by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Most Glorious Prince of the Heavenly Hosts
Model of Those Who Fight under the Standard of the Cross
In a memorable article printed in the September 1951 issue of Catolicismo, Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira described Archangel Saint Michael as model of several virtues, for example, his humility and hierarchical spirit. He also described the intrepid Archangel as a model of combativeness, a virtue mostly forgotten in our relativistic times soaked in defeatist pacifism. Below is an excerpt of that article.
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On September 29, Holy Church celebrates the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel. This date used to be very strongly marked in the piety of the faithful. Today, unfortunately, few are those who take it as a special occasion to venerate the Prince of the Heavenly Hosts. However, as we shall see, the devotion to Saint Michael, current for all people at all times, deserves in a very special way to be practiced with particular fervor in our days.…
Model of Combativity
Saint Michael is the model of the Christian warrior because of the fortitude which he showed by casting into hell the legions of damned spirits. He is the warrior of God who will not tolerate the divine Majesty to be challenged or offended in his presence, and who is ready to wield the sword at any time in order to crush the enemies of the Most High.
He teaches us that it is not enough for a Catholic to behave well: it is also his duty to fight evil. And not just an abstract evil, but evil as it exists in the ungodly and in sinners. For Saint Michael did not cast evil into hell as a principle, a mere conception of the intellect, nor are principles and concepts susceptible to be burned by eternal fire. It was Lucifer and his minions that he cast into hell, as he hated the evil that existed in them and which they loved.
We live at a time of profound religious liberalism. Few Christians have an inkling that they belong to a Church militant, as militant on earth as Saint Michael and the faithful Angels were militant in heaven. We also should know how to crush the insolence of wickedness. We too must tenaciously counter the adversary by attacking him and rendering him powerless.
In this struggle, Saint Michael should not just be our model but our help. The fight between Saint Michael and Lucifer has not ceased but continuous throughout the ages. He helps all Christians in the battles they wage against the power of darkness.