medieval prayer to St. Michael; on petitioning saints; books of hours

An article I originally posted in 2011 wherein I explain why punitive miracles (i.e. saints smiting people) and coercion of saints (i.e. people smiting saints) are both things; briefly describe liturgical hours; cover the concept of intercession; and mangle an ut clause translating a 15th century Latin prayer to St. Michael.

Big Lucky Hoodoo

I’ve translated a prayer to St. Michael from a mid-15th century Book of Hours, and I thought I’d share it in between typing light setting reports.

Books of Hours were very popular in medieval Europe.  While few laypeople would be able to own, never mind read, a Bible for much of the Middle Ages in much of Europe, a lot of people owned Books of Hours (comparatively speaking).  They are so named because they are built around the hours of the day – not the 24 hour setup we know, but the monastic and ecclesiastical hours that the day of a monk or nun or priest was divided into.  These “hours” (sometimes called “offices” today) are Matins (basically the first chunk of prayers, at rising or dawn or however you have your day sorted), Lauds or Prime (about 6 am), Terce (about 9 am), Sext (noon), Nones (about 3 pm), Vespers…

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St. Michael Niner Chaplet Bracelet

This one of a kind chaplet bracelet is handmade with 5mm ruby red glass beads, an ornate crucifix with a bronze-toned antiqued patina imported from Italy, a chain extension and lobster clasp if you want to wear it or secure it around a statue or rearview mirror, and a holy medal of St. Michael handpainted in bright and durable enamels. 

The saintly protector par excellence, Michael is called on to defend against dangers both spiritual and physical and from enemies both known and unknown.

Unclasped, this chaplet’s length from end to end is 8.75″. Will fit a 7.5″ wrist, but I’m happy to customize it if you need it shorter or longer. (Just allow a few extra days handling, please!) Medal measures 1″.

This style of chaplet is called a “niner” and is a popular and very portable way of doing a novena for a saint, of keeping your prayer beads close to hand when you’re traveling or need to be more discreet than a full-size rosary might allow, or of having a set of prayer beads the perfect size for wearing as a bracelet or keeping on your car’s rearview mirror or the door knob of your room or home.

One way of praying with a niner chaplet is to call on the saint’s aid on the medal, pray the Our Father x3, the Hail Mary x3, and the Glory Be x3 on the beads, and then the Apostle’s Creed on the crucifix.

Read more about St. Michael (and other saints and angels) in the education section at Big Lucky Hoodoo. And if you’ve never been sure how St. Michael can be a saint and an angel at the same time – and he most certainly is – you can get a little crash course in Catholic ontology at Seraphin Station.

This St. Michael piece is available at Seraphin Station or Etsy.