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St. Michael Friday, September 25, 2009

A gift from General Armando Diaz, commander of Italian forces in the First World War. Presented at The American Legion's 3rd Annual National Convention in Kansas City. Inscription reads:

A LA LEGIONE AMERICANA ED AI SUOI UFFICIALI E MEMBRI CHE HANNO COMBATTUTO CON VALORE SUI SANGUINOSI CAMPI DI BATTAGLIA DELLA GRANDE GUERRA A FIANCO DEI SOLDATI DÃ, ITALIA CON MEMORE AFFETO DI CAMERATA
IL GENERALE DIAZ
ROMA OTTOBRE 1921

"To The American Legion and to its officials and members, who fought with valor on the bloody battlefields of the Great War at the side of the soldiers of Italy. With affectionate memory of comradeship.
General Diaz, Rome, October 1921"

The statue portrays St. Michael, the archangel, sheathing his sword. The image is a portrayal of an event in 590 AD when the city of Rome was afflicted by plague. Pope Gregory the Great led a procession to pray for the end of the plague. At the end of the procession, the Pope witnessed St. Michael appearing on the top of Hadrian's Tomb. The archangel's sheathing of his sword was a sign of the removal of God's wrath and the end of the plague.

As a gift from the veterans of Italy, the apparition of Michael ending the plague is a symbolic representation of the entry of the United States into the Great War signaling the end of that great calamity.