I loved reading this. I find the mystery of the angels something I look forward to uncovering when I get to heaven. The descriptions God provides in his word of them are fascinating and hard for me to imagine.
Theologians are of the opinion that Archangel Michael surpasses in glory and power all the other angels in Heaven and possesses in the highest and most perfect degree the zeal and the love peculiar to the highest Seraphim. The title, Archangel, does not, in accord with the words of Saints Peter and Jude Thaddeus, signify that Archangel Michael belongs to the choir of angels designated by that name, but that he is an angel of superior rank. The church also invokes him as the prince of the angels, who has supreme command over all the Heavenly hierarchies.
This position of honor was merited by Archangel Michael in the battle that he waged against Lucifer and the rebellious angels before the creation of the world. When God created the angels as magnificent spirits of light and love, which in countless hosts surround his Heavenly throne, he bestowed upon them most eminent gifts of nature and grace. But before admitting them to the unveiled vision of his glory in Heaven, he places them under probation, just as later he subjected mankind to a trial of obedience in the persons of Adam and Eve. The nature of the trial is not known with certainty. Learned and saintly theologians hold that the Heavenly Father revealed to the angels the future incarnation of his divine son, whom they were to adore in his sacred humanity. At the same time he revealed to them the surpassing dignity and glory of Mary, whom, as the mother of God, they were to venerate as their queen.
Thus, Archangel Michael and his faithful followers won a glorious victory. With the swiftness of lightning, Lucifer and his companions were transformed into hideous demons and cast into the abyss of eternal torment and darkness, which God created for them. In reward for his zeal and fidelity, the holy Archangel Michael was made prince and commander-in-chief of all the Heavenly legions. The angels most willingly and gratefully recognize his supremacy, for after God, they owe to them their perseverance in grace and their eternal happiness. With loving submission they receive from him their various offices. They are attentive to his slightest wish, seeing in his commands and regulations the will of God, the sovereign Lord and King of all. Thus Archangel Michael receives highest honor among the angels in the Heavenly court.
The earliest surviving mention of Michael is in a 3rd century BC Jewish apocalypse, the Book of Enoch. This lists him as one of seven archangels (the remaining names are Uriel, Raguel, Raphael, Sariel, Gabriel, and Remiel), who, according to a slightly later work, the Book of Tobit, "stand ready and enter before the glory of the Lord". The fact that Michael is introduced in both works without explanation implies that readers already knew him and the other named angels, which in turn implies that they are earlier than the late 3rd century BC (the earliest possible date of the relevant passages in the Book of Enoch), but although their origins remain a matter for speculation there is no evidence that they are older than the Hellenistic period. He is mentioned again in last chapters of the Book of Daniel, a Jewish apocalypse composed in the 2nd century BC although set in the 6th, in which a man clothed in linen (never identified, but probably the archangel Gabriel) tells Daniel that he and "Michael, your prince" are engaged in a battle with the "prince of Persia", after which, at the end-time, "Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise".
 The seven archangels (or four - the traditions differ but always include Michael) were associated with the branches of the menorah, the sacred seven-branched lampstand in the Temple as the seven spirits before the throne of God, and this is reflected in the Revelation of John 4:5 ("From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God" - ESV). Michael is mentioned explicitly in Revelation 12:7-12, where he does battle with Satan and casts him out of heaven so that he no longer has access to God as accuser (his formal role in the Old Testament). The fall of Satan at the coming of Jesus marks the separation of the New Testament from Judaism. In Luke 22:31 Jesus tells Peter that Satan has asked God for permission to "sift" the disciples, the goal being to accuse them, but the accusation is opposed by Jesus, who thus takes on the role played by angels, and especially by Michael, in Judaism.
Michael is mentioned by name for the second time in the Epistle of Jude, a passionate plea for believers in Christ to do battle against heresy. In verses 9-10 the author denounces the heretics by contrasting them with the archangel Michael, who, disputing with Satan over the body of Moses, "did not presume to pronounce the verdict of 'slander' but said, 'The Lord punish you!'
Michael is called Mika'il in Muslim works generally, but in the one instance in which he is mentioned in the Quran he is called Mikal. The single Quranic mention comes in the QS 2:98, when the Jews of Medina challenged Muhammed to tell them the name of the angel from whom he received his revelations; when he told them it was Gabriel, the Jews said that Gabriel was their enemy, and that revelations came from Michael. The hadith (sayings of and about the Prophet collected by his followers) quote Muhammed mentioning both Gabriel and Michael as two angels who showed him Paradise and hell, and in the early years of Islam the Muslims recited the names of both in the obligatory daily prayers (the salat). The place of Michael, and some of the other archangels, is not clearly identified in the major sources, and among ordinary Muslims knowledge of them is drawn from non-Islamic sources, notably Jewish.
According to rabbinic tradition, Michael acted as the advocate of Israel, and sometimes had to fight with the princes of the other nations (Daniel 10:13) and particularly with the angel Samael, Israel's accuser. Michael's enmity against Samael dates from the time when the latter was thrown down from heaven. Samael took hold of the wings of Michael, whom he wished to bring down with him in his fall; but Michael was saved by God.
A painting of the Archangel slaying a serpent became a major art piece at the Michaelion after Constantine defeated Licinius near there in 324. This contributed to the standard iconography that developed of Archangel Michael as a warrior saint slaying a dragon. The Michaelion was a magnificent church and in time became a model for hundreds of other churches in Eastern Christianity; these spread devotions to the Archangel.
In the 4th century, Saint Basil the Great's homily (De Angelis) placed Saint Michael over all the angels. He was called "Archangel" because he heralds other angels, the title Ἀρχαγγέλος (archangelos) being used of him in Jude 1:9. Into the 6th century, the view of Michael as a healer continued in Rome; after a plague, the sick slept at night in the church of Castel Sant'Angelo (dedicated to him for saving Rome), waiting for his manifestation.
In the 6th century, the growth of devotions to Michael in the Western Church was expressed by the feasts dedicated to him, as recorded in the Leonine Sacramentary. The 7th-century Gelasian Sacramentary included the feast "S. Michaelis Archangeli", as did the 8th-century Gregorian Sacramentary. Some of these documents refer to a Basilica Archangeli (no longer extant) on via Salaria in Rome.
The angelology of Pseudo-Dionysius, which was widely read as of the 6th century, gave Michael a rank in the celestial hierarchy. Later, in the 13th century, others such as Bonaventure believed that he is the prince of the Seraphim, the first of the nine angelic orders. According to Thomas Aquinas (Summa Ia. 113.3), he is the Prince of the last and lowest choir, the Angels.
Catholics often refer to Michael as "Holy Michael, the Archangel" or "Saint Michael", a title that does not indicate canonisation. He is generally referred to in Christian litanies as "Saint Michael", as in the Litany of the Saints. In the shortened version of this litany used in the Easter Vigil, he alone of the angels and archangels is mentioned by name, omitting saints Gabriel and Raphael.
In Roman Catholic teachings, Saint Michael has four main roles or offices. His first role is the leader of the Army of God and the leader of heaven's forces in their triumph over the powers of hell. He is viewed as the angelic model for the virtues of the spiritual warrior, with the conflict against evil at times viewed as the battle within.
The second and third roles of Michael in Catholic teachings deal with death. In his second role, Michael is the angel of death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to heaven. In this role Michael descends at the hour of death, and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing; thus consternating the devil and his minions. Catholic prayers often refer to this role of Michael. In his third role, he weighs souls on his perfectly balanced scales. For this reason, Michael is often depicted holding scales.
Roman Catholicism includes traditions such as the Prayer to Saint Michael, which specifically asks for the faithful to be "defended" by the saint. The Chaplet of Saint Michael consists of nine salutations, one for each choir of angels.
Blessed Michael, archangel,defend us in the hour of conflict.Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil(may God restrain him, we humbly pray):and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,by the power of God thrust Satan down to helland with him those other wicked spiritswho wander through the world for the ruin of souls.Amen. 2b1af7f3a8