“San Michele watches over and collaborates”: words and images of 8 May

The liturgical feast of May commemorates the apparitions of San Michele to the Bishop Lorenzo Maiorano who gave birth to the millenary history of the cult of the Archangel and of his sanctuary on the Gargano.

It was May 8, 490, in fact, when the Messenger of God manifested himself to the Sipontine prelate uttering these words: «I am the Archangel Michael, and I am always in the presence of God. The Grotto is sacred to me and I am i have choice. Where the rock opens, man’s sins will be blotted out. ”

On many other occasions San Michele made his presence “visible” and made his closeness to the people felt.

In accordance with and in compliance with the rules for the prevention of coronavirus infection, the program of this solemn day included a single Eucharistic celebration, chaired by Mons. Franco Moscone: the dense images of colors, of men and women, of devotional signs, which have characterized the feast of May 8 in recent years, today have given way to an empty and austere view of the Grotto, apparently “inhabited” only by the Pastor and concelebrating priests. In fact, there were no faithful physically present, but the incredible participation through the streaming channels filled the Sacred Cavern with the prayers and supplications of an entire people.

The same initial greeting from the rector, Fr. Ladislao Suchy, opened our eyes to the whole great world of devotees of St. Michael who in this place have always found the sacred reference and consolation for their life and their journey.

In his homily, then, the Archbishop underlined the extraordinary relationship between the dramatic period caused by the epidemic and the Holy Scriptures. In fact, the text of the prophet Daniel reads: “There will be a time of anguish, as there had never been since the rise of the nations up to that time; at that time your people will be saved”.

“That people is the whole of humanity, believing and unbelieving, healthy or wounded, safe or in difficulty that God supports through mediations: and the mediation that we celebrate today is that of Archangel Michael”. The work of the Celestial Prince is to supervise and collaborate: «The policeman is one who gives security and who alerts in times of danger; who collaborates, works in aid and in communion. Michael, therefore, watches over us and collaborates with God in our protection and freedom “.

However, Father Franco also stressed the responsibility of every man in the plan of salvation and highlighted two attitudes that are particularly urgent especially at this time: wisdom and justice. «Being wise means learning from what is happening, from history and from the events because, also through difficulties, God educates: we must not forget the lessons of these days that have apparently separated us, but that in reality have shown us solidarity and commitment to others. Being righteous refers to the duty to remember that “weeds” are always present in the world in the forms of crime, crime and abuse, social, civil and spiritual “viruses” that ruin the world and the Church ».

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