September 29th is Michaelmas Day, the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, when everyone with the moniker of Michael will feel the roots extending from our favorite saint.
Greeks often celebrate their name days, and September was a special time for us boys, as well as girls with the names of Michelle, Michaela and Michelena. Michael was a saint elevated by the early Christians, and may even have roots in other religions. He had defeated Lucifer and is depicted with either a sword or a spear in one hand and a scale of justice in the other.
Some say he will help at Judgment Day whenever that may occur, but most focus on the weapon in his right hand as he vanquished the most beautiful angel the Almighty ever created and set the heavens straight for humans in the lower realms with whom angels were designed to serve.
Michael is the patron saint of the sea and maritime lands, of ships and boatmen, of horses and horsemen as well members of the United States military and police officers. During the Middle Ages the Feast of St. Michael was celebrated as a Holy Day of Obligation, but this tradition was abolished in the 18th century.
It was during Michaelmas Day that Francis of Assisi received the Stigmata, the markings of Christ on his hands and feet as well as on his side. An angel had appeared to him, a Seraph, a member of the highest order of angles with three pair of wings known as the Seraphim. St Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment, died some two years later, never revealing to the public or his fellow monks the injuries he sustained.
Michael is the name of my very own Guardian Angel. I learned that after reading a book by Lorna Byrne –an Irish lass — who has seen and spoke with angels since she was a child. She suggests that you “suspend your disbelief” about angels and, ask them to give you a sign. My sign appeared in less than 24 hours after requesting the angelic ones to do their duty.
You have to be open to the signs, however. Open your eyes, your ears and your heart. Your mind will follow, particularly on the Feast Day of St. Michael the Archangel.