Educational Information

This page has information about St. Michael's church as well as the Orthodox faith in general.

Who is St. Michael?

Photo of stained glass window depicting St. Michael

Stained glass window depicting St. Michael

St. Michael is a guardian angel who watches over and protects all those who serve God. He is the Defender of the Faith. In Hebrew, “Michael” means “One who is like God.” Icons of St. Michael are written with him holding a double-edged sword. The two edges are truth and justice.

St. Michael is the most powerful of the four principle archangels (the other three are Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel). In both the Old and New Testaments, St. Michael stands against the forces of Hell. St. Michael is the ideal warrior for God, always exhibiting courage and loyalty. His battles are won not by his own efforts, but because he always invokes the power of God.

St. Michael has four duties: he fights against evil, personified by Satan, Lucifer, and the dragon; he rescues souls of the faithful; he transports them to Heaven for judgement; and he is the champion of God's people. In this last role, Daniel (10:13, 10:21, 12:1) identified Michael as the patron of Israel.

Holy Icons

One of the first things that strikes a non-Orthodox visitor to an Orthodox church is the prominent place assigned to the Holy Icons. The Iconostasis (Icon-screen) dividing the Altar from the rest of the church is covered with them, while others are placed in prominent places throughout the church building. Sometimes even the walls and ceiling are covered with them in fresco or mosaic form. The Orthodox faithful prostrate themselves before them, kiss them, and burn candles before them. They are censed by the Priest and carried in processions. Considering the obvious importance of the Holy Icons, then, questions may certainly be raised concerning them: What do these gestures and actions mean? What is the significance of these Icons? Are they not idols or the like, prohibited by the Old Testament?

Some of the answers to these questions can be found in the writings of St. John of Damascus (f776), who wrote in the Mid-Eighth Century at the height of the iconoclast (anti-icon) controversies in the Church, controversies which were resolved only by the 7th Ecumenical Council (787), which borrowed heavily from these writings.


Additional Information

The following links provide excellent resources on Orthodoxy and educational items:

Also, the parish maintains a small library of educational books that parishioners are welcome to sign out. As we receive donations we purchase additional materials, and currently have the following available:


Preparing a Pascha Basket

Wondering what to put in your Pascha basket or curious why certain items are traditionally included? Father Daniel Ressetar has shared an article with us with the details. Take a look at the article here.