Today holds special significance for a project I worked on for 15 months from January 2017 until April 2018. The project was a gift for my dear wife Charlotte who, although it was a gift, was aware of it and watched its progress. The project was a cross-stitch design measuring 18 inches by 13 inches and featuring St. Michael the Archangel defeating Satan in battle. The significance is that today is the feast day of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Check out my blog from September 11 for more information on the archangels.
I had never before attempted a project this detailed or involved. It consisted of 54,000 cross-stitches over nine pages of solid design and called for 30 different colors of floss, mostly blues and browns. In the early days there was a sense of excitement about what I was doing for my wife, but as the months passed, there were times that I wondered if I would ever finish. Maybe somewhat related or exacerbated by the effort I began to experience severe pain in my left wrist. I later was diagnosed with advanced degenerative joint disease. But God gave me the grace to push through and I learned to offer up the pain for people close to me as I prayed for them. I also tried to remember to pray the St. Michael prayer each time I picked up the project.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
As you can see below the cross-stitch project, finished on April 8, 2018, Divine Mercy Sunday, now hangs on the living room wall of our apartment. It is a daily reminder to us that the battle is not ours. God is fighting for us. And if God is for us, who can be against us?
St. Michael the Archangel