The Holy Guardian Angels—Custodians of Our Souls

In 1670, Pope Clement X granted an official feast day, Oct. 2, to honor the Guardian Angels.

Stained-glass window at St. Stanislaus Church in Bandera, Texas
Stained-glass window at St. Stanislaus Church in Bandera, Texas (photo: Chad Nelson)

“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

References to angels are numerous within both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Some of these angel verses lead us to understand that all people have their own private angel―a guardian angel―to guide them throughout their lifetime on earth. Besides Matthew 18:10 (above) giving clear support to this concept, Psalm 91:11–12 also gives cause to believe:

For he commands his angels with regard to you,

to guard you wherever you go.

With their hands they shall support you,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.

Another verse to ponder is Hebrews 1:14:

Are they not all ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

The word angel comes from the Greek word angelos, which means “messenger.” The primary job of all angels is to serve God, often by delivering important messages to people on earth. Guardian angels also serve God by watching over assigned individuals, often giving them subtle messages and nudges, striving to keep them safe and turned toward God throughout their lives.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their [the angels’] watchful care and intercession. “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” —CCC 336

The devotion to guardian angels is an ancient one that seems to have begun in England, where there is evidence of special Masses having honored these protective spirits as early as A.D. 804. Many historians consider the ancient British writer, Reginald of Canterbury, to have written the classic prayer, Angel of God. In 1670, Pope Clement X granted an official feast day, Oct. 2, to honor the Guardian Angels.

 

Angel of God

Angel of God, my guardian dear,

to whom his love commits me here.

Ever this day/night be at my side,

to light and guard, to rule and guide.

Amen.

 

Three Days of Pondering the Holy Guardian Angels

If you feel drawn to your Guardian Angel or Guardian Angels in general, try contemplating the verses below over a three day period. Write down any thoughts that come to mind, pray about the verses, and ask your Guardian Angel to help you draw closer to God.

  • Day 1) Psalm 91:11–12
  • Day 2) Matthew 18:10
  • Day 3) Hebrews 1:14
Father Emil Kapaun in 1943 (r) and an anonymous 18th-century painting of a guardian angel

Father Emil Kapaun and Guardian Angels (Oct. 2)

Father Emil Kapaun, the Korean War military chaplain, prisoner of war and Medal of Honor recipient has finally returned home to Kansas, where his remains were laid to rest Sept. 29. Today Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen shares the story of Father Kapaun’s heroism, his journey home and the impact of his life on so many across the nation. Also, Happy Feast of the Guardian Angels! On this special day we’ll learn more from Msgr. Charles Pope about the mission of the angels.

‘Tearing Us Apart’ book cover, with authors Alexandra DeSanctis and Ryan T. Anderson

Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing (July 2)

Roe v. Wade has been struck down. Abortion on demand is no longer the de facto law of the land across the United States. The question of the legality of abortion has returned to each state and the democratic process. The work to protect the unborn and create a better environment for women and families doesn’t end now. Instead it must continue with even greater vigor. Our guests Ryan Anderson, head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Alexandra DeSanctis, a National Review journalist, know that reality well. Their newly released book, Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing, makes the case that abortion hurts more than simply an unborn child. Abortion harms society far more than it helps it. They join us today on Register Radio.