The Cathedral of Archangel Michael and other Heavenly bodiless
Celebration of the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael was established in the beginning of the IV century at the local Council of Laodicea (a few years before the First Ecumenical Council), which condemned and renounced as heretical the worship of angels as creators and rulers of the world and it affirmed their proper Orthodox veneration.
St. Epiphanius in the book “On heresies,” describes this superstition: “the Doctrine of the angels was as follows: seven angels created the world and all that is in the world. The creation of man happened so: the angels are gathered together, schemed together and created man, in the likeness printshow more than a bright image… But when man was created the angels on his impotence could not complete his creation. The man was lying on the ground and was humiliated in the likeness of reptile worm as long as the Supreme Power, nestled up and moved with compassion, for the sake of Their own image and form, of grace sent a spark of His power and thus it was restored and alive in person. This spark is the soul of man, which must be saved.”
In contrast to these conjectures, Church tradition honors the Archangel Michael as the head Archangel of the Holy host of angels standing guard God’s law. The image of the Archangel — patron and colleague “militant Church”, i.e. all the faithful children of God who oppose the forces of evil, present in the Apostolic era (Jude.1:9).
The image of the Archangel, starting from IX century, was always present on the military flags.
The meaning of the word, Michael (Heb. — “No one like God”) — angel, possessing extraordinary, unparalleled spiritual power. The prophet Daniel he appears as the defender and protector of the Jewish people (Dan. 10:13,21; 12:1). In the book of revelation he is depicted the protector of the Christians and the dispeller of the dragon with his angels: “there was war in heaven; Michael and his Angels fought against the dragon, and he was the great dragon, that ancient serpent, called the devil and Satan, with his angels on the earth”; then in his anger he began to harm the Church of Christ and continues to wage war with the saints (Apoc. 12:1-17); but, as a consolation to believers in revelation says that this primordial struggle against the enemy of our salvation will end sovershennoe victory of the lamb (Apoc. 19; 20), and in the struggle with the serpent we have the highest defenders and protectors, led by the Holy Archangel Michael.
The veneration of the Archangel Michael in the Orthodox Church dates back to the ancient times. In Russia, the Archangel Michael was worshipped primarily as a heavenly warrior, who heads the Lord’s army, the appearance of which all the evil spirits hiding or even falls to the ground.
In Orthodox icons the Archangel Michael in armour with a flaming sword in hand. It tramples the dragon, which symbolizes evil. He stands at the gates of heaven, not allowing to enter those who is not ready. And he is depicted on the doors of the iconostasis, through which the clergy out from the altar.
In the Jewish tradition, Michael is one of the four angels standing before the throne of God and guarding the four cardinal directions.
In the Quran he is referred to as lo, has emerald green wings and is in the seventh heaven, on the border of the sea, full of countless number of angels. In Islam, Mikail — one of the four highest angels. He gives of God’s creation-food and controls the winds and the clouds.
In Russia the veneration of the Archangel Michael began with baptism in ancient Kiev at the time of the adoption of Christianity was erected Cathedral of the Archangel, and a monastery. It involves a lot of Russian place names (the city of Arkhangelsk, Arkhangelsk and numerous villages), the Archangel Michael monasteries, cathedrals and churches are across the country, and the burial-vault of Russian tsars in the Kremlin dedicated to him. And the first Romanov, was elected after the Turmoil, in 1613 the throne was baptized in the name of the Archangel of the Heavenly Host.
In 1988, when we celebrated the 1000th anniversary of the baptism of Rus, the first parish Church in Moscow, which the Soviet government returned the Church became a temple in honour of Archangel Michael in Troparevo.