Legend has it, there’s an imaginary line that begins in Ireland and ends in Israel. It symbolizes the sword St, Michael used to thwart Satan. Along this line, there are seven sanctuaries that are perfected and placed along the imaginary straight line. While there are many places devoted to the prince of God’s army, these seven were chosen to be on this line.
The sword even symbolizes Christendom’s combat against paganism.
Skellig, Michael, Ireland
Every line has a beginning. Its first location is on a desert line in Ireland called Michael’s Rock. St. Michael would appear to St. Patrick and instruct him to drive the devil out of Ireland. Many statues have the beloved Irish saint standing on top of a snake.
Star Wars fans may recognize the location from the recent trilogy in The Last Jedi when Rey trains to become a Jedi Knight from Luke Skywalker.
St. Michael’s Mount, England
From Michael’s Rock, the line goes south to England. Here, St. Michael spoke to a group of fishermen.
Mont St. Michel, Normandy, France
Located off the coast of Normandy, the line goes into France to a well-known island in France. In 709, St. Michael appeared to St. Aubert to build a church in the rock. The Benedictine Abbey took less than 200 years to complete.
Sacra di San Michele, Italy
Often referred to as St. Michael’s Abbey, Sacra Di San Michele sits on Mount Pirchiriano, which is on the outskirts of Northwest Italy in Turin. Under the Benedictines, an inn was constructed to accommodate pilgrims. St. Giovanni Vincezno had a devotion to the archangel as he saw materials miraculously reaching the pinnacle of the abbey.
The abbey today is under the care of the Rosminians.
Santuario Di San Michele Archangelo, Italy
About another 1000 kilometers in a straight line, we reach Puglia, Gargano, Italy. In 490, a bishop received three visits or apparitions from St. Michael and was instructed to build a sanctuary in a cave. It is considered a minor basilica. The first and third were that to build a sanctuary in his honor. The second was to foretell of his intercession on behalf of the Sipontans and the Beneventans against invading pagan Neapolitans.
Every May 8th a special feast day to St. Michael is celebrated to commemorate the victory in 663.
Symi’s Monastery, Greece
The sixth sanctuary can be found in Greece. In the southeast Aegean Sea is an island called Symi. The island has several monasteries and churches devoted to St. Michael. The one that is most popular is Symi’s Monastery which houses a 3-meter-high statue of the archangel, making it the largest in the world. It was built over the Temple of Apollo.
Mount Carmel Monastery, Haifa, Israel
The seventh and final point of the line is in Israel. The final sanctuary is located on the slopes of Haifa in Israel and is home to Discalced Carmelite Monks. Built-in the 12th Century, the monastery features a statue of Our Lady Mount Carmel and a grotto to the Prophet Elijah.
St. Michael even reminded us that “the faithful are expected to be righteous, walking the straight path.”
Another surprise about the line is it falls perfectly aligned with the sunset of Northern Hampshire during the Summer solstice.