St. Michael the Archangel is well-known as the leader of angels who cast Satan and fallen angels into hell. In the Catholic tradition, St. Michael has four duties:
- To combat evil
- To assist the faithful during the hour of death
- To protect the Church and all Christians
- To lead the souls of the faithful departed to present them to the Lord for judgement
For these reasons, he has become the patron saint of those who work in dangerous conditions such as police officers, military personnel, and paramedics. He is also the patron saint of those who are suffering illness or are close to death.
It is believed that in 1886, Pope Leo XIII had a vision of demonic spirits that sparked the creation of the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer. Because St. Michael is a power intercessor in fighting evil, the prayer has become a staple to many Catholics.
Saint Michael Archangel,
defend us in battle,
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
may God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, cast into hell
Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.