Everyone is familiar with the Leonine prayers said after Low Mass, including the short prayer to St Michael.
We would like to focus on a longer version of the St Michael prayer that has been approved by Pope Leo XIII, which we note is published in the 1957 Raccolta (Benzinger Brothers, taken from the 1950 official edition “Enchiridion Indulgentiarium – Preces et Pia Opera”), page 339 (section 446).
Recently we came across a version of the prayer that did not match the prayer referenced above.
The version that we came across is longer and contains the following sentence:
“In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.”
So, we wondered, why was the prayer quite different from the 1957 Raccolta?
We had learned that the St Michael’s prayer was composed by Pope Leo XIII and published in his Motu Proprio of September 23, 1888. However, the Motu Proprio is not available on the Vatican website, so we were unable to verify what the original prayer stated.
We found the longer version of the prayer in two earlier editions of the Raccolta.
The 1910 Raccolta, 6th Edition, available here pg 195, Prayer #292.
The 1908 Raccolta (a friend provided us with a pdf – available here ), has the prayer on pg 264 Prayer #292.
There is also an article discussing it on the FSSP website http://kwtraditionalcatholic.blogspot.ca/2011/09/prayers-to-st-michael-archangel.html
Note also that there is an even longer version of the prayer, but it is a prayer intended to be used by priests for exorcisms. This one is not recommended for the laity.
Our conclusion is that the prayer printed in the earlier editions of the Raccolta is likely to be closer to what was written by Pope Leo XIII. We ask: Why was the prayer shortened and why was the sentence italicized above left out of the later edition of the Raccolta?