Defend us in battle we pray!
There was a time when every Catholic child in America knew the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel by heart:
Saint Michael the 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,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Of course, them days is done. It is even far rarer for a church to recite the prayer at the close of mass like they used to, mores the pity. Thankfully, there is one church near me that still follows the old school mass. They may be in a crummy area but their pews are full. Hmm...wonder why?
St. Michael also used to be a favorite in the cemetery too. The example pictured above comes to you via Calvary Catholic in Whittier, CA. Sadly, the sword for his hand and the chains to bind the evil one must have rotted or fallen away at some point and never got replaced.
Tomorrow, I hope to go to Green Hills and snap the Saint Michael monument there in honor of a fallen solider.
Hopefully one day, the angel with the flaming sword will stage a comeback in cemetery art. I don't see why he wouldn't. Not only does he provide great visual, but he'll protect your monument or marker from demonic hoodlums intent on smashing it!