Published by Order Of H.H. Pope Leo XIII

The Holy Father exhorts priests to say this prayer as often as possible, as a simple exorcism to curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm. The faithful also may say it in their own name, for the same purpose, as any approved prayer Its use is recommended whenever action of the devil is suspected, causing malice in men, violent temptations and even storms and various calamities. It could be used as a solemn exorcism (an official and public ceremony, in Latin), to expel the devil. It would then be said by a priest, in the name of the Church and only with a Bishop's permission. (when it is used as a solemn exorcism [=public, "liturgical"] then it is also includes direct commands to the devils to depart.)

PRAYER TO SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Most glorious Prince of the Heavenly Armies, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in "our battle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places" (Eph., VI,12).

Come to the assistance of men whom God has created to His likeness and whom He has redeemed at a great price from thetyranny of the devil. Holy Church venerates thee as her guardian and protector; to thee, the Lord has entrusted the souls of the redeemed to be led into heaven.

Pray therefore the God of Peace to crush Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive and do injury to the Church. Offer our prayers to the Most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us; take hold of "the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan", bind him that he may no longer seduce the nations" (Apoc. XX,2).

PSALM 67: God arises; His enemies are scattered and those who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so are they driven; as wax melts before the fire, so the wicked perish at the presence of God.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, flee bands of enemies.
R. He has conquered, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the offspring of David.
V. May thy mercy, Lord, descend upon us.
R. As great as our hope in Thee.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. May the Lord be with thee.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray. - God of heaven, God of earth, God of Angels, God of Archangels, God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God who has power to give life after death and rest after work, because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no other, for Thou art the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of whose reign there shall be no end, we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty and we beseech Thee to deliver us by Thy power from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares, their lies and their furious wickedness; deign, O Lord, to grant us Thy powerful protection and to keep us safe and sound. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord.

That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty, we beseech Thee in peace and liberty, we beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou may crush down all enemies of Thy Church, we beseech Thee to hear us.

A Simplier Version:

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in this day of battle;
Be our protection 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 power of God, cast into Hell, Satan
And all the evil spirits, who prowl the world
Seeking the ruin of souls.

History of the Prayer

A common story says that Pope Leo XIII, a much needed inspired and faithful reformer of the Church in his time 'overheard' God and Satan talking one evening while he was in prayer. Satan was taunting Our Lord, in much the same way he taunted Him over Job.

"Oh, course, they're faithful, of course they love you - they don't know anything else, everyone listens to the priests. Everyone's obedient, everyone's quiet, no-one has a chance to find out, and explore for themselves." Satan ranted. He came very close to implying that mankind had no free will, because no one seemed to be interested in following evil.

"Stop," God said. "They follow Me and believe in me, because I love them. Do you think they would follow you if they heard you speak? Very well, then, I give you a century. A hundred years to turn my people away from Me. If you can."

Satan laughed. He thought that with the proper exposure and the proper preparation, he would finally have his chance to rule, to be equal to or greater than God. And so began our century, the century of World Wars, abortion, racial cleansing, pornography, contraceptives, and a multitude of opinions, voices, beliefs, theological reforms, liberalism, political and economic turmoil. Many, many souls confused by the Prince of Lies, have stumbled and fallen.

Pope Leo XIII greatly disturbed by what he had heard, or discerned, asked God for some protection, so weapon the world could use against the trickery, lies and snares of the devil. In response, he was inspired to compose the Saint Michael prayer, and to form cenacles - grassroot rosary groups.

The century God granted to Satan is nearly over (surely) and despite his best efforts and what must have appeared to be early and total success, Satan is still losing. The tide is turning, families and single people are turning back to God, seeking and finding answers of Truth out of the tumbled rubble of disception. Prayer groups and cenacles are springing up everywhere, moral issues are discussed in the most unlikely places (well unlikely for the 20th century) and many are pledging themsleves to a greater fidelity to God, the Church and Truth. All praise to The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!