1. Religion & Spirituality

Meet Archangel Michael, the Head of All Angels

By

saint Michael

The painting “Archangel Michael” by Raphael, 1518

Photo © Public Domain

Name:

Michael means "Who is like God?" Other spellings of Michael's name include Mikhael, Mikael, Mikail, and Mikhail.

Main Characteristics:

Michael is known for his exceptional strength and courage. He’s a leader who reigns as the head of all the angels. Michael fights for good to prevail over evil. He protects and defends people who love God. People sometimes ask for Michael's help to: gain the courage they need to overcome their fears, obtain strength to resist temptations to sin and instead do what's right, and stay safe in dangerous situations.

Symbols:

Michael is often depicted in art wielding a sword or a spear. Other symbols that represent Michael include armor, banners, and scales.

Energy Color:

Role in Religious Texts:

Michael holds the distinction of being featured more often than any other named angel in major religious texts. The Torah, Bible, and Qur’an all mention Michael. In the Torah, God chooses Michael to protect and defend Israel as a nation. Daniel 12:21 of the Torah describes Michael as “the great prince” who will protect God’s people even during the struggle between good and evil at the end of the world. In the Zohar (a foundational book in the Jewish mysticism called Kabbalah), Michael escorts the souls of righteous people to heaven. The Bible describes Michael in Revelation 12:7-12 leading armies of angels that battle Satan and his demons during the world’s last conflict. Michael and angelic troops finally emerge victorious, says the Bible, which also mentions in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 that Michael will accompany Jesus Christ when he returns to Earth. The Qur’an warns in Al-Baqara 2:98: “Whoever is an enemy to God and his angels and his apostles, to Gabriel and Michael -- lo! God is an enemy to those who reject the faith.” Muslims believe that God has assigned Michael to reward righteous people for the good they do during their earthly lifetimes.

Other Religious Roles:

The Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches revere Michael as Saint Michael. He serves as the patron saint of people who work in dangerous conditions, such as military personnel, police and security officers, and paramedics. As a saint, Michael serves as a model of chivalry and boldly working for justice. In Catholic tradition, Michael also escorts people's souls to heaven after they die. The Seventh-Day Adventist and Jehovah’s Witness churches say that Jesus Christ was the archangel Michael before Christ came to Earth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says that Michael is now the heavenly form of Adam, the first created human.

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