Archbishop calls on Catholics to pray the St. Michael prayer and to be open to the Holy Spirit, during parish visit to Leduc 

09 May 2024

Appears in: Archdiocesan News

Now is the time for the parish community of St. Michael’s to intercede to their patron saint, for the sake of their own community and the whole world, Archbishop Richard Smith said during a visit to the Leduc parish.. 

“Call upon your patron saint, Saint Michael. Our society and world are marked by great suffering: wars, polarization, moral confusion. The Christian vision sees beyond the immediately visible to the dark spiritual forces behind what is happening,” Archbishop Smith said in his homily May 5, part of a May 4-6 visit to St. Michael’s parish in Leduc.

Archbishop Smith with parishioners at St. Michael’s, Leduc.

“Christians know we are engaged in a spiritual battle with the powers of darkness. We call upon Saint Michael to defeat, by God’s ever-victorious power, the evil spirits seeking the ruin of souls. You offer the prayer to Saint Michael at the end of every Mass. Please offer it also each day.”

Pope Leo XIII instituted what would later be known as the Leonine Prayers to be said after Mass, in 1886. These prayers include the well-known prayer to St. Michael, and it reported that Pope Leo was inspired to write this prayer to the warrior archangel after having visions of the demonic warfare that was being waged over the Church. Once again, it is becoming increasingly common for the St. Michael prayer to be said after the closing of Mass. 

Restored 1896 image of Pope Leo XIII, known for writing the St. Michael’s prayer. Photo courtesy of David Martin.

During his parish visit to St. Michael’s Archbishop Smith also had the opportunity to visit Christ the King High School and St. Benedict, Father Leduc and Ecole Notre Dame elementary school in the St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic school division.

Particularly during his visit to Christ the King High School, his Grace enjoyed a lively question-and-answer session with high schoolers where they engaged with a variety of topics. 

Archbishop Smith with high school students at Christ the King High School.

In addition to the school visits, Archbishop Smith met with St. Michael’s parish groups and spent time with the local youth group. He joined parishioners for two pancake breakfasts and spent time connecting with the parish community over homemade food. 

The Archbishop also preached on the Holy Spirit and how it is vital that Christians allow the Holy Spirit to flood their lives. He shared this message during his homily on May 5th, after having celebrated the sacraments of both baptism and confirmation on the day prior. 

The Archbishop with the youth who received the Sacrament of Confirmation during his visit to St. Michael’s.

 “We heard in the first reading how the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word spoken by Peter. Now, the Holy Spirit falls on us through the sacraments of the Church.” 

“It was beautiful yesterday to witness this action of God in the ‘now’ of a small infant who was baptized at evening mass, and in the 48 young people who were confirmed in the afternoon,” shared Archbishop Smith. 

“God entered their ‘now’ with the gift of the Holy Spirit so that they can abide in the Lord Jesus, who wills to carry them to the “tomorrow” God has determined for us.”

Read Archbishop Smith’s full homily from the Sixth Sunday of Easter. 

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Jenny Connelly – Archdiocese of Edmonton