Existence of the Guardian Angels. The devotion of the first Christians.
Let us look for a moment
at this appearance of angels in Jesus’ life, for it will help us to
understand their role — the role, that is, of their angelic mission — in all
human life. Christian tradition describes the guardian angels as powerful
friends, placed by God alongside each one of us, to accompany us on our way.
And that is why He invites us to make friends with them and get them to help
In suggesting that we
meditate on these passages of the life of Christ, the Church reminds us that
during Lent, when we recognise our sins, our wretchedness and our need for
purification, there is also room for our joy. Lent is a time for both
bravery and joy; we have to fill ourselves with courage, for the grace of
God will not fail us. God will be at our side and will send his angels to be
our travelling companions, our prudent advisers along the way, our
co-operators in all that we take on
Christ is passing by, 63).
Holy Scripture and
Tradition rightly give the name of angels to those pure spirits who chose
God; his kingdom and his glory when they were given the fundamental test of
(John Paul II, General Audience, 6 August 1986). They are charged
with protecting all men. We read in the Epistle to the Hebrews: Are they
not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who
are to obtain salvation?
It is common doctrine that
each and every man, baptised or not, has his guardian angel. The angel’s
mission begins with the conception of a man and continues up to the moment
of his death. St John Chrysostom affirms that all the guardian angels
will gather together at the universal judgement in order to bear witness
themselves to the ministry that they exercised through God’s command for the
salvation of each man
Chrysostom, Catena Aurea, vol III, p238).
This trust and veneration
of our first brothers in the Faith for the angels is particularly
highlighted in the account of the freeing of St Peter from prison: An
angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell, and he struck
Peter on the side and woke him, saying ‘Get up quickly'. And the chains fell
from off his hands. And the angel said to him, ‘Dress yourself and put on
your sandals’ And he did so. And he said to him, ‘Wrap your mantle around
you and follow me'