Guardian Angels

detail of a painting of a Guardian angel, Domenico Zampieri, 1615, Museum of King Jan III's Palace at Wilanów, PolandMemorial

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The term guardian angels refers to the belief that each person has an angel who is available to shepherd their soul through life, and help bring them to God.

Belief in the reality of angels, their mission as messengers of God, and man’s interaction with them, goes back to the earliest times. Cherubim kept Adam and Eve from slipping back into Eden; angels saved Lot and helped destroy the cities of the plains; in Exodous Moses follows an angel, and at one point an angel is appointed leader of Israel. Michael is mentioned at several points, Raphael figures large in the story of Tobit, and Gabriel delivered the Annunciation of the coming of Christ.

The concept of each soul having a personal guardian angel, is also an ancient one, and long accepted by the Church

See that you despise not one of these little ones [children]: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. – Jesus, Matthew 18:10

How great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it. Saint Jerome in his commentary on Matthew

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation? Hebrews 1:14

The feast celebrating the angels who helped bring us to God began in many local calendars centuries ago, and was widely known by the 16th century. Pope Paul V placed a feast venerating the angels on the general calendar on 27 September 1608. Ferdinand of Austria requested that it be extended to all areas in the Holy Roman Empire. Initially placed after the feast of Michael the Archangel, it was seen as a kind of supplement to that date. Pope Clement X elevated the feast, celebrated 2 October, to an obligatory double for the whole Church. On 5 April 1883, Pope Leo XIII raised the feast to the rank of a double major.

Patronage

Readings

Since thou the power receivest my soul to guard, cease never to cover it with thy wings. – John the Monk

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen. – traditional prayer to your angel guardian

Our weakness is such that, if the guardian angels had not been given to us, we could not resist the many and powerful attacks of the evil spirits. For this purpose, we had need of a higher nature. That is why God has taken these spirits out from among His treasures, and has given through them an aid to human weakness, so that this divine assistance might help us against the powers of this world of darkness to attain the heritage of salvation. Saint Hilary of Poitiers

Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life. Saint Basil the Great

An angel is put in charge of every believer, provided we do not drive him out by sin. He guards the soul like an army. Saint Basil the Great

We pray to the angels, for they are given to us as guardians. Saint Ambrose of Milan

So valuable to heaven is the dignity of the human soul that every member of the human race has a guardian angel from the moment the person begins to be. Saint Jerome

Our deeds are daily, both day and night, reported to the Lord by the angels assigned to us. Saint Benedict of Nursia

They are the guardians of the divisions of the earth; they are set over nations and regions allotted to them by their Creator. They govern all our affairs and bring us help. And the reason surely is that they are set over us by the divine will and command and are ever in the vicinity of God. Saint John of Damascus

The world of pure spirits stretches between the Divine Nature and the world of men. Because Divine Wisdom has ordained that the higher should look after the lower, angels execute the divine plan for human salvation: They are our guardians, who free us when hindered and help to bring us home. Saint Thomas Aquinas

If you find it impossible to pray, hide behind your good angel and charge him to pray in your stead. Saint John Mary Vianney

When tempted, invoke your angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your guardian angel. Saint John Bosco

MLA Citation

  • “Guardian Angels“. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 March 2019. Web. 16 June 2019. <>