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6. Saint Michael the Archangel

6. Saint Michael the Archangel

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This painting depicts Saint Michael, the strong warrior against Satan. He’s in a powerful stance with a spear plunging directly in flames symbolizing hell.

On the bottom and left a flourish of early autumn colors loop upward. This brings me to the tradition of Michaelmas, September 29th (Michael’s Mass), what once was a holy day of obligation in the Middle Ages, it’s the day to honor Saint Michael and the archangels, but packed to the brim with traditions centered around the predominantly agricultural life in the northern hemisphere.

Upper left is an impression of the harvest moon, the full bright moon showing around the time of Michaelmas. Michaelmas daisies, the lovely purple flowers on the left are late summer flowers typically blooming during Michaelmas. The left also hosts designs of harvested wheat and bounty.

Also, Around the time of Michaelmas is the Fall equinox, when the days start to get significantly darker. This is also symbolic of spiritual darkness, so calling upon the intercession of Saint Michael to protect us during the darkening days makes sense as it relates to the natural rhythm of the earth. St Michael,as we know, is the protector against darkness.

The flames are small purposely. Christ has already won. But day to day we  need help as  humans to put out the “little flames” of our own weaknesses and failings in our discipleship with Jesus.

 

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