The Cult of St. Michael the Archangel and the “Terrors of the Year 1000”

Daniel F. Callahan

in The Apocalyptic Year 1000

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161625
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849666 | DOI:
The Cult of St. Michael the Archangel and the “Terrors of the Year 1000”

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Early in the last century, Henry Adams began his classic impressionistic masterpiece Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres. To Adams, St. Michael was the symbol of the masculine early Middle Ages, years that found the West under constant attack, when great martial strength was necessary for survival, a period very different from the central Middle Ages symbolized by the Virgin Mary and her radiant Gothic cathedrals. Today historians continue to recognize the importance of this cult during so tumultuous a period in the history of Western Christendom. The Byzantine East from a very early time had emphasized the archangel's healing ability. In the West, however, it was his martial qualities that made him important. Protector of the Hebrews, as found in the Book of Daniel, he now became the guardian of the Christian people, master of the heavenly forces in his celestial habitat, which necessitated that his cult be practiced on top of hills or mountains.

Keywords: Henry Adams; St. Michael; Middle Ages; Virgin Mary; Christendom; Byzantine East; protector; Hebrews; cult

Chapter.  14020 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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