Defende nos in proelio . . .

My Mother’s Day post will need to wait — this being an obscurantist blog, our focus is on yet *another* suppressed feast in early May. Today’s is the Feast of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel. Here’s what Fr. Prosper Gueranger has to say about the feast and its origin.

The title of this post comes from the famous Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. As it happens, May 8 (at least in some countries) marks Victory in Europe Day — the day the last Axis forces in Europe surrendered to the Allies. So today was the day, 71 years ago, when St. Michael delivered on this invocation.

Now, history is messy, and so is Catholic traditionalism. During and since the war, some Catholics have objected to the Western Allies’ connivance in the Soviet conquest of Eastern Europe. While I think this is less the case now, there used to be a strain of World War II revisionism among certain traditionalists (think of the +Williamson affair, which was less anomalous than one might wish). I might write on these topics someday. For now, I am satisfied that the defeat of Germany served the good of the Church. It was better to have one overextended, culturally alien totalitarian socialist superpower based far from the heart of Europe (i.e. the Soviet Union) than to have two totalitarian socialist superpowers, one seated in the heart of Western Europe and restoring race-paganism. I think any evils we’ve endured since then on account of the Allied victory have been vastly preferable to the alternative. And that’s not even taking into account the Holocaust!

So, we can thank St. Michael the Archangel for today’s victory over Nazi and Fascist paganism and barbarity. I would add three more considerations:

1.) At my home parish in Illinois (Diocese of Rockford) this morning, I noticed the stained glass representation of St. Michael that hangs over the entrance. I didn’t recall that it was St. Michael’s feast day until much later in the day. They call this sort of serendipity a “signal grace.”

2.) I often attend Mass at St. Ignatius church in Mt. Horeb, WI. That church belongs to St. Michael the Archangel Parish.

3.) St. Michael is one of the three patron saints of Cornwall, the peninsula in England just south of Wales. Today (not Michaelmas on Sept. 29) is St. Michael’s feast day as patron of Cornwall. Southwestern Wisconsin was originally settled by Cornish miners, so I think May 8 is a fitting day to honor the saint here in the Driftless Area whither so many of his Cornish protégés emigrated.

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