Saint Michael the Archangel

The Patron Saint of the Sick and People in Danger

Archangel Michael icon
The Chaplet of Saint Michael the Archangel prayer (also known as the Angelic Crown) originated from an apparition of the angel Michael to Portugese nun Antonia d'Astonac. Photo by Novica Nakov, of a Macedonian icon of Archangel Michael

Unlike most saints, Saint Michael the Archangel was never a human being who lived on Earth but instead has always been a heavenly angel who was declared a saint in honor of his work helping people on Earth. The name Michael signifies, "Who is like God". In the book of Daniel in the Bible, he is called both "one of the chief princes" and "the great prince" as the leading archangel.

Who Saint Michael the Archangel Is

Saint Michael the Archangel serves as the patron saint of sick people who are suffering from any type of illness.

He is also a patron saint of people who work in dangerous conditions such as military personnel, police and security officers, paramedics, sailors and grocers.

Saint Michael is the leader of all the holy angels above Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. He is often working on missions to fight evil, proclaim God's truth and strengthen the faith of the people. Although he is called a saint, he is truly an angel and a leader of them and ultimately the army of God. By definition, he is above others in the rank.

There are less than five scriptures about him, but from that, we can gather that one of his main strengths involves protection from enemies. He is rarely mentioned by name in the Old Testament and is primarily referred to in the book of Daniel.

His Roles and Responsibilities

In the Catholic church, Saint Michael is to perform four major roles as part of his responsibilities:

  1. The Enemy of Satan and the fallen angels. In this role, he had won a victory over Satan and had him kicked out of Paradise, ultimately leading to his achievement at the hour of the final battle with Satan.
  1. The Christian angel of death. In the specific hour of death, Saint Michael comes down and offers each soul the chance to redeem themselves before dying.
  2. Weighing souls. Saint Michael is often depicted holding scales when Judgment Day comes.
  3. Saint Michael is the Guardian of the Church and all Christians.


    Saint Michael is known to represent the direction south and the element of fire in several ways.

    • Michael sparks a desire in individuals to learn about their spiritual truth and to develop a stronger relationship with God.
    • He is also there in times of redemption to burn sins out of their lives while he protects them.
    • Lastly, he helps people get rid of their fear and to go on with a passion, like fire, to love God as he also loves them.

    Images and Art

    Depicted in religious art as a young man, he is also winged, handsome and clad in armor with a supporting sword and shield to combat the dragon. Other times, he has been known to be ​carrying the scales of justice. These symbols show his strength and courage as he is constantly moving against the current of evil.

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    Your Citation
    Hopler, Whitney. "Saint Michael the Archangel." ThoughtCo, Sep. 16, 2017, Hopler, Whitney. (2017, September 16). Saint Michael the Archangel. Retrieved from Hopler, Whitney. "Saint Michael the Archangel." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 23, 2018).