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Happy Michaelmas!

This article was first published in 2021, and has been published in the September 2023 Universe Catholic Weekly (p31)

St Michael Archangel, 1636. Guido Reni

St Michael is the patron of the Catholic Police Guild and for policing, his feast being celebrated on 29 September.

To understand the importance of St. Michael the Archangel, one must first understand the tenacity of demons. For us, in policing, we find it easy to appreciate the concept of good and evil – thereby of saints and sinners, or of angels and demons. Every day we interact with souls who turn away from good and commit all manner of evil acts. Every day we find people living lies, perpetually accepting that wrong is right. All of humanity, every one of us, has an inclination to sin, to crime, to evil acts – in extremis, just look at the collapse of societies, morals and order in failed states. Our weaknesses are not just personal; others can agitate our weaknesses, amplifying a propensity to sin – and this is exactly what demons do.

As Mgr Alain de Boismenu wrote:

"The devils inhabit and infest our world; they meddle with our lives and assault us continuously, forcefully, incessantly. Although degraded, their angelic nature remains vastly superior to ours; hence they know what motivates and moves us, and thus they play with us. God allows them to play and plague us, for our merit and for His greater glory.

“The devils act on our senses and toy with our imagination. They fill our minds with pride, envy and anxiety. They deal out just enough favours and hardships to lead us into sin, afflicting the just, rewarding sinners and always seeking to move souls away from the supernatural.

“In their defence, Catholics receive a steady stream of powerful and continuous graces. Grace is always available through prayer and the Sacraments, thanks to the aid of our guardian angels and priests. To conquer the temptations of the devil, we only have to will it with all our might. God’s infinite mercy will do the rest."


Read some extra resources for St. Michael's Feast Day:

St Michael - Patron of Policing - Pray for us!
Download PDF • 462KB

St. Michael Apparitions & Prayers
Download PDF • 6.05MB


In the order of creation, the devils and demons are fallen angels – those angels who chose to not live by God’s law. Of the trillions or more angelscreated, it is believed there are a mere seven archangels. These are the guardians of institutions, countries, and other groups of people. They do for the institutions what guardian angels do for individuals. The most notable archangels are Gabriel, the messenger – and Michael, a warrior and judge. St. Michael is the protector of heaven and of Catholics, and he enforces the will of God by battling and subduing the demons, especially Satan. He is the patron saint of police officers, paramedics, and the military. The significance and power of his role derives his name, with Michael translating from the Hebrew “Who is like God”.

St. Michael, in fact, has four major roles in the Catholic Church. The first is to act as the leader of the armies of God, embodying the virtues of every spiritual warrior. The second role is to act as the angel of death, carrying the souls of all deceased persons into heaven; he is said to visit everyone in the hour before their death and offering a final chance at salvation, acting as an agent of deliverance from Satan’s minions. His third role involves dispensing the justice of God; he is often depicted in this role by holding a pair of scales. His fourth and final role is the defender of the Catholic Church and her living members (all Catholics in the state of grace).

To varying extents St. Michael’s patronage of policing supports our role in these four areas.

  1. St. Michael helps officers and staff to act with virtue.

  2. He assists officers to turn citizens away from a path of crime.

  3. When this is not possible, he assists officers to act wisely and justly.

  4. And, in often-dangerous duties when we frequent devil-ridden environs, he is a protector to return us home to our loved-ones.

The patronage of St. Michael should not be under-estimated. There are stories in the Bible, from the Old and New Testament, and recorded in the millennia since which show St. Michael’s ability to overcome demons on our behalf. It is for this reason that the Catholic Police Guild is proud to have St. Michael as patron for itself and policing, and to celebrate Michaelmas.

With an ask, everyone in policing can benefit from his patronage:

Saint Michael, guide and protect us!


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