From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS


The Leonine Prayers

These prayers after Low Mass which were prescribed by Pope Leo XIII who composed the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and were reinforced by Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII to pray for the conversion of Russia.

Tradition relates that Pope Leo XIII had a vision that took place in 1884 – 1886

Pope Leo XIII was saying his Mass in his private chapel in presence of some cardinals. At the end of the Mass as he was ready to return to Sacristy, he stopped and stood in a trance white as snow. As he recovered his spirit he went to his office and composed the St. Michael’s prayer as we know it today. He explained that he saw a conversation taking place between God and Satan. The devil pretended to be able to destroy the Church but being in need of time, and God according it willingly.

Leo XIII asked then that this prayer should be recited after every low Masses said in the world as a protection, an exorcism to prevent the misdeeds of the Evil one. It obviously works. The Church has the divine promises of God that the attacks of the devil will not prevail.

Successive intentions have been attributed to these prayers as such as the protection of the Church, the safeguard of Christians in Russia after the Revolution of 1917, the freedom of the Pontifical Sates…

These prayers, in contradiction to the usual rules, are to be said kneeling instead of standing in front of the Altar. Sign of humility.

In 1964, with the first reforms of the liturgy, the Leonine prayers were suppressed. They remain in the extraordinary form.

May St. Michael, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart continue to protect the Church and increase our love for Our Mother the Church, the Holy Father and our bishops.



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