I was very struck by Friday’s ceremony in the Vatican Gardens, when Pope Francis, in the present of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, consecrated a new sculpture of St Michael in the gardens of Vatican City.
What really struck me was that, together with St Michael, he also consecrated the Vatican State to the guardianship of St Joseph.
When I was confirmed as a Catholic a little over 10 years ago, I chose two patrons (rather than one). I was baptised David Michael, so I chose St Michel as my first patron, but at the same time I was aware that in my new lay role my identity as a father was being reaffirmed. So I took the name of Joseph as well.
Taking Pope Francis’ address at the recent ceremony, I decided to compose a prayer of consecration to St Michael and St Joseph. Here it is:
St Michael the Archangel,
you are named “Who is like unto God?”.
You are the champion of God’s primacy,
of His transcendence and power.
Fight to re-establish divine justice;
and defend the People of God from its enemies,
especially our enemy, the devil.
In consecrating ourselves to you, Saint Michael the Archangel,
we ask you to defend us from the Evil One and to cast him outside.
Saint Michael, you triumph because it is God who acts in you.
Remind us that evil has been vanquished,
the accuser unmasked,
his head crushed,
because salvation was accomplished
once and for all in the Blood of Christ.
Even if the devil always tries to scratch your face and man’s face,
God is stronger;
the victory is his and his salvation is offered to every person.
May we be ever mindful
that we are not alone in life’s journey and trials;
Accompany and sustain us, Angel of God,
and offer your wings to help us surmount so many dangers,
to be able to fly high in regard to those realities
that can weigh down our life or drag us down.
We consecrate ourselves also to Saint Joseph,
the custodian of Jesus,
the custodian of the Holy Family.
St Joseph, may your presence make us stronger and more courageous
in making space for God in our life to overcome evil always with good.
We ask you to guard us, to take care of us,
so that the life of grace will grow every day more in each of us.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord.