From a reader…
I recently heard a priest announce to his congregation that the St. Michael Prayer had been “suppressed” by Vatican II. [No.] People could still pray it privately, but it could not be recited in congregation after mass. Is this correct? This was at a Novus Ordo mass, not the Extraordinary Form.
Interesting. I was just talking about this issue not long ago with a priest friend.
Vatican II did not suppress the St. Michael Prayer.
The Sacred Congregation of Rites, in the 1964 instruction on the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium called Inter Oecumenici, said:
j. The last gospel is omitted; the Leonine Prayers are suppressed.
Of course the St. Michael Prayer, by itself, is not the sum and total of the Leonine Prayers. It is only one of the Leonine Prayers. So, that 1964 suppression is irrelevant to the recitation of the St. Michael Prayer by itself.
Also, I think we can say about Inter Oecumenici, who cares? We have had several editions of the Roman Missal since then, including massive overhauls in 1965 and 1969 and an edition that had to be immediately withdrawn because it had heresy in the introduction. We now also have a desirable process of “mutual enrichment” underway with Summorum Pontificum.
Moreover, in 2013, the Bishops Conference of the Philippines authorized the St. Michael Prayer for use in all churches nationwide and recommended its use especially in troubled regions. HERE I am not sure that they had to authorize it for it to be used after Mass. It’s after Mass, after all. However, they put their official stamp of approval on the practice.
In these USA, the great Bp. Thomas Paprocki of Springfield did the same for his diocese in 2011. HERE
In a 1994 Regina Caeli Address, St. John Paul II – who should be named Doctor of the Church – recommended that people pray the St. Michael prayer for the Church.
This prayer is coming back far and wide. I’ll bet readers here know parishes where it is a regular feature after Mass.
If people are moved to pray such a prayer after Mass, why should they be stopped? Is there some other important official business that has to be conducted at that very moment? Other than the fact that Father wants to leave?
It isn’t as if people are attempting glossalalia. They aren’t babbling incoherently.
The St. Michael was written by Pope Leo XIII who had a frightening vision the battle between the Church and Satan. He wrote the prayer and ordered that it be added to the prayers Pius IX had commanded to be recited after Low Masses (Pius X added the three-fold invocation of the Sacred Heart), which continued until 1964.
One must ask: Does anyone think that Satan has stopped waging war on the Church? We still need to say prayers precisely like this. Is there a better time than when people are together in church?
It doesn’t take very long to say it. People can have their moment of silent prayer and say their thanksgiving prayers directly after.
If once the Leonine Prayers, with the St. Michael Prayer, were associated with the conversion of Russia, couldn’t they be used nowfor the conversion of these USA? How about for defense of our Christian brethren in the Middle East and Africa from the hellish attacks by Islamic terrorists? Is that a good enough reason? How about for an end to abortion?
Specific intentions come and go. The prayers we recite can be reapplied for other intentions. You could have a different intention each day of the week.
I think that people should pray not only the St. Michael Prayer, but the whole of the so-called Leonine Prayers, including the collect:
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
What’s wrong with that prayer? It even mentions mercy, which is quite fashionable these days. It mentions mercy twice.
We need prayers like these now more than ever.
Bishops and pastors everywhere, and the Holy Father too, should reinstate the Leonine Prayers after Masses.
There are urgent and burning intentions to pray for and these prayers are just the thing.
So, circling back to the question. No. The priest is wrong. Vatican II did not suppress the St. Michael Prayer. The SCR suppress the Leonine Prayers (which were mandatory after Low Masses). However, it the pastor doesn’t want this, he must be respected.
It is, however, entirely reasonable to to keep working on him, perhaps with the St. Michael Prayer!