The Holy Guardian Angels

The mission of the Guardian Angels is, as Saint Paul tells us, to serve the future heirs of salvation. Every kingdom, country, diocese, church and religious order has its protecting Guardian Angel. So has every person. Each bishop of the Catholic Church has two Guardian Angels. Our Guardian Angel is given us at the moment of our birth, stays with us all through life, comforts us in Purgatory, and escorts us, if we are saved, into Heaven. There is a special angel in each church to record all distractions and irreverences that occur there. The greatest joy any of us can give our Guardian Angel is to receive Holy Communion and make our breast a tabernacle of the Eternal God before Whom this angel can adore. Many of the saints saw their Guardian Angels. Saint Rose of Lima did, and so did Saint Gemma Galgani. And so did Saint Frances of Rome, Saint Margaret of Cortona and Saint Bridget of Sweden. A great Pope, Saint Gregory the Great, was tenderly devoted to his Guardian Angel. Saint Catherine of Siena saw her Guardian Angel. Saint Francis de Sales had, as one of his special devotions, reverence for the Holy Angels who have charge of the care of the tabernacle in every Catholic Church.

There are nine choirs of angels, and three hierarchies. These choirs and hierarchies are: first hierarchy, Angels, Archangels and Principalities; second hierarchy, Powers, Virtues and Dominions; third hierarchy, Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. This is in the order of ascent. It is from the first hierarchy — Angels, Archangels and Principalities — that guardians are chosen by God for man. Angels are for individuals. Archangels are for parishes, churches and religious communities. And Principalities are for provinces, countries and nations. Saint Augustine says, “Go where we will, our angels are always with us.” Saint Jerome says, “So sublime is the dignity of the human soul that from its birth there is appointed to each one a Guardian Angel.” And Saint Bernard says, “Make the holy angels your friends. No matter how weak we may be, or lowly our condition, or how great the dangers which surround us, we have nothing to fear under the protection of these guardians.” In every difficulty, danger and temptation, Saint Bernard urges us to invoke our Guardian Angel.

Guardian angel, by Pietro da Cortona, 1656

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