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St. Pope John Paul I encouraging the Leonine Prayers
Question from Mary Horey on 10/5/2017:

It is stated Pope St. John Paul II in a 1994 Regina Coeli address admonished the faithful not to forget to say the Leonine Prayers. What is the exact date of this statement? Please share a reference where it can be verified, so that his statement can be used to further the praying of these prayers. Thank you.

Answer by Judie Brown on 10/5/2017:


On April 24th 1994, Pope John Paul II recommended the Catholic faithful to continue praying the St. Michael Exorcism prayer:

"May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians: 'Draw strength from the Lord and from His mighty power' (Ephesians 6:10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Revelation 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St. Michael throughout the Church. Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.”

(The following is a brief history of how the St. Michael Prayer came to be recited after Low Mass, as described in the St. Gregory Society Newsletter):

Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the Divine power of God cast into hell Satan and all wicked spirits who wander throughout the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

This prayer to Saint Michael is excerpted from the Prayers after Low Mass, the so-called Leonine Prayers. In 1859, Pope Pius IX ordered that special public prayers--three Hail Marys, the Salve Regina, a versicle and a collect--be recited after Mass in all churches within the Papal States in supplication fro the defeat of the enemies of his temporal sovereignty. On 6 January 1884 Pope Leo XIII decreed that the prayers Pius IX had prescribed for churches in the Papal States be recited after Low Mass in churches throughout the world. In 1886 the Prayer to St. Michael was added. The opening words of the invocation is similar to the Alleluia verse for St. Michael's feasts on May 8 and September 29. In 1930 Pope Pius XI decreed a new intention for the Prayers after Low Mass--that Christ "permit tranquility and freedom to profess the faith to be restored to the afflicted people of Russia." The "freedom of the Church in Russia" therefore--and not the conversion of Russia to the Catholic faith in fulfillment of the Fatima promises--was the official intention for which these prayers continued to be prescribed." (taken from the Saint Gregory Society Newsletter, Number 30, Winter 2003)


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