Today's Saints (September 29): Michael & All Angels (Michaelmas Day)
This feast day has been held since the early days of the Church, and celebrates all those angels who help, guide, guard and protect us from the assaults of those principalities, powers and dominions opposed to the will of God.
Michael is the chief angel called to this task; hence, the dedication of this feast day in his name. In Hebrew, Michael means "Who is like God." Unlike Lucifer - or Satan - Michael was not blinded by pride from the gifts God had given him. Michael is the angel who fought against Satan, throwing him out of Heaven.
This is shown in the accompanying picture of Luca Giordano's (1634-1705 oil on canvas entitled "Saint Michael."
We thank God that we can call on Michael and other guardian angels to help us in times of adversity and temptation. We also thank God for their presence with us as we celebrate the Holy Mysteries of Our Lord's Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension at the the most holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Michael is the patron saint of law enforcement officers.
"An Angel stood at the altar of the temple, having a golden censer in his hand, and there was given unto him much incense: and the smoke of the incense ascended up before God, alleluia" - Rev. 8. (From the day's offertory, page E 118, The People's Anglican Missal).
Books Worth Considering
A History of the Church in England
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford Paperback Reference)
The Penguin Dictionary of Saints: Third Edition (Dictionary, Penguin)