We find the description of the battle and his victory in Chapter 12 of the Apocalypse:
"And there was a battle in heaven; Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. And they did not prevail neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast down, the ancient serpent he who is called the devil and Satan, who leads astray the whole world; and he was cast down to the earth and with him his angels were cast down.
And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, Now has come the salvation, and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ for the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, he who accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb and through the word of their witness, for they did not love their lives even in face of death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens. and you who dwell therein. Woe to the earth and to the sea because the devil has gone down to you in great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time."
Therefore Christians consider the Archangel Saint Michael as the most powerful defender of God's people.
In eastern or western iconography, Saint Michael is represented as a combatant, with a sword or a lance in his hand, under his feet the dragon, monster, Satan, defeated in battle. For centuries believers have entrusted themselves to his protection here on earth, but also in a particular way at the moment of judgement according to an ancient invocation:
"Saint Michael. defend us in the day of battle lest we perish on the day of judgement."
The Archangel is also acknowledged to be the guide of souls to Heaven. This role of Saint Michael is pointed out in the Roman liturgy, especially at the Offertory of the Mass for the dead:
"O Lord Jesus Christ King of glory deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the pains of hell; but may the holy standard-bearer saint Michael, lead them to the holy light; which you promised to Abraham and to his seed of old".
Tradition also gives Saint Michael the task of weighing souls after death. That is why he is sometimes represented holding a pair of scales as well as a sword. Moreover in the first centuries of Christianity especially amongst the Byzantines, Saint Michael was considered a heavenly doctor of mens' infirmities. He was often identified as the Angel of the pool of Bethsaida spoken of in Chapter 5 of the gospel of Saint John.
"Now there is at Jerusalem, by the Sheep Gate, a pool called in Hebrew Bethsaida, having five porticoes. In these were lying a great multitude of the sick, blind, lame and those with shrivelled limbs, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel of the Lord used to come down at certain times into the pool, and the water was troubled. And the first to go down into the pool after the troubling of the water was cured of whatever infirmity he had" (Jn 5, 2-4)".
"You not only defeated the great and terrible dragon in the shrine of Chone but a water course formed that heals all the infirmities of the body".
Sings the AKATISTO hymn to Saint Michael the Archangel in the Byzantine liturgy.
Finally, Saint Michael has the singular privilege of assisting at the throne of the Divine Majesty. He himself presented himself like this to the Bishop Lorenzo "I am Michael and I am always in the presence of God..."
And the liturgy of the Council of Trent whilst offering incense, prayed thus: "Through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel who is at the right-hand side of the altar of incense... deign to accept and bless this offering of incense..."Therefore Christians consider the Archangel Saint Michael as the most powerful defender of God's people.
In eastern or western iconography, Saint Michael is represented as a combatant, with a sword or a lance in his hand, under his feet the dragon, monster, Satan, defeated in battle. For centuries believers have entrusted themselves to his protection here on earth, but also in a particular way at the moment of judgement according to an ancient invocation.