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Guardian Angels
Katie Scott

We find pictures and images of angels all around. Some are on calendars and notecards, prayer cards and souvenirs. But these spiritual beings; they are real and powerful, serving as protectors and ministers of divine care.
Among the myriads of angels are guardian angels. These are special beings who guide and guard every human life.

According to Bishop Paul S. Loverde said in a homily “They are an amazing personal gift, beyond our comprehension,” “Many think that having a guardian angel is ‘too good to be true,’ and so they hesitate to call upon that strong angelic presence as they move through the events of an ordinary day.”
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, from the moment of conception until a person’s last breath, a guardian angel surrounds each human being with “their watchful care and intercession.” The church honours these guardians with a feast day October 2.

Often lumped with fairies and other imaginary creatures, angels are affirmed as truth through Scripture and Catholic tradition. Their existence was dogmatically declared by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215.
Created by God as spiritual, noncorporeal beings who possess intelligence and will, angels “have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation,” according to the catechism.

The word “angel” comes from the Greek “angelos,” meaning “messenger,” and these beings are envoys who aid in God’s saving plan.
When you think of angels, perhaps the big players come to mind: the archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel. That is not surprising, as they are the only angels named in the Bible, and each has a unique role in salvation history. Gabriel, of course, announced to Mary that she would bear the Messiah.

Guardian angels, those you perhaps prayed to beside your childhood bed, also have a place in the story of salvation.
These guardians, according to Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine, “are entrusted above all with helping humanity come to know and love God in this life, so as to enjoy eternal happiness in heaven.”
The church encourages the faithful to pray to and thank their guardian angels daily.

Many saints trusted steadfastly in their guardian angels, including St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis of Assisi, Padre Pio and St. John Paul.
Padre Pio, a Capuchin Franciscan who died in 1968, was granted the vision of not only his own guardian angel but also those of others.
“How consoling it is to know that we are always under the protection of a heavenly spirit, who never abandons us, not even (most admirable fact!) in the very act by which we displease God,” wrote Padre Pio in a letter to one of his spiritual daughters.

According to Father Paul F. deLadurantaye, Arlington diocesan secretary for religious education and sacred liturgy, guardian angels function differently depending on whether or not a person is baptized. For the unbaptized, their main function is to protect individuals from grave harm and evil; for the baptized, their, function along with protection, function is “is more directly supernatural – they serve as a guide on the path to heaven,” he said.

Because they have no bodies, angels are genderless and only take on human appearance so as to be perceived by humans. Scripture talks about angels having wings, indicating their ability to move from one location to another in an instant, said Father deLadurantaye.

According to the Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine, “one can also invoke and pray to the guardian angels of others in their needs.”
Guardian angels, wrote Padre Pio, protect us “like a friend, like a brother. This ought to be a constant consolation for us.”

So consider fitting a prayer to your guardian angel into your day. There is a lifelong friend beside you, ready to lighten your burdens and draw you closer to God.

Prayer to your 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 and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

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Guardian Angels

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