Tag: Guardian Angels

Guardian Angels: 11 Amazing Facts Every Mortal Should Know 

Guardian Angels: 11 Amazing Facts Every Mortal Should Know 

Belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity

We owe much to our Guardian Angels, who most of the time guard and protect us without our knowledge

“See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).

October 2 is observed in the Catholic Church as the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels. In 1670, Pope Clement X established this day in the universal calendar as a day to honor the angels who protect us each day.

While most of the attention this day is given to personal Guardian Angels, it is a tradition in the Church (taught by theologians such as Saint Thomas Aquinas) that all countries, cities, dioceses, and parishes have their own Guardian Angel.

They are fascinating creatures of God, shrouded with great mystery. On occasion newspapers will report on miracles when someone is saved from an accident by a mysterious figure, often never seen again.

We owe much to our Guardian Angels, who most of the time guard and protect us without our knowledge. They intervene quietly, fulfilling their task as humbly as possible.

To help us appreciate these “heavenly helpers,” here are 5 amazing facts about our Guardian Angels:


1) Who is a Guardian angel?

A guardian angel is a pure spirit (a created, non-human, non-corporeal being) that has been assigned to guard a particular person, especially with respect to helping that person avoid spiritual dangers and achieve salvation.

The angel may also help the person avoid physical dangers, particularly if this will help the person achieve salvation.

Note that ‘Angel’ is the name of their office. They are actually pure spirits! 


2) Who has a Guardian Angel?

Every person in the world has a Guardian Angel (whether Christian or not). It is believed by theologians and is confirmed in the YOUCAT that “Every person receives from God a Guardian Angel” (n. 55).

This is consistent with Sacred Scripture, the teachings of Saints Thomas Aquinas, Basil and Jerome as well as experiences from non-Christians who believe they were helped by a Guardian Angel.

Mike Aquilina writes about such an experience from a friend he knew in his book Angels of God:

“A friend of mine, a noted Harvard-trained philosopher, was an unbeliever as a young man. One day he was swimming in the ocean, and the undertow swept him away. He knew he was drowning, with no hope of rescue, when suddenly a strong arm grabbed him and towed him to shore. His rescuer was a big muscle-bound guy. When my sputtering friend tried to thank him, the guy laughed at him—and then vanished. This marked a milestone on my friend’s road to conversion.”

Although it is certain that the faithful have guardian angels, it is commonly thought that they are even more widely available. Ludwig Ott explains:

According to the general teaching of the theologians, however, not only every baptized person, but every human being, including unbelievers, has his own special guardian angel from his birth [Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 120].

This understanding is reflected in an Angelus address by Benedict XVI, who stated:

Dear friends, the Lord is ever close and active in humanity’s history and accompanies us with the unique presence of his Angels, whom today the Church venerates as “Guardian Angels”, that is, ministers of the divine care for every human being. From the beginning until the hour of death, human life is surrounded by their constant protection [Angelus, Oct. 2, 2011]. 


3) Where do we read about Guardian Angels in Scripture?

We see angels helping people on various occasions in Scripture, but there are certain instances in which we see angels providing a protective function over a period of time.

In Tobit, Raphael is assigned to an extended mission to help Tobit’s son (and his family in general).

In Daniel, Michael is described as “the great prince who has charge of your [Daniel’s] people” (Dan. 12:1). He is thus depicted as the guardian angel of Israel.

In the Gospels, Jesus indicates that there are guardian angels for individuals, including little children. He says:

See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven (Matt. 18:10).

4) What does Jesus mean when he says these angels “always behold” the face of the Father?

It may mean that they are constantly standing in his presence in heaven and able to communicate the needs of their charges to him.

Alternately, based on the idea that angels are messengers (Greek, angelos = “messenger”) in the heavenly court, it may mean that whenever these angels seek access to the heavenly court, they are always granted it and allowed to present the needs of their charges to God.


5) What does the Church teach about Guardian Angels?

Guardian Angels are appointed at the beginning of life. As the Catechism explains, “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession” (CCC 336). This statement leads some to believe (Saint Anselm for example) that angels are appointed at the very moment of the union of body and soul in the womb. If true (it is not dogmatically declared and is therefore up for debate), it would follow that women who are pregnant have two Guardian Angels watching over them and their child.


6) Guardian Angels have names, but God gives those names to them.

The Catholic Church has instructed us that:

“The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.” (Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments, The Directory of Popular Piety, n. 217, 2001).

The reasoning behind this is that a name contains a certain amount of authority over another person. If I know your name I can call you whenever I want and can feel a certain amount of authority over you. We do not have authority over our Guardian Angels. They only report to one commander: God Himself. We can ask for their assistance or help, but we should not feel like they are at our beck and call.

The Church then discourages us from naming our Guardian Angels as we may receive a name in prayer, but it may not be divinely inspired. It could be influenced by the devil or by our own human thoughts. We have only three names of angels confirmed in Scripture and so any other name we receive is difficult to confirm as inspired by God.


7) Are there dangers to watch out for in venerating angels?

The Congregation stated:

Popular devotion to the Holy Angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations:

  • When, as sometimes can happen, the faithful are taken by the idea that the world is subject to demiurgical struggles, or an incessant battle between good and evil spirits, or Angels and demons, in which man is left at the mercy of superior forces and over which he is helpless; such cosmologies bear little relation to the true Gospel vision of the struggle to overcome the Devil, which requires moral commitment, a fundamental option for the Gospel, humility and prayer;
  • When the daily events of life, which have nothing or little to do with our progressive maturing on the journey towards Christ are read schematically or simplistically, indeed childishly, so as to ascribe all setbacks to the Devil and all success to the Guardian Angels [op. cit., 217].


8) We do not become Guardian Angels when we die. 

Contrary to popular belief, there is no way for us to transform into an angel after death. When we die, we may be separated from our bodies for the moment, but will be reunited with them at the end of time. We don’t become an angel while we wait. All Guardian Angels were created at the beginning of time in a single moment of creation.

Remember the words of God to the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5).

God had a Guardian Angel in mind for you when he created the world.


9) Guardian Angels are here to help us.

The Catechism describes a Guardian Angel as a “shepherd” who is meant to protect us and lead us into everlasting life. Their chief goal is to help us get to heaven, and we are encouraged to pray to them on a daily basis, asking their help in every need.


10) How can we thank them for the help they give us?

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments explained:

Devotion to the Holy Angels gives rise to a certain form of the Christian life which is characterized by:

Devout gratitude to God for having placed these heavenly spirits of great sanctity and dignity at the service of man;

An attitude of devotion deriving from the knowledge of living constantly in the presence of the Holy Angels of God;- serenity and confidence in facing difficult situations, since the Lord guides and protects the faithful in the way of justice through the ministry of His Holy Angels. Among the prayers to the Guardian Angels the Angele Dei is especially popular, and is often recited by families at morning and evening prayers, or at the recitation of the Angelus [Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, 216].


11) What is the Angele Dei prayer?

Translated into English, it reads:

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love
commits me here,
ever this day,
be at my side,
to light and guard,
rule and guide.

Amen.

This prayer is particular suited for devotion to guardian angels, since it is addressed directly to one’s own guardian angel.

SAINT OF THE DAY: Guardian Angels

SAINT OF THE DAY: Guardian Angels


Feast Day: October 2nd
Today we celebrate God’s messengers who protect us human beings. We see them throughout the Bible. Angels delivered messages from God, protected people from dangers and rescued them. The New Testament Acts of the Apostles tells in chapter 12 how St. Peter was led out of prison by an angel. The belief that we each have a guardian angel has been common to Christians for many centuries.

The picture of a guardian angel that we often see is an angel protecting a little child as he or she walks over a small bridge. In 1608, Pope Paul V added today’s feast to the calendar of saints and celebrations. It is very encouraging to know and believe that we each have an angel guarding and protecting us. Our guardian angel is a gift from our loving God.

We can say this brief prayer as often as we would like to throughout the day:

Angel of God,my guardian dear, to whom God’s love entrusts me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

“And so the angels are here; they are at your side; they are with you, present on your behalf. They are here to protect you and to serve you. But even if it is God who has given them this charge, we must nonetheless be grateful to them for the great love with which they obey and come to help us in our great need.” -St. Bernard.

Amazing Real Life Encounters With Guardian Angels

Amazing Real Life Encounters With Guardian Angels

Guardian angels exist. They are mentioned in the Bible and several people have had amazing encounters with the divine beings.

One online community came together to share how guardian angels saved their lives or kept them from severe, life-altering situations.

Across several Reddit threads, several users offered their personal experiences, which resulted in others commenting theirs as well.

User lightenergy shared: “When I was in my 20s, I spent 4 years traveling the world. I was in South Africa, just outside Durban, and a friend had taken me on his motorbike to his favorite waterfall.

“We had both been swimming, but I got cold, so I went to sit on a patch of green grass. To get there, I had to step from the sand I was on, over a log then across a bit to the grass.
“I was walking medium speed, and lifted one foot to step over the log when a VERY loud booming masculine voice shouted “STOP.” Except the shout wasn’t heard with my ears, it was INSIDE my head.

“Hard to explain. Also, there was nobody else around except Tim and me, and he was still happily swimming. I stopped, wondering what had just happened. I still had my foot in the air above the log.

“I looked around, and spotted what I thought was a leaf waving about 6 inches from my big toe. It took me a few seconds to realise that it wasn’t a leaf, but a snake. A Black Mamba.

“He had his head raised, and was licking the air right near my toe. He was waiting to see what my next move was to be, and he had seen me long before I saw him. I slowly backed up and walked very carefully backward to where Tim was.
“I have no explanation [for] the voice that I heard, except that it was so loud and was inside my head rather than heard with my ears, and it came at a time when I didn’t feel in any danger at all – in fact, I was very calm and happy. I feel that it was my guardian angel who shouted at me to stop, as I would have stepped right on the snake. My guardian angel saved my life.”

Guardian angels interact with people all the time – whether their voices stop us from taking another step or they physically appear to us.

Reddit user babylima shared: “A few months after my best friend overdosed on oxycontin, I put myself in a psych ward since I wasn’t taking it too well. I remember one night was especially bad and I couldn’t relax. My doctors ave me an Ativan and let me lay down.

“About 30 minutes later, an African-American nurse with her hair wrapped up, named Angela (being totally serious) came in, asked if I was okay and then started praying with me. She held my hand and we said the Lord’s Prayer until I fell asleep.

“The next morning I went to the nurse’s station to thank her, and the nurses there said there was nobody there by that name or anyone who fit the description. It was crazy.”

Sometimes, our guardian angels don’t even interact with us, but we still benefit from their divine interventions.

One user, lightstep, wrote: “A friend of mine told be about an experience his grandmother had when she was home alone once, in the middle of the day someone knocked on her door and when she went to answer it she was greeted by a man with [a] knife ready to kill her and loot the place, but when he saw her, he went pale and ran, he was later caught and questioned about why he ran, and his response was “when the door opened I saw two large and strong men standing behind her” and to this day my friend swears that it must have been two angels sent to protect her.”

Psalm 91:11 tells us, “he has given his angels orders about you to guard you wherever you go. They will carry you in their arms in case you trip over a stone. You will walk upon wild beast and adder, you will trample young lions and snakes.”

The Bible is clear: We are God’s beloved children and we are protected by his powerful angels.

Source: catholicsay

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