Friday, September 29, 2006

We Begin the Battle Today

Er, I mean the novena. Today is the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, and in nine days (isn't the Church clever?) is the Feast of the Victory of the Battle of Lepanto, aka, Our Lady of Victory.

Here's the plan, via Dr. Thursday:
Pray everyday for Peace, for the Pope, for the Muslims. If you pray the rosary (a significant factor in the Victory at Lepanto), pray the sorrowful mysteries each day. If you are Catholic, try to get to mass each day.

That's it. Please join us in prayer.


  1. A good thing to do is print up a copy of Chesterton's poem "Lepanto" (use the link that Nancy provided) and carry it around with you. Got a few minutes? Start reading. :-)

  2. The link is sort of hidden--if you haven't figured it out, you just click on the picture.

  3. Someone gave me a poem/prayer that they attributed to Chesterton called Michael in the Morning. It is about St. Michael. Have you guys ever heard of this poem and is it really by Chesterton? I thought that if it were by Chesterton it would be more readily available and published somewhere, etc. I had never heard of it before. (It came up in a story that a WWII vet tells about being saved by St. Michael, and it was this prayer that he said everyday, a prayer his mother gave him.)

    If it is Chesterton's it might be nice to add to the Novena. I would be glad to post it so you all can see it.

  4. I was unable to paste it in here, so I found it at the Women for Faith and Family website
    This website quotes the source, so it must be Chesterton's.

    However, I think that this cannot be the poem that the soldier in the story I heard recited everyday (Korean War BTW, not WWII) because he says his prayer began "Michael, Michael of the morning fresh corp of heaven adorning." Perhaps Chesterton's poem was inspired by this prayer--if the prayer exists-- or the other way around.

  5. Here it is:

    Yes, it is Chesterton's, it’s called “To St. Michael, In Time of Peace”

    It’s in Vol. 10 of the Collected Works, p. 174.

    To St. Michael, In Time Of Peace(ca. 1929)

    Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning,
    Michael of the Army of the Lord.
    Stiffen thou the hand upon the still sword, Michael,
    Folded and shut upon the sheathed sword, Michael,
    Under the fullness of the white robes falling,
    Gird us with the secret of the sword.

    When the world cracked because of a sneer in heaven,
    Leaving out of all time a scar upon the sky,
    Thou didst rise up against the Horror in the highest,
    Dragging down the highest that looked down on the Most High:
    Rending from the seventh heaven the hell of exaltation
    Down the seven heavens till the dark seas burn:
    Thou that in thunder threwest down the Dragon
    Knowest in what silence the Serpent can return.

    Down through the universe the vast night falling,
    (Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning!)
    Far down the universe the deep calms calling,
    (Michael, Michael: Michael of the Sword!)
    Bid us not forget in the baths of all forgetfulness,
    In the sigh long drawn from the frenzy and the fretfulness,
    In the huge holy sempiternal silence,
    In the beginning was the Word.

    When from the deeps a dying God astounded
    Angels and devils who do all but die,
    Seeing Him fallen where thou couldst not follow,
    Seeing Him mounted where thou couldst not fly,
    Hand on the hilt, thou hast halted all thy legions,
    Waiting the Tetelestai and the acclaim,
    Swords that salute Him dead and everlasting
    God beyond God and greater than His Name.

    Round us and over us the cold thoughts creeping,
    (Michael, Michael: Michael of the battle-cry!)
    Round us and under us the thronged worlds sleeping,
    (Michael, Michael: Michael of the Charge!)
    Guard us the Word; the trysting and the trusting
    Edge upon honour and the blade unrusting.
    Fine as the hair and tauter than the harpstring,
    Ready as when it rang upon the target

    He that giveth peace unto us; not as the world giveth:
    He that giveth law unto us; not as the scribes:
    Shall He be softened for the softening of the cities
    Patient in usury; delicate in bribes?
    They that come to quiet us, saying the sword is broken,
    Break men with famine, fetter them with gold,
    Sell them as sheep; and He shall know the selling,
    For He was more than murdered. He was sold.

    Michael, Michael: Michael of the Mastering,
    Michael of the marching on the mountains of the Lord,
    Marshal the world and purge of rot and riot,
    Rule through the world till all the world be quiet:
    Only establish when the World is broken,
    What is unbroken is the Word.

    via Dale Ahlquist. With thanks.

  6. Does anyone wish to explain the poem to me?
    Thanks, Lily

  7. thanks for sharing the poem with us!


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