Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005 and before that a regular correspondent for the paper. His articles have appeared in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Soul, Faith and Family, Catholic Digest, Catholic Exchange <i>, and <i>Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in major newspapers. He is the author of Fruits of Fatima — Century of Signs and Wonders. He holds a graduate degree and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside on the East Coast.
The St. Michael Prayer is getting traction once again in these dire times for the world and the Church. Already, several bishops have directed their priests to have the Prayer to St. Michael recited after every Mass.
When Bishop Jeffrey Monforton who shepherds the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio, had the prayer reinstituted, Mark Nelson saw this call as a great opportunity to help in some way.
“A lot of us Catholics in the pews are aware of the crisis going on in the Church right now,” Nelson explains. “We end up feeling we’re on the sidelines, helpless almost.” But not quite. Because “we can help with this prayer.”
And Nelson is doing so in a big way with a free giveaway.
“This prayer empowers our company to help all of us in the pew to help too,” he explains. Nelson’s CatholicToTheMax.com is giving away the St. Michael Holy Card in bundles of from 50 to 500 — for free. In English or Spanish. All people have to do is pay the shipping. No catches. Get them. Pass them out in your church. In your schools. Have everyone pray the St. Michael Prayer. The times are dire, and St. Michael is a powerful spiritual warrior. His name means “Who is like God.”
The book The Angels makes clear his name “is a battle cry; both shield and weapon in the struggle, and an eternal trophy of victory.” And tells us, “As of old, so today, Saint Michael is the great defender of the Church of Christ on earth.”
By Oct. 19 over 150,000 St. Michael Prayer holy cards were shipped out to all points of the compass as people asked for them to distribute. On that date the free giveaway was to end. But it did not. Orders kept pouring in. Nelson and company decided to extend the offer indefinitely. That’s how important this giveaway prayer campaign is. The more prayers cards get shipped and handed out, the more people and families and parishes will be praying the St. Michael Prayer.
It didn’t take Nelson long to get the cards out once he got the idea after the bishop in his Steubenville diocese called for the prayer.
“We had the artwork already through our business,” he says. “and we put it together and offered it.”
All the equipment was right there in Steubenville at the family-owned Nelson’s of Steubenville and Catholic Family Printing where people can have holy cards, Christmas cards, and so much more custom designed and printed. With equipment at the ready, naturally the St. Michael Holy Cards rolled swiftly off the presses.
There’s added significance in this giveaway for Nelson too. He highlights that “Our slogan is to evangelize everywhere, and we try to encourage prayer.” He calls it “our family ministry mission.”
This is the third time Nelson and family have come up with such a tremendous free giveaway. They made a comparable one for the newly named feast of Mary Mother of the Church. And did a similar campaign for the martyred Father Jacques Hamal.
How have people reacted to the St. Michael Holy Card free offer? “We get a lot of comments online thanking us for offering this,” Nelson says. “Virtually every order sees people say it’s touched them.” Instead of feeling helpless, “by having something like this we feel empowered that were helping.”
Prayer Should Spread
The St. Michael Holy Cards will help spread this urgent and effective prayer across the country to ask St. Michael’s intercession in battling Satan in today’s raging spiritual battle.
Besides the Diocese of Steubenville, several other bishops in the United States have also requested or directed their priests to say the St. Michael Prayer after all Sunday and weekday Masses. A sample includes Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford, Connecticut; Bishop Daniel Thomas of Toledo, Ohio; Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon; Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut; Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois (recited after Masses since 2011); Bishop James Wall of Gallup, New Mexico; and Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas.
It’s a welcome return of the powerful prayer instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and recited after all Masses until 1964 when it was dropped. But speaking in 1964, St. John Paul II told us, “Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.”
Mark Nelson and his family and company have entered the battle in a big way with their free distribution of the St. Michael Holy Cards, equipping fellow Catholics to do their part in joining the spiritual fray to save our Church and country.
Order cards at CatholicToTheMax.com/prayingchurch or from homepage link. If the 500 free ones aren’t enough for their parish or school, people can also order additional cards beyond the 500 free ones. Maybe they’ll even want to think about a St. Michael tee shirt.