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Guardian Angels
CERC ^ | September/October 1998 | CHRISTINE J. MURRAY

Posted on 10/01/2008 9:38:22 PM PDT by Salvation

Guardian Angels


The guardian angel simply has one task that has many facets — to lead the human to the Passion and Cross. Embracing the cross is the only way human beings reach heaven. He does this mainly through pricking our conscience so we can follow the will of God.

Fr. Frederick William Faber, who followed John Henry Newman into the Catholic Church in 1845, succinctly and eloquently describes the guardian angels’ relationship to us in “Hymn to My Guardian Angel”.

“Dear angel! Ever at my side.
How loving must thou be
To leave thy home in heaven to guard
A guilty wretch like me.”

The belief in guardian angels has been taught implicitly in Scripture, in both the Old and New Testament. Besides personal guardian angels, all of Israel was thought to have a guardian angel, as is seen in Exodus 23:20-23.

Two angels led Lot and his daughters out of Sodom and Gomorrah. The angels, disguised as men, had been staying with Lot’s family. Men from the village accosted Lot to offer his visitors for wicked entertainment. When Lot refused, the villagers came after him. The angels shielded him, then informed him of Yahweh’s plan to destroy the city. [1]

After Israel worships the golden calf, Moses offers to atone for their sins. Yahweh tells him they will be punished anyway, but says, “Go now, lead the people to the place of which I told you. My angel shall go before you.” [2]

In Psalms 91:11, it is written that “He will put you in his angels’ charge to guard you wherever you go.”

An angel appears to Daniel to tell him of his 21day struggle with the prince of Persia and his help from Michael the Archangel. He then tells Daniel what will happen to his people. [3]

Raphael the Archangel accompanied Tobias on his journey to collect the silver his father had left 20 years earlier with Gabael in Media. In the process, he also found Sarah for him to take for a bride and a cure for his father Tobit’s blindness. [4]

Jesus speaks of guardian angels in the Gospel according to Matthew when he says, “See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.” [5]

In the first chapter to the Hebrews, Paul refutes claims that the angels were made above God’s Son. He also says of angels, “The truth is they are all spirits whose work is service, sent to help those who will be the heirs of salvation.” [6]

The most dramatic evidence in the New Testament is in Acts 12, where an angel miraculously delivers Peter from prison. When the apostle realized that he had been freed from Herod, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John Mark, where a servant named Rhoda came to answer it. She was so overjoyed at hearing his voice that she left him outside to tell the others. They told her she was mad. Upon her insistence, they said, “It must be his angel!” [7]

All angels, having no bodies, are pure spirit. Although the Fourth Lateran Council defined the presence of angels, belief in the guardian angels is implicit in Scripture (as we have seen) and has rich history in Sacred Tradition.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by (the angels’) watchful care and intercession.” [8] ‘St. Basil states further, “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” [9]

Early Church fathers differed in opinion about when a guardian angel is actually assigned — at birth or at baptism. Origen shows scriptural basis for both opinions. [10] While the Church leaves this question open, most of the Fathers held that all men, baptized or not, have a guardian angel. However, those who have the “indelible mark” of baptism and a new life in Christ require more attention, guidance and protection to ensure that they will reach heaven.

The Church has taught over the centuries that every angel in heaven has one chance to become a guardian angel, from the seraphim down. The angel has to “lower himself” to serve his protégé on earth, but in so doing learns more about the Incarnation. Every Mass at which a human assists provides an awesome opportunity to his guardian angel, to behold the Incarnate God. Holy hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament are also delightful experiences for our protectors.

Other ways to foster a relationship with one’s guardian angel includes praying to the angel to intercede for us and engaging in conversation. To this end, naming the angel may be helpful, but the angel’s name is inexpressible in human language. If one is to take the trouble giving his angel a moniker, it should conform with revelation. Whenever angels have appeared in Sacred Scripture in human form, it has been in male form only. Since angels have no gender, this is somewhat puzzling. However, we need to conform to public revelation.

The guardian angel simply has one task that has many facets — to lead the human to the Passion and Cross. Embracing the cross is the only way human beings reach heaven. He does this mainly through pricking our conscience so we can follow the will of God. He encourages us to thank God for the many humiliations we receive daily, even when his voice is being drowned out because the fallen one is helping to stir up our pride and roars in our ears. Guardian angels do this indirectly working through the imagination and memory. A secondary role is to physically protect. We might notice this indirectly. For instance, we might not be able to locate an item, which then detains us. Only later do we learn that we would have likely been in danger had we not been detained.

Today’s society does much to roar in our ears and keep us from becoming holy. As Jesus inferred to Peter, [11] we are like sheep. Anyone who raises these animals knows that anytime a person walks into a barn, the whole place has the deafening din from their bleating. The sheep think they are hungry, even if they ate an hour before. A good shepherd knows that feeding sheep too much “junk food” or too often will only make them fat and lazy. Despite some modernist priests’ claims otherwise, humans are still like sheep in this sense. We need to be fed, and we need to be led to safety.

Those who live in the world without someone to lead them to safety are akin to a herd of cattle that Laura Ingalls Wilder described after an early fall blizzard in the Dakota Territory.

Range cattle had drifted before the storm for a hundred miles. Blinded and confused they had gone over a high bank of the Cottonwood River, the later ones falling on top of the first, breaking through the ice of the river and floundering in the water and loose snow until they had smothered and frozen to death. [12]

Angels have been depicted. [13] as hovering over a terrified sheep and preparing to free the animal from entanglement from brambles. In much this way, guardian angels can help to serve as guides in this world. It is much easier, however, if we cooperate with the guardian angel. We often struggle in our sin, only to be further trapped and have its barbs dig deeper.

It behooves man to pay attention to his angelic protector. Failing to take advantage of all God provides him to ensure he embraces the cross brings the risk that the angel he will face in eternity is the evil one.


  1. Exodus 19. Back to text.
  2. Exodus 32:34. Back to text.
  3. Daniel 10:20a-11:2. Back to text.
  4. Tobit 5:1-11:15. Back to text.
  5. Mt. 18:10. Back to text.
  6. Heb. 1:14. Back to text.
  7. cf. Acts 12:12-16. Back to text.
  8. CCC 336. Back to text.
  9. St. Basil, Adv. Eunomium III, 1: pg 29, 656B. Back to text.
  10. Commentary on Matthew 12, 27-28. Back to text.
  11. cf. John 21:15-18. Back to text.
  12. The First Four Years, Harper and Row, 1971, p 41. Back to text.
  13. Description is based on cover art for prayer pamphlet, including Invocations to the Holy Guardian Angel and Litany of the Guardian Angels, available at Gethesamini Chapel of Adoration, 13770 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48205. Back to text.


Murray, Christine J. “Guardian Angels.” The Catholic Faith 4, no. 4 (September/October 1998): 4-5.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; saints
For your continued discussion.

And prayer.

1 posted on 10/01/2008 9:38:22 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: All
Prayers to your Guardian Angel

Prayer When Unable to Assist at Daily Mass

Go, my Angel Guardian dear,
To church for me, -----
the Mass to hear.
Go, kneel devoutly at my place
And treasure for me every grace.
At the Offertory time
Please offer me to God Divine.
All I have and all I am,
Present it with the Precious Lamb.
Adore for me the great Oblation.
Pray for all I hold most dear
Be they far or be they near.
Rmember too, my own dear dead
For whom Christ's Precious Blood was shed.
And at Communion bring to me
Christ's Flesh and Blood, my food to be.
To give me strength and holy grace
A pledge to see Him face to face
And when the Holy Mass is done
Then with His blessing, come back home.

Novena Prayer to One's Guardian Angel

[A novena is made by saying a prayer for nine days in succession.]

  O HOLY ANGEL, whom God, by the effect of His goodness and His tender regard for my welfare, has charged with the care of my conduct, and who assists me in all my wants and comforts me in all my afflictions, who supports me when I am discouraged and continually obtains for me new favors, I return thee profound thanks, and I earnestly beseech thee, O most amiable protector, to continue thy charitable care and defense of me against the malignant attacks of all my enemies. Keep me away from all occasions of sin. Obtain for me the grace of listening attentively to thy holy inspirations and of faithfully putting them into practice. In particular, I implore thee to obtain for me the favor which I ask for by this novena. [Here mention your petition.] Protect me in all the temptations and trials of this life, but more especially at the hour of my death, and do not leave me until thou hast conducted me into the presence of my Creator in the mansions of everlasting happiness. Amen.

St. Gertrude's Prayer to One's Guardian Angel

O MOST holy Angel of God, appointed by God
to be my guardian, I give thee thanks for all the
benefits which thou hast ever bestowed on me in
body and soul. I praise and glorify thee that thou
condescended to assist me with such patient
fidelity, and to defend me against all the
assaults of my enemy. Blessed be the hour in
which thou were assigned me for my guardian,
my defender and my patron. In acknowledgment
and return for all thy loving ministries to me, I
offer thee the infinitely precious and noble Heart
of Jesus, and firmly purpose to obey thee
henceforward, and most faithfully to serve
my God. Amen.

Prayer to All Guardian Angels

O PURE AND HAPPY Spirits whom the Almighty selected to become the Angels
and Guardians of men. I most humbly prostrate myself before thee to thank thee for the charity and zeal with which thou dost execute this commission. Alas, how many pass a long life without ever thanking their invisible friends, to whom they owe a thousand times their preservation!

O charitable Guardians of those Souls for whom Christ died, O flaming Spirits,
who cannot avoid loving those whom Jesus eternally loved, permit me to address
thee on behalf of all those committed to thy care, to implore for each of them a
grateful sense of thine many favors and also the grace to profit by thine charitable

O Angels of those happy infants who are as yet "without spot before God,"
I earnestly beseech thee to preserve their innocence.

O Angels of youth, conduct them, exposed to so many dangers, safely to the bosom of God, as Tobias was conducted back to his father.

O Angels of those who employ themselves in the instruction of youth,
animate them with thy zeal and love, teach them to emulate thy purity and
continual view of God, that they may worthily and successfully co-operate
with the invisible Guardians of their young charges.

O Angels of the clergy, of those "who have the eternal Gospel to preach to them
that sit upon the earth," present their words, their actions and their intentions to
God, and purify them in that fire of love that consumes thee.

O Angels of the missionaries who have left their native land and all who were dear to them in order to preach the Gospel in foreign fields, protect them from the dangers which threaten them, console in their hours of discouragement and solitude, and lead them to those souls who are in danger of dying without Baptism.

O Angels of infidels and pagans, whom the True Faith has never enlightened, intercede for them, that they may open their hearts to the rays of grace, respond to the message delivered by God's missioners and acknowledge and adore the one true God.

O Angels of all who travel by air, land or water, be their guides and companions, protect them from all dangers of collision, fire, and explosion and lead them safely to their destination.

O Guardian Angels of sinners, charitable guides of those unhappy mortals whose perseverance in sin would embitter even thine unutterable joys, wert thou not established in the peace of God! Oh join me, I ardently beseech thee, in imploring their conversion!

And thou, O Guardian Angels of the sick, I entreat thee especially to help, console and implore the spirits of joy for all those who are deprived of health, which is among God's most precious gifts to man. Intercede for them, that they may not succumb to despondency or lose by impatience the merits they can gain in carrying with resignation and joy the cross which Christ has laid upon them as a special token of His love.

O Angels of those are at this moment in the agonies of death, strengthen, encourage and defend them against the attacks of their infernal enemy.

O faithful Guides, holy spirits, adorers of the Divinity, Guardian Angels of all creatures, protect us all; teach us to love, to pray, to wage combat on earth, so that one day we may reach Heaven and there be happy for all eternity! Amen.

O Angels of those who are lingering in Purgatory, intercede for them that God
may permit thee to bring them some balm; console them that they may know
that we are praying for them and that we ask thee to join in our entreaties.

Angel of God

ANGEL OF GOD, my Guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day [or night] be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Prayer to Our Guardian Angel

O HOLY Guardian Angel, my dear friend and solicitous guide on the dangerous way of life, to thee be heartfelt thanks for the numberless benefits which have been granted me through thy love and goodness and for the powerful help by which thou hast preserved me from so many dangers and temptations. I beg of thee, let me further experience thy love and thy care. Avert from me all danger, increase in me horror for sin and love for all that is good. Be a counselor and consoler to me in all the affairs of my life, and when my life draws to a close, conduct my soul through the valley of death into the kingdom of eternal peace, so that in eternity we may together praise God and rejoice in His glory. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

O Angel of God, make me worthy of thy tender love, thy celestial companionship and thy never-failing protection!

Good Night PrayerGOOD NIGHT, my Guardian Angel,
The day has sped away;
Well spent or ill, its story
Is written down for aye.
And now, of God's kind Providence,
Thou image pure and bright,
Watch o'er me while I'm sleeping-----
My Angel dear, good night!

2 posted on 10/01/2008 9:40:01 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Guardian Angels


Our Guardian Angels [Ecumenical]

Her unborn 'guardian angels' inspire pro-life work

Question: “Are there really such things as guardian angels?”

Guardian angels caught on film?

Early Christians Representations of Angels[Feast day Guardian Angels]

3 posted on 10/01/2008 9:44:12 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Faith sharing bump.

4 posted on 10/01/2008 9:50:42 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Salvation

With watchful eyes do guard Man’s silent slumber
And fly through windows of the soul, to dream
And oft sweet voices raise in awesome wonder
And ride the wind on velvet wings, unseen

Bend low and touch fair visions of tomorrow
With hands to hold each one in heaven’s stead
When principalities bear nature’s sorrows
And seraphim fly close around their heads

Then whisper still lest heaven’s gates surrender
And wrap them in night’s shadowy caress
For none might pass, whom holy eyes remember
And life sustained with cherub’s godly kiss

But mortal hearts must cry and feel the thunder
Awaken from your dreams and watches keep
The silence of the night is torn asunder
Hold fast to life and love when angels sleep

5 posted on 10/01/2008 10:39:16 PM PDT by Americanchild
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To: Americanchild

Excellent. Did you author that?

6 posted on 10/01/2008 10:42:31 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Yep, that’s mine from a few years back.

7 posted on 10/01/2008 10:44:49 PM PDT by Americanchild
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To: Americanchild

Great — along the way, post others.

8 posted on 10/01/2008 10:45:48 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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