Memorial of the Guardian Angels ~ Mthr Lady Sherwood, OPI
Each person upon the earth has a guardian angel in the heavens who watches over them and who helps them to attain their salvation. Angelical guardianship starts at our birth and continues throughout our whole earthly lives and ceases only when our temporary life on earth on earth ends at the moment of death. Guardian angels are servants and messengers from God and even the word “Angel” in Greek means messenger. In unseen ways the angels help us on our earthly pilgrimage by assisting us in every aspect of our lives and also by helping us when we are in temptation and protecting us from earthly dangers. Catholics set up altars in honour of guardian angels as early as the 4th century, and local celebrations go back to the 11th century. Devotion to the angels is an ancient Christian Church tradition inherited from Judaism and began with the birth of the monastic tradition. The first feast was kept by the Franciscan order in 1500. This feast was local until it was placed in the General Roman Calendar in 1607 by Pope Paul V. The feast was intended to be a supplement to the Feast of St.Michael the Archangel on sept 29th as the church honoured the memory of all the angels on that feast and not just St.Michael. Since 1976, the feast of the Guardian angels has been ranked an obligatory memorial. In the words of St. Bernard: ” Brethren, We will love God’s angels with a most affectionate love; for they will be our heavenly co-heirs some day, these spirits who are now sent by the Father to be our protectors and guides. With such bodyguards, who are we to fear? They can be neither subdued nor deceived; nor is there any possibility at all that they should go astray who are to guide us in all our ways. They are trustworthy, they are intelligent, they are strong-why, then, do we tremble? We need only to follow them, remain close to them, and we will dwell in the protection of the Most High God. So as often as you sense the approach of any grave temptation or some crushing sorrow hangs over you, invoke your protector, your leader, your helper in every situation. Call out to him and say: Lord, save us, we are perishing.”
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