St Michael and the Dragon
One of the most iconic images is St Michael attacking the Dragon. St Michael, often ornamented as a Roman soldier, kills a man, or a more monsterly looking person.
Saint Michael is one of the archangels. The archangels are not in fact of the highest order.
In total there are 9 levels of beings in the angelic hierarchy. The first three (the highest order) are the Seraphim, the Cherubim and the Thrones. Then the middle orders are: the dominions, the virtues and power. The archangels, which are the closest to us humans, are to be found among the lowest orders (Principalities, archangels and angels).
The meaning of angel is in essence: messenger, derived to the word angelos (messenger). In this case, it is the messenger directly from God.
Michael derives from Hebrew, meaning who is like God (Quis ut deus in latin). He himself is the highest of the archangels. His name is a reference to Christian humility which conquers everything. The Devil himself wants to usurp everything and ultimately, the name of God. There is truly no one higher than the highest God, he is not comparable to anything or anyone. The opposite of the Devil is not Christ, but someone in the angelic hierarchy.
Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? (Exodus 15:11)
In the book of Daniel, he is mentioned as a great aid against the perils of the Antichrist (Daniel 10:13). He is represented as the guardian angel of the Israelites. Besides this, St. Michael is often depicted as the One who weighs the Souls.
The killing with the Spear
Just like Christ being killed with a spear (at the Crucifixion), St Michael is depicted with a spear to kill the Devil. The spear that appears at the Crucifixion (The Holy Lance, or Lance of Longinus). There’s a mystical connection between both the Spear of St Michael and the Spear of Longinus. Something very interesting to mention, is that Longinus, the Roman soldier is venerated in the Catholic church.
Sometimes, he’s also represented with a sword, alluding to the sword of the Cherub at Paradise. He’s the guardian of all that is Good.
The Devils name is also the accuser. His goal is to remind us that we are not worthy, just like he was not worthy. His accusations are ultimately empty. He stands in contrast to the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. Satan wants to ruin us through our sins, the Advocate wants to connect us back to God (as the Holy Spirit represents Love).
Let us hope St Michael will arise for us, when we need Him most.
Sancte Michaele Archangele, Ora Pro Nobis