I have quite few questions waiting to be answered, but this more recent question has sparked quite a bit of righteous indignation from the Peanut Gallery, so I thought we'd better get on it.
Thanks, by the way, to the Peanut Gallery, for pointing out my monstrous error yesterday by typing the word monstrous when I meant to type "Monstrance". There's a mistake you don't want to make! I am a terrible typist and an even worse proof reader, so thank you all so much for bringing my attention to that glaring whopper.
I just found your posts and am thouroughly enjoying them!!
With regard to saints, I would like to know the church's teaching regarding the information I am sharing below.
My son's religion teacher (Catholic) won't allow him to choose Saint Michael the Archangel for his confirmation name. My oldest son chose this saint when he was confirmed in 2007, with no concerns, at the same church through a different teacher. In fact, our oldest son had to write a report on St. Michael the Archangel, as his confirmation choice, and had to get approval from our parish priest. We presently have the same priest. The teacher's reasoning for not allowing this confirmation name is that Saint Michael the Archangel is/was an angel not a person.
I am frustrated with her insistance that this saint is not acceptable as a confirmation name choice. After hours of searching the internet I have been unable to find any catholic website or information suggesting that this name is not appropriate for confirmation. In fact, I have read many church approved web-sites that recommend this saint's name as a confirmation choice.
Any information you have to share regarding this concern will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you in advance for your help, and may God continue to bless you as you share with countless others!!!
What I'd like to say is, "What is wrong with this woman?! Is she crazy?!?!?! Is her own Confirmation name 'Dymphna'? Has she not noticed that there are churches named St. Micheal the Archangel? Did she have someone in her life named Micheal who wasn't so nice and therefore wants to put a clamp on any further people having Michael in their name?"
But, of course, in the interest of Christian Charity, we will simply say she in incorrect. St. Michael the Archangel is a wonderful choice for a confirmation name.
She's not entirely one hundred per cent wrong, though---not about that being an appropriate name---but about Michael not being a person.
Angels are not people. They are not dead people who now reside in heaven. As much as we love to refer to our dear departed loved ones behind the Pearly Gates as angels, they are not angels and they never will be angels. Anyone who is dead and in heaven is a saint. Mary is a saint.
Michael is an angel. He is God's favorite angel, if indeed God has any favorites. He is God's 'go to' guy. Angels are a different type of entity altogether. They don't have bodies, although they sometimes manifest bodies. They are pure spirit.
But the Catholic church has no problem with St. Michael as a patron saint, confirmation name, pray for the intercession of, treat him like a saint thinking. What part of SAINT Michael the Archangel is she missing?
Why is Michael called a saint when he is an angel? It's really not rocket science. The word saint is from the Latin "sancta" which means "holy". Is Michael holy? Yes, everyone in heaven is holy. We could just as easily call everyone in heaven Holy George, Holy Joseph, Holy Mary, Holy Peter. In fact, we often do just that.
We don't know the names of that many angels, so through the history of the Church, only three angels have been known as saints: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. And, as such, they have been assigned patronages. Gabriel, for example, is the patron saint of telecommunications. Raphael is the patron saint of young lovers and people leaving home for the first time.
That ought to seal the deal right there. If the Catholic Church is willing to call Michael the patron saint of something, why couldn't he be the patron saint of some one? We're done here aren't we?
Michael has quite a long list, among his areas of interest: grocers, the military, and anything like the military--police, firemen, etc. He was the patron saint of chivalry before it died.
I'm not sure what you can do about this poor lady. Be kind. Print out some articles, show her the other kid and his report who had the bishop give him a little slap while dubbing the boy with a new middle name, enlist the help of the priest who approved the whole thing before. Show her pictures of churches named after St. Michael. Bring in his list of patronages. Purchase a St. Michael medal for her.
And above all, ask her to explain why this great angel is always referred to as SAINT Michael the Archangel and not just Michael the Archangel.
You may just have to ignore her, or go over her head. You'll know who to ask for intercession.