From Genesis, we know of the creation of Heaven and earth, thus showing that there is another invisible world besides this visible one. The Fathers of the Church, especially St. Dionysius the Areopagite in his work, On Celestial Hierarchies, speak of this creation of the Bodiless Hosts, or Angelic Hosts, with its nine ranks: angels, archangels, principalities, authorities, dominions, powers, thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim. The Archangel Michael is considered the chief and leader of them.
When Lucifer, a most beautiful archangel, fell in love with his distorted image of himself in pride, he left reality, and was challenged by St. Michael who spoke the meaning of his name, “Who is as God?” Lucifer had become Satan, the Adversary, who then fell like lightning from Heaven into the Hell of darkness and self-love, trying to get other sentient beings to love him more than God. Our holy Archangel Michael is a great intercessor for all. May we remember him and ask for his prayers to bring us to Heaven. This icon is a part of a 16th c. Deisis set, where St. Michael’s hands are raised in prayer before Christ in earnest supplication for us.