Tuesday, September 29, 2009
St Michael a most Wonderful Protector against the Old Deceiver,pretending to be an angel of Light
St Michael (Mihangel in Welsh) has been a big protector of the Christians in Monmouthshire and he is especially revered around Abergavenny and the SKIRRYD Mountain, called in English 'St Michaels Mount'on which a chapel dedicated to the holy Archangel was built in Mediaeval times now lies a ruin.But people from the town go up there on Good Friday and also at Michaelmas Day (or nearest Saturday to it) to pray and ask the Archangel to stand with us and defend the law of God and of His Christ.St David , in his mountain retreat saw it before going to Llendewi Brefi to defend the Church's teaching.
The story about the Skirryd is that on the death of earthly Christ on the cross at the crucifixion, the veil of the Temple was torn in half and a great darkness came over the earth. Symbolically I think this means that the curtain, separating God from his people in the Temple had been opened up, and Our Lord Jesus opened up heaven to us. What a wonderful and amazing Grace. At the same time, the story goes that the sword of the archangel was raised and brought down on the mountain, splitting it in half. Indeed it is so holy, that farmers used to take huge sackfuls of earth from the cleft to put on their fields, if the harvest was ailing.
Numerous churches in Wales are dedicated to St Michael, and the Skirryd is 'guarded ' by five Churches . St Teilo himself implored his protection from the top of the mountain and the invading Saxons were quelled for a time. Then in recusant times, when the Old Faith had been banned by the various later Tudor Kings and Queens, they crept up to say the rosary and to hear the Masses held by the brave priests. These were sons of local people trained abroad because of the ban on pain of death here. There used to be a picture in Llanfihangel Court (ironically the Court of the church of St Michael) showing a trail of Faithful on there way. There were other places where people met, which I shall discuss later, bt the Catholic Faith never died out in this region of Monmouthshire, in spiteof the dreadful punishments for following the Faith.
Pope Leo had a vision of the world and composed the Prayer to Michael Archangel. This character figures stongly in the Narnia film the 'Lin the Witch and the Warderobe'. Peter stands there for the human race and the Church, with his saints, Edmund of England, Susan of Rome and Lucy of Rome (all early martyrs) with others gathered together from all over Narnia (the world) they stand with the spirits and angels against the black Queen and her demons, who did not know the 'Old Magic' that Aslan would rise again and come to vanquish her and all the powers of evil. All Aslan's people are restored to life and there is a great scene in the film, when those who are 'frozen' (inactive) are breathed on (with the Holy Spirit)and regain their life, to fight on Aslan's side. They know his power is absolute. In the recent film, the Archangel Michael is depicted as a Centaur, half man and half horse, and a terrifying prospect.He and Peter (and the Church)lead the defence. Death is nothing because of resurrection and suddenly Aslan (Trinity representation) appears and kills the evil dragon, the Archangel Michael figure being very prevalent in this battle.
Someone has very imaginatively composed a movie about St Michael using the music from the film and interpreting it. Pictures of St Michael are overlaid with Pope Leo's Prayer for protection, from all the evils that beset the world today, when God is mocked and reviled and secularists attacking goodness and truth from every side.The film might alarm people unused to the imagery in the book of Revelations, so if you are very sensitive, don't view the film. It is very powerful and dramatic and fitting for this great spirit.
When the chips are down-Who is on the Lord's side? No-one can straddle the line....