Prayer of Protection

Prayer against evil

An older generation of Catholics may remember a prayer that used to be
said after every Mass -this is an era when the priest faced the altar and the
Mass was said in Latin. But few even of them, perhaps know what inspired
that prayer, composed by Leo XIII who died in l903.

The pope, meeting with several cardinals, sank to the floor as if in a faint.
Some of the cardinals thought he was dead. After some time, he “came to,”
as it were, and told those around him of a terrible ‘vision’ he had been
shown: “what the coming times would bring, misleading powers and raving
devils in all countries fighting against the Church.” As the Most Rev.
William L. Adrian, Bishop of Nashville, narrated the scene to an audience
on Sept. 22, l966, the pope then saw St. Michael appear - “in the nick of
time” - to cast Satan and his legions back into hell.

Following that frightening vision, Pope Leo composed the prayer that for
decades was recited in every Catholic Church in the world. A reader
suggested we would do well to publish it anew:

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard
against the wickedness and snares of the devil, may God rebuke him, we
most humbly pray. And do thou, O prince of heavenly host, by the power of
God, thrust into hell Satan and all other evil spirits that prowl through the
world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

In his l966 address, Bishop Adrian told his audience he hoped Catholics
were still saying the prayer privately. “Some recent popes and saints have
warned us,” he added, “that the anti-Christ will appear around the year
2,000 he is already born. Watch!”

Prayer Against Satan & The Rebellious Angels

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 the Bishop’s

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” (Ephes., VI, l2). Come to the assistance of men who God has
created to His likeness and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the
tyranny 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 and cast him into the bottomless pit “so that he
may no longer seduce the nations” (Apoc. XX, 2).


In the Name of Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, strengthened by the
intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Blessed
Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and all the
Saints. (and powerful in the holy authority of our ministry)(Lay people omit
this parenthesis), we confidently undertake to repulse the attacks and
deceits of the devil.

PSALM 68God 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 Juda, the offspring of David.

V. May thy mercy, Lord, descend upon us.

R. As great as our hope in Thee.

(The crosses indicate a blessing to be given if a priest recites the Exorcism;
if a lay person recites it, they indicate the Sign of the Cross to be made
silently by that person.)

We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, all satanic
powers, all infernal invaders, all wicked legions, assemblies and sects; in
the Name and by the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ, + may you be
snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls made
to the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the Precious Blood of
the Divine Lamb. + Most cunning serpent, you shall no more dare to
deceive the human race, persecute the Church, torment God’s elect and sift
them as wheat. + The Most High God commands you. + He with whom in
great insolence, you still claim to be equal; “He who wants all men to be
saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim., 11, 4). God the
Father commands you. +God the Son commands you. +God the Holy Ghost
commands you. +Christ, God’s Word made flesh, commands you; + He
who to save our race outdone through you envy, “humbled Himself,
becoming obedient even unto death” (Phil., 11,8); He who had built His
Church on the firm rock and declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail
against Her, because He will dwell with Her “all days even to the end of the
world” (St. Mat., XXVIII, 20). The sacred Sign of the Cross commands
you, + as does the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith. + The
glorious Mother of God; the Virgin Mary, commands you; + She who by
her humility and from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception,
crushed your proud head. The faith of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and
of the other Apostles commands you. + The blood of the Martyrs and the
pious intercession of all the Saints commands you. + Thus, cursed dragon,
and you, diabolical legions, we adjure you by the living God, + by the true
God, + by the holy God, + by the God “who so loved the world that He
gave His only Son, that every soul believing in Him might not perish but
have life everlasting” (St. John, III); stop deceiving human creatures and
pouring out to them the poison of eternal damnation; stop harming the
Church and hindering her liberty. Be gone, Satan, inventor and master of all
deceit, enemy of man’s salvation. Give place to Christ in whom you have
found none of your works; give place to the One, Holy, Catholic and
Apostolic Church acquired by Christ at the price of His Blood. Stoop
beneath the all-powerful Hand of God; tremble and flee when we invoke
the Holy and terrible Name of Jesus, this Name which causes hell to
tremble, this Name to which the Virtues, Powers and Dominations of
heaven are humbly submissive, this Name which the Cherubim and
Seraphim praise unceasingly repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the
God of Armies. 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 to hear us. That Thou
may crush down all enemies of Thy Church, we beseech Thee to hear us.
(Holy water is sprinkled in the place where we may be.)

Imprimatur: +Henri, O.M.I. Vicar Apostolic of James Bay - Aug. 15, l967

SAINT MICHAEL, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense
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 thrust into Hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl about the
world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman Archbishop of New York,

February 24,1961

I know of no other prayer like this one that puts the authority over evil back
into Christian hands. It is a profession of faith and should be said daily
aloud in your homes and at the office
The Editor

PDF File of the Prayer of Protection


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