Normandie: Mont-Saint-Michel

One can not understand Mont Saint-Michel without understanding the imagery and significance of the Archangel Michael in Revelations.

Raphael. St. Michael Vanquishing Satan, 1518. Musee de Louvre.

Archange Michel/Archangel Michael/Arcangelo Michele
Revelation 12:7-12:17 (King James Version

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Le rêve de Aubert de Avranches (Photo Dr. Avishai Teicher CC By 4.0)


708: The Archangel Michael appeared to St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet. Aubert repeatedly ignored the angel’s instruction, until Michael burned a hole in the bishop’s skull with his finger.
933: William “Long Sword”, William I, Duke of Normandy, annexed the Cotentin Peninsula, definitively placing the mount in Normandy.
1065: The monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel gave its support to Duke William of Normandy in his claim to the throne of England.
Circa 1420-1430: Les Michelettes – two wrought-iron bombards left by the English in their failed 1423–24 siege of Mont-Saint-Michel – are still displayed near the outer defense wall. The English are never able to take Mont Saint-Michel. The Mount, defended by a few knights loyal to the King of France and protected by a wall flanked by several defensive towers, managed to resist attacks by the English army for nearly 30 years.
1622: The reform of the Congregation of Saint-Maur established a new religious order at the Abbey. They redeveloped the site and attempted to revive the monastic life and the pilgrimages. These monks also had to cope with the arrival of prisoners sentenced to imprisonment without trial, as the Abbey became a kind of “Bastille on the sea”. 
1811: an Imperial decree transformed the Abbey into a reformatory, mainly for common law prisoners and some political prisoners, such as Armand Barbès and Auguste Blanqui.
2003: Mont Saint-Michel was the inspiration for the design of Minas Tirith in the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
2010: Mont Saint-Michel served as the inspiration for the Disney movie Tangled.

Mont Saint-Michel (Photo by JW Bailly CC BY 4.0)

John William Bailly  25 July 2019

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