The Sword of Saint Michael

Started by Instaurare omnia, November 19, 2022, 07:18:35 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Instaurare omnia

From the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel -- said after Low Mass and also at the end of the Rosary -- we all know of the intercessory role of St. Michael in protecting us daily. Yet there is also the physical trace of his presence on earth in the Sword of Saint Michael, the sequence of churches and other sanctuaries in a straight line from Ireland to the Holy Land. These seven sites are:

       
  • Skellig Michael, an island of the coast of Ireland, settled by Celtic monks.
  • Saint Michael's Mount, an island off the coast of Cornwall, England.
  • Mont Saint Michel, an abbey on an island off the coast of Normandy, France.
  • Sacra di San Michele, an abbey built on top of Mount Pirchiriano, Italy.
  • Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano, on top of another mountain in Italy.
  • Monastery of the Taxiarchis, Symi Island, Greece.
  • Stella Maris Monastery, Mount Carmel, Israel.
There is a slideshow with further information at the Aleteia website. The image below shows their locations:



This geographic sequence is an example of a ley line, a vector that connects various significant sites. Ley lines have been found on many continents and often indicate locations that had ritual use in ancient times. As for the Sword of Saint Michael, the worldly wags at Wikipedia dismiss its Christian significance as "pseudoscience". However, a review of the natural sciences indicates that this phenomenon is indeed real. Each of the seven sites is located upon a distinct land mass recognized since prehistoric times; all are at prominent elevation and several are also islands. Another interesting fact is that the line is the same as the path of sunset on the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice during the third week of June, a date also notable in many pre-Christian observances. However, the Saint Michael's line signifies "a sword to signal Christendom's spiritual combat against paganism".
QuoteWere the shrines along the sword of St. Michael, then, originally pagan sites of worship? In fact, the answer is yes. The island in Cornwall was dedicated to Celtic god Lugh (who was also a fighter) and Mont. St. Michel was dedicated to Mithras (a cult of Roman soldiers) and named Tomb Mount. The Greek monastery was built over the site of a temple to Apollo, who was connected to the sun and therefore to the solstice. It seems he also had sanctuaries along the sword of St. Michael. Pagans would have sought out distinctive "high places" that followed the track of the sun on its peak day (Staudt).


Also, the Book of Enoch (albeit neither part of Hebrew scripture nor the Christian Bible) references these Seven Mountains:
Quote
And I went beyond it and saw seven magnificent mountains all differing each from the other ... And the seventh mountain was in the midst of these, and it excelled them in height, resembling the seat of a throne: and fragrant trees encircled the throne. And amongst them was a tree such as I had never yet smelt, neither was any amongst them nor were others like it: it had a fragrance beyond all fragrance, and its leaves and blooms and wood wither not for ever: and its fruit is beautiful, and its fruit resembles the dates of a palm. Then I said: 'How beautiful is this tree, and fragrant, and its leaves are fair, and its blooms very delightful in appearance.' Then answered Michael, one of the holy and honoured angels who was with me, and was their leader. (Enoch 1 24:2-6)

Essentially, St. Michael appears to be a protector of these seven mountains and the Tree of Life that is located on one of the mountains. The vision of Enoch is further described as an apocalyptic vision and explains how the Tree of Life was taken from Eden and placed on one of the mountains and will remain there until the end of time, from where God will judge all of creation. The various writings that comprise the book of Enoch were written between 300 – 100 BC and were never included either in the Hebrew Scriptures or Christian Bible. This is because while there is much in the writings that complements scripture, there is more in it that is often at odds. For these and other reasons it is not believed to be fully inspired by God (Kosloski).


Now on to the Bible: The Saint Michael's Line is the path of that divine sword that struck Satan and sent him into hell. In the Old Testament, there is a connection to Elijah, and in the New Testament, to John the Baptist:

Quote Mt. Carmel likewise was a place of spiritual battle where Elijah slew the prophets of Baal. There is also a connection between the summer solstice and St. John the Baptist. In the ancient world the solstices were June 24th and December 25th, John's and Jesus' birthdays of course. The Church Fathers connected these dates to John's words that Jesus must increase while he decreases, as these are the days that mark the increasing and decreasing sunlight. And indeed, John the Baptist, like Michael, was associated with combating paganism in the early Church. We see one example of this at Monte Cassino. [...] Explaining the sword of St. Michael in conjunction with the line of the summer solstice does not explain away the sword's significance. Rather, it shows its significance as part of the way in which the Church reclaimed important sites and dedicated them to the worship of the one true God. The sun and stars proclaim the glory of God and should not lead to idolatrous worship and human sacrifice (a custom of the solstice).

St. Michael clearly had a role in reclaiming the solstice for the glory of God and removing its connection to the enemy as he himself appeared at many of these sites. In our own fight to reclaim our own country, we should turn to St. Michael (and recite his prayer often) and to St. John the Baptist to guard and protect and to help us in the battle for souls. (Staudt).


Thus, whether while earnestly daydreaming about a bucket-list voyage to all seven sanctuaries or while praying your daily devotions, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

References

Kosloski, Philip. "What is the 'Sword of St. Michael' and How Is It Connected to a Comic Book?" Voyage Comics, 10 March 2019. https://voyagecomics.com/2019/03/10/what-is-the-sword-of-st-michael-and-how-is-it-connected-to-a-comic-book/.

"7 Sanctuaries Linked by a Straight Line." Aleteia, 31 May 2017. https://aleteia.org/2017/05/31/7-sanctuaries-linked-by-a-straight-line-the-legendary-sword-of-st-michael/.

Staudt, R. Jared. "Understanding the Mysterious Sword of Saint Michael." Catholic Exchange, 16 May 2018. https://catholicexchange.com/understanding-mysterious-sword-st-michael/.
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).

drummerboy

Any reference to the tree of life would refer in my opinion to Mt. Carmel, which literally translates as Garden of God.  Our Lady is, in a sense, also the Garden of God.