the Middle East and Europe from all forces that wish to destroy it, whether radical Islam or the radical secularism and militant atheism that is sweeping Europe now.
The Prince of the Heavenly Host will respond to all assaults by the servants of Satan against God and His Church in the way he has done from the beginning of time – with a mystical sword and his booming battle cry, “Who is like unto God?”
The Seven Sanctuaries of the Sword