In the Basilica-Sanctuary, since the most ancient times, thanks to bulls and privileges granted by the different Pontiffs, a Brotherhood was set up. It is an association of people, even distant and unknown between them, who share the common devotion for St. Michael Archangel and benefit from the prayers of the religious community working in this important Shrine.
This type of religious association dates back to the 8th century and there are good reasons to believe that one of the most ancient brotherhood was born in this famous Sanctuary.
Pope Julius III officially recognized it in 1555.
St. Michael Brotherhood aims:
- to promote the devotion for the Prince of Celestial Militias, St. Michael Archangel, and for all the Angels, especially the Guardian Angel;
- to profess this devotion with full fidelity to Pope’s teachings and to work in collaboration with bishops and priests;
- to invoke the Archangel’s help and protection in every moment in order to defend the Church and the people of God walking towards the Celestial Home.
Whoever wants to join it, has to:
- to affirm his faith in Christianity all his life with deeds and words;
- to fight against every form of evil inherent in society and defend the Christian values;
- to live in God’s grace, confessing and receiving the Eucharist regularly;
- to listen to or to read the Word of God, inspiring his daily life to it;
- to take part (alone or together with his own group) to the Sunday Holy Mass and to masses celebrated for the group;
- to love Our Lady, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church, with filial affection, and pray the Holy Rosary frequently;
- to adore the Most Holy Sacrament for at least an hour a month;
- to recite the Angelic Prayer or the Act of Consecration to the Archangel Michael;
- to celebrate with particular devotion St. Michael’s Days: 8th May (St. Michael’s apparition on the Gargano) and 29th September (St. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael’s Day and anniversary of St. Michael Basilica’s dedication), and 2nd October (Guardian Angel’s Day);
- to pray for the Pontiff every day;
- to profess full adhesion to the bishop and the priest of his own community.
The main seat of the Pious Association is at the Celestial Basilica in Monte Sant’Angelo and the Rector of the Sanctuary is the Director of the Brotherhood.
Everyone can enrol, adults and children as well, the latter even if are unable to assume personal tasks, can be put under St. Michael’s protection by their relatives.
The members can be simple partners and head of groups (supporters).
In this last case:
- they will take care of the activity of their own group, especially they will take part in the Holy Mass together at least once a month with catechesis given by their parish priest;
- they will send an annual report on their activities to the seat of Monte Sant’Angelo and, when they go to the Sanctuary, they will talk to the Rector for an exchange of ideas, giving news and updated information on their association.
All the members are remembered and recommended to St. Michael’s protection in every liturgy that is celebrated in the Sacred Grotto.
A Holy Mass is celebrated for the living partners and for their necessities on the first day of every month and on the following days:
- Epiphany (6th January), Jesus’ Presentation to the temple (2nd February);
- Easter, Pentecost, St. Michael’s Day – 2nd Apparition on the Gargano – (8th May);
- Dedication of the Grotto – 3rd Apparition – (29th September);
- Guardian Angels’ Day (2nd October);
- Christmas Day (25th December).
It is also possible to enrol the dead.
A Holy Mass for the dead members is celebrated on the 15th of every month and on the following days: Ash Wednesday, St. Joseph’s Day (19th March), Anniversary of the 4th Apparition of the Archangel (25th September) and 30th December.
The registration can be asked to the Sanctuary making an offer, and the new member is enrolled when he receives the registration card with the Rector’s signature.
For the living members it is necessary to pay the annual fee and make the registration card sign at the Sanctuary every year (or to send it by mail).
If a member does not pay the fee and does not have any contacts with the Sanctuary for three consecutive years, he loses every right or privilege. The annual signature is not necessary for the dead members.
“MICHAEL”, the bulletin of the Sanctuary, is the official magazine. It is recommended the subscription to all the members of the Brotherhood.