EAST SANDWICH, Mass. — On January 2, the owners of Mary’s Bookstore in East Sandwich, erected a stunning representation of St. Michael the Archangel in front of their Route 6A store. Unlike similar light-up displays, known as “giants” in the town of Sandwich, this one will remain lit throughout the upcoming year.
According to shop-owners Mary and Edward Wagner, the St. Michael display is not meant to be a Christmas decoration, but rather a beacon to encourage prayer for our country and for the election. “I have always been an enthusiast of angels,” says Mary, who first considered the giant after seeing a Nativity display that was donated to Corpus Christi Parish in 2014. “Last year I didn’t realize where this world was headed. I just thought it would be good to have St. Michael the Archangel.” But as the events of 2015 unfolded, including the emerging refugee crisis and increased terrorism in the U.S. and abroad, Mary became even more convinced that the archangel fit the times.
Recognized by the Catholic Church as one of the greatest of all the angels, St. Michael the Archangel is the patron of police officers, grocers, mariners, and paratroopers. He is invoked as a protector of people and of the Church — especially during critical times.
“People come into the store from all over the world,” says Mary, who has run the store with her husband Edward for 24 years. Mary notes a change in sentiment among her customers over the past 10 years. “Whenever the subject of our country comes up people are saying, ‘We need to pray.’ That is a sentiment that I have seen growing in this country since 9/11.”
“This isn’t about Republican or Democrat or praying for one candidate over the other, it’s about praying for the best election outcome and for the future of our country,” said Mary who hopes that the year-round display — and a ready supply of St. Michael the Archangel prayer cards — will help remind people to pray throughout the election process.