Saint Michael Tattoo Designs & Their Meaning

Saint Michael is one of the most well-known angels in the Catholic Church. As a warrior angel who is said to have defeated Satan, it’s no wonder his image is such a popular artwork on so many today.

Some are inspired by his triumphs and hardships and see a small part of themselves in his warrior-like attitude. Etching the archangel on your skin could remind you of your own inner strength and courage. Or for others, you may be inspired because it’s a cool story and symbolism.

Popular Designs and Meanings

Most of us place a great deal of thought into our new artwork and each piece is deeply unique to the individual. For the person thinking of a Saint Michael tattoo, it may simply be because they want to express their Catholic faith. For others, they may feel deeply connected to what Archangel Saint Michael stands for. 

Here are some popular design choices.

A Battle With Satan

Saint Michael defeats Satan not once, but twice! As well as defeating the rest of the fallen angels. The most popular tattoo choice is this battle with Saint Michael wrapping a chain around Satan’s neck.

He can also be seen with his sword raised high and standing on top of the beast. To choose the battle scene is to represent that you’re not one to be reckoned with. This scene is the ultimate symbolism of a person who is committed to ridding the evil and fear of themselves to become the most courageous person that they can be.

A Stand-Alone Warrior

A great way to show your allegiance to this saint is in a stand-alone piece. Saint Michael is known as a warrior, leader and guide. Depending on who you are as an individual, you could etch him in a war pose or portrait pose.

For those who align themselves with qualities of determination, vigor and courage, a full-body piece with his sword raised might be a good choice for you. For those who consider themselves strong leaders with good judgment, an angel looking relaxed and determined may be the artwork for you.

A Guide to Judgement Day

Saint Michael is here to purge you of all of your toxins that cause fear. He’s thought to assist the dead from their deathbed during their ascension to their judgment. This is the angel the Catholic communities call upon for help when they’re feeling afraid or vulnerable.

This is the perfect tattoo for anyone who would like to be reminded of their inner strength through turbulence. This can be depicted through Saint Michael flying with others hand-in-hand. It’s the ultimate reminder to stay true to the good within you and remain free of fear.

Popular Styles for Saint Michael Tattoos

As an important religious figure, Saint Michael tattoos aren’t often transformed into an abstract style. Most artists keep it real, but there are many ways to express your individuality.

Live-Action Scene

A popular style of artwork is the live-action scene. As a warrior, the best way to portray the attributes of strength and courage is through the live battle and struggle to triumph. 

It’s difficult to portray a moment in time in one snapshot. These elaborate scenes are usually timeless, elaborate and unforgettable.


There is something very grand about the Catholic Church and Saint Michael in particular. It only takes a trip to The Vatican to figure that out. A Saint Michael tattoo often has an undertone of regality. 

He is sketched in the angelic white flowing robes with a sense of peacefulness even when he battles. Integrating a royal-like status and motifs into your tattoo with other angels, stars or the sky can bring your artwork to new heights.


Realism is the most common art style to portray Saint Michael. As an important religious figure, many would believe it would be disrespectful to taint him with abstract art styles.

An angel flying through the air with the devil in chains at his feet may seem unrealistic to some. But there is nothing unrealistic about the detail in the scenes of the angel and his endeavors.


If you’re looking for something less elaborate, a portrait may be the style for you. Most Saint Michael portraits are of his whole body. Some look proudly out into the distance to portray leadership and strategy. Others show a determined face of war. 

Whatever the mood or meaning, a portrait is a flexible option for those wanting a more subtle piece.

Colors Used in Saint Michael Tattoos

Saint Michael tattoos’ are often elaborate and a part of a larger piece of art. The coloring is extremely important to consider when deciding on your next tattoo.


For ease of artwork flow, black is by far the most popular color. Black doesn’t mean boring in this case. It is often used with shading to create depth and 3D imagery to the piece. 

For the darker scenes such as the defeat of Satan, thicker lines are often used to portray that darkness and bitter fight. Lighter lines and shading are used to portray lightness involved in a guided ascension by Saint Michael to one’s judgment.

Blues and Reds

A Saint Michael tattoo can make a scene, and a splash of color sets the mood. Although black is very popular, reds are often used to represent the devil. Common designs around the scene may include fire, where red is used to set the artwork alight.

Lighter blues are a sign of peace, light and hope, which is exactly what Saint Michael provides after the fight. For those who prefer a more optimistic style of tattoo, add the angel in the clouds, with a blue sky or with blue in his sword. Choosing to add color to your tattoo is a great way to insight emotion into your piece.

Body Placements

Typically, Saint Michael tattoos are larger pieces, and they aren’t easily concealed. This is due to carving out the entire body of this angel warrior. Here are some common body placements.

Shoulder and Chest

A shoulder and chest tattoo is more popular with men due to its ability to show off a defined chest and deltoid with the right detailed contouring. You can integrate a Saint Michael tattoo into an armor-style tribute. 

You can also create a great action piece stemming from your shoulder to the chest area. If being able to conceal your tattoo easily for employment is a priority, the shoulder and chest Saint Michael tattoo will work well for you.

Upper Arm Sleeve

The saint works well as a part of a sleeve, usually situated on the upper arm. If you’re choosing a medium-sized design, integrating Saint Michael into your sleeve could be a great placement for your new tattoo.

Popular designs for this placement are often full-body portraits or smaller representations of the battle with Satan. It’s a great way to blend Saint Michael into other themes you have adopted on your body.


A Saint Michael design is perfect for a large full-back piece. If you want to create a scene, this is the place for you. The back is the perfect area to etch the defeat of Satan and add drama to the atmosphere.

It’s also ideal for creating the image of one being guided to their judgment day by Saint Michael. With so much space, you’ll be able to create the full intensity of the ascension to God. You’ll also be able to integrate designs of your own or create an overall emotional theme to yours and your artists’ creation.

Best Saint Michael Tattoos