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The Adulteress – A Poem

The Adulteress

by Dawn Pisturino

“It is the law,” Old Moses cried

A-top the mountain called Sinai;

“And everyone who broke it, died,”

The people in the valley sighed.

“And what of me?” the young girl said,

Shaking her black and tousled head.

“I will not send him from my bed,

Not if the sun becomes blood red!”

She spread her arms as if to fly:

“Not if the moon should leave the sky!

I love him! Strong, yet very shy —

The man whose side I must be by!”

Her husband prayed the whole night through.

“What have I done? What must I do?”

He muttered as the sky turned blue.

The laws were made; they must hold true.

The people gathered with their stones

And broke the young wife’s slender bones.

And when she died with cries and groans,

They turned and heard her husband’s moans.

“The price is paid,” they cried as one.

“The sinful tie has been undone.”

The young man turned, as if to shun,

The righteous crowd whose law had won.

~

September 18, 1986; August 3, 2022

Copyright 1986-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Angel Art – The Archangel Michael

Artwork by Luca Giordano

Michael means “who is as God.” Among Jews, Christians, and Muslims, he is the highest angel in the hierarchy of angels. His occult name is Sabathiel. In Islam, he is known as Mika’il. The Zoroastrian book, Avesta, portrays him as Saosyhant, the redeemer.

As chief among angels, he is revered as the “angel of repentance, righteousness, mercy, and sanctification.” He stands guard over the nation of Israel. He is a known enemy of Satan. As the Prince of Light, he leads the angels of God against the angels of Satan in the Dead Sea scroll, The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness. In the Last days, he is the fierce angel who will finally slay the Dragon (Satan).

In 1950, Pope Pius XII affirmed Michael as the patron of policemen. Today, he watches over all first responders. He has been identified as the angel who stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, Isaac, although this act has also been attributed to other angels, such as Metatron. Jewish tradition describes him as “the fire that Moses saw in the burning bush . . . ,” although some scholars attribute this to Zagzagel. Michael may have been one of the three angels who visited Abraham in his tent. Religious lore credits him with assisting the other three archangels – Raphael, Uriel, and Gabriel – with burying the body of Moses. In fact, Michael has been identified as the angel who fought with Satan over Moses’ body.

Islamic lore describes him as bearing wings “of the color of green emerald.” His body “is covered with saffron hairs, each of them containing a million faces and mouths and as many tongues which, in a million dialects, implore the pardon of Allah.” The Qu’ran claims the cherubim were created from Michael’s tears. The Persians regarded him as the sustainer of mankind.

Catholics pray for Michael’s heavenly intercession as St. Michael. They regard him as God’s warrior who protects the faithful from the Devil’s wily snares. As the angel of death, prayers to St. Michael request his intercession in a good and holy death. Fra Filippo portrayed him as the messenger who announced to the Virgin Mary that she would soon be taken up into Heaven.

Michael’s feast day is September 29th (the Feast of the Archangels).

Prayer to St. Michael, the Archangel

Saint Michael, the Archangel,

Defend us in battle!

Be our protection 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, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits

Who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.

Amen.

(1932)

(Eastern Orthodox Church icons) – The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Michael’s feast day on November 8th.

This painting by Cesare Nebbia tells the story of the four apparitions of Michael, the Archangel, that allegedly occurred in Southern Italy many centuries ago.

Apparition #1: A wealthy landowner, named Gargano, in the 3rd to 8th century C.E., lost a bull, became angry when he found the bull grazing near a cave, and shot a poisoned arrow at him. Miraculously, the arrow turned around and shot him instead! The local bishop ordered three days of prayer and fasting. On the third day, Michael appeared to the bishop and ordered him to “dedicate the cave to Christian worship.” Since the cave had been used by pagan worshippers in the past, the bishop did not honor Michael’s request.

Apparition #2: Michael allegedly appeared again in the year 492 C.E., but scholars have determined that the apparition actually occurred later, inspiring Duke Grimoaldo I to defeat the Greeks on May 8, 663 C.E., who had attacked the Sanctuary of Gargano. May 8th is now celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church as the Feast of the Anniversary of the Apparitions of St. Michael, the Archangel.

Apparition #3: After the victory over the Greeks, the cave was finally dedicated by local bishops to St. Michael. But Michael is reported to have said, “I founded it, I myself consecrated it.” When the bishops arrived at the cave, they found Michael’s footprint in a crude stone altar that was already erected there. Since then, the cave has been called the “Celestial Basilica” because Michael consecrated it to himself!

Apparition #4: In 1656, Michael ordered Bishop Alfonso Puccinelli to bless the stones of his cave. Michael carved the sign of the cross and the letters “M.A.” onto the stones. He then told the bishop that “anyone carrying the stones would be immune to the plague” that was ravaging southern Italy. The bishop’s city was cured of illness. The stones, known as St. Michael’s relics, are now used in exorcisms.

In popular culture, Longfellow wrote, in The Golden Legend, that Michael was the spirit of the planet Mercury who brought patience to mankind. In the Hollywood movie, The Bishop’s Wife (1947), Cary Grant plays Michael in the form of a mysterious assistant who suddenly appears to aid the Episcopalian Bishop Brougham.

Dawn Pisturino

September 7, 2021

Copyright 2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Angel Art – The Archangel Raphael

Artwork by Bartolome Esteban Murillo

The name Raphael means “God has healed.” The Archangel Raphael is mentioned in the Catholic Book of Tobit and 1 Enoch.

In The Book of Tobit, he disguises himself as a traveler and helps the son of Tobit, Tobias, pick up some money and take it back home to his father. He binds the demon Asmodeus, cures Sarah of a curse she has been living under, and heals Tobit of blindness. The happy result is that Tobias and Sarah get married and prosper. The Catholic Church regards Raphael as the patron of travelers (especially pilgrims), the blind, happy reunions, sacred marriage, nurses, doctors, and pharmacists, and matchmakers. In Italy, Raphael is the protector of sailors. He is a known enemy of Satan.

In 1 Enoch, Raphael was appointed the healer of all disease and wounds. He incapacitated the armies of Azazel and threw them into the fiery pit.

Jewish tradition regards Raphael as one of the angels who visited Abraham. He was appointed by God to heal Abraham after his late-life circumcision and to save Lot during the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Christian tradition tasked him with stirring the waters in the pool of Bethesda (John 5:2-4).

Muslims call Raphael Israfil. On the Day of Resurrection, he will blow the trumpet that calls the dead back to life:

Raphael’s feast day is September 29th in the Catholic Church (the Feast of the Archangels):
The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates his feast day on November 8th:

(Eastern Orthodox Church icons)

Dawn Pisturino

August 29, 2021

Copyright 2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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