St. Michael the Archangel, commander of the heavenly host, patron of soldiers, remember us in our daily struggles against the powers of darkness; and remember especially our soldiers in Afghanistan, and specially the brother of my best friend, R.
You who stood faithful in the midst of rebellion; you who fought with the red dragon and threw him from heaven; you who argued with the prince of this world over the body of Moses and rebuked him in the name of the Lord; you who warred against the rebel angels of Babylon and delivered the people of Israel; you who appeared to Our Lady in the hour of her dying and announced the privilege of her Assumption into Heaven; you who appeared to Constantine and showed him the vision of the cross above his armies; you who inspired Joan of Arc in the hour of her triumph and consoled her in the hour of her martyrdom; in all this you have stayed ever faithful to our God and an example of just and righteous struggle. Watch over the men and women who are engaged in the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Intercede for them so that they may be given the virtue of courage, the virtue of hope, the virtue of self-control, the virtue of fortitude, and above all the virtue of justice. Bless their struggle and ensure that it is ordered not towards national glory but to the ends of justice, love, and charity. Preserve them from despair, preserve them from fear, preserve them from danger, from disease, from murder, from torture, from capture. Lead them to remember the task in which they are engaged, to succour the weak and to deliver a captive nation from tyranny and misrule. Watch over, especially, the brother of my best friend, R., and preserve him in good health and safety, and let him not fall victim to the tragedies of war. Above all, preserve our soldiers in the path of righteousness and let them never fall victim to the temptation by which the evil one corrupted Caiaphas the high priest, the temptation to do evil that good may come of it, and to break the laws of war by resorting to torture, to the killing of civilians, or to the maltreatment of those for whom they are fighting. Intercede for us, and for them, before the throne of the One True God, who was and is and is to come. I ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
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