A mysterious imaginary line links seven monasteries, from Ireland to Israel. Is it just a coincidence? These seven sanctuaries are very far from each other, and yet they are perfectly aligned. The Sacred Line of Saint Michael the Archangel represents, according to legend, the blow the Saint inflicted on the Devil, sending him to hell.
In any case, it is surprising how well these sanctuaries are, in fact, aligned. But the details of such alignment are also astonishing. The three most important sites, Mont Saint Michel in France, the Sacra of San Miguel in Val de Susa, and the Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo in the Gargano, are all the same distance, one from the other. Some say this is a reminder from the Holy Archangel that the faithful are expected to be righteous, walking the straight path.
The line begins in Ireland, on a desert island, where the Archangel Michael is said to have appeared to Saint Patrick to help him liberate that country from the Devil.
The line then heads south and stops in England on St. Michael's Mount, a Cornish islet which, at low tide, joins the mainland. Here Saint Michael is said to have spoken to a group of fishermen.
The sacred line then goes on to France on another famous island, Mont Saint-Michel, which also is one of the places where Saint Michael has appeared. In 709, the Archangel appeared to Saint Aubert, urging him to build a church in the rock. The work began immediately, but the Benedictine abbey was not fully built until the year 900.
About 1,000 kilometers away, in Val de Susa, Italy, the fourth sanctuary arises: the Sacra di San Michele. The very same straight line links this sacred place to the rest of the monasteries dedicated to Saint Michael. The construction of the abbey began around the year 1000, and throughout the centuries, new structures have been added to the original building. The Benedictine monks also added an inn, because this holy place was on the way for the pilgrims who traveled through the Via Francigena.
Moving another thousand kilometers in a straight line, one reaches Puglia where an inaccessible cavern has become a sacred place: the Sanctuary of Saint Michael. Its story goes back to the year 490 when Saint Michael appeared to San Lorenzo Maiorano. It is the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
From Italy, the Archangel's footprints reach the sixth sanctuary. This one is in Greece, on the island of Symi. This monastery houses a three-meter-high statue of the Archangel, one of the largest in the world. It is the most important place of worship all over Greece. According to historians, it was built around 450 AD on the site of an ancient temple dedicated to the god Apollo.
On the ridge of Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, is the monastery of Stella Maris. It was founded in the Byzantine era and is located in a cave in which, it was believed, the prophet Elijah lived. After some time, the monastery became a place of worship to Saint Michael.
The Sacred Line ends in Israel at the Mount Carmel Monastery in Haifa, Israel. This place has been revered since antiquity, and its construction as a Christian and Catholic sanctuary dates back to the 12th Century.