Guardian Angels

1615 Painting of Guardian Angel by Domenichino (public domain)

The memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels marks October 2 on the Church Calendar.  It is a celebration that maybe some now relegate to earlier times – those times when the Mass was recited in Latin and the Prayer to Saint Michael was prayed at the end of Mass.

See the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel at https://churchwonders.com/devotions/traditional-prayers/prayer-to-saint-michael/.  Yet, this protective idea is so relevant today.

It’s true that the belief in a guardian angel assigned to each person to protect from spiritual harm is ancient as it was written about by early Church fathers like Saint Jerome and Saint Thomas Aquinas.  The belief in guiding angels was also expressed in Old Testament readings of Tobit (Tb 5:4).  Guardian Angels were even spoken about by Jesus who said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 18:10).

A popular extension of the recitation of the Prayer to Saint Michael at the end of Mass which started in 1886 was likely a focus on the protection of Saint Michael the Archangel in the home, and eventually a refocus on the individually protective guardian angel.  Children knelt at bedsides each night reciting a prayer to their guardian angel.  I remember it as:

Prayer to My Guardian Angel

Angel of God,

my guardian dear,

to whom God’s love commits me here. 

Ever this day, be at my side,

to light,

to guard,

to rule

and guide. 

Amen.

Today in this tumultuous period, isn’t it comforting to think that an individually protective angel has been assigned to each one of us? That is, an angel who is so close to God as to be able to “always look upon the face of my heavenly father” (see Jesus’ quote above).  This closeness surely means special intercessory abilities, or at least channels to the Father.  So, when the smoke from the fires is raising the air quality index to new levels and the COVID-19 case counts are rising, rather than despair, rest in the comfort that a protective Guardian Angel is keeping a watchful eye over you.

References:

Catholic Encyclopedia at https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

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