Orthodox and Greek Catholics of Ukraine Celebrate the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel
The feast in honor of St. Michael the Archangel and other angels was founded in the 4th century. This day the church commemorates all angels and the gathering of people on earth to praise the heavenly beings.
The main purpose of the feast, as noted by Fr. Julian Katrij in the book "Know Your Rite," is to magnify and glorify the Holy Archangel Michael, and with him other angels. Archangel (Greek "supreme leader") Michael's Church is first among the angels, as he led and won a fight of good angels against angels who spoke against God. Therefore, in iconography representing the archangel, St. Michael is depcted as an armed commander.
St. Michael is the patron saint of Kyiv. Archangel Michael had been a patron of the Ukrainian capital since ancient times: in the archives there are international agreements signed by Prince Volodymyr the Great and Yaroslav the Wise, and stitched-rings seals depicting winged warrior.
According to legends, the supreme warlord of celestial forces helped to defeat the army of Prince Sviatopolk Polovtsian, appearing on St. Sophia as a winged bird in knight armor. Not far from the place in 1108 Svyatopolk built St. Michael's Cathedral.
According to historical records, the archangel was depicted on the blazons of Prince Monomakh's clan, of the Kyiv province, and of Kyiv (first official emblem of the capital appeared when Kyiv was granted Magdeburg Law). The archangel was on the main banners of Bohdan Khmelnytsky and numerous Cossack flags. His image is also on the Kyiv city banner now.
Scupltures of Archangel Michael were installed on Independence Square and on the pediment of the gold-domed St. Michael's Cathedral. These were the locations there the Euromaidan which later developed into the Revolution of Dignity (2013-2014) started exactly on the St Michael's day 21 of November 2013 after president Yanukovych refused to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union. Revolution ended with 100 dead on the main square on the Ukrainian capital. President Yanukovych left the country.