In recent years it has been popular among many Christians to either name your Guardian Angel, or pray a novena to discover its name. This devotion often has miraculous stories attached to it, where people claim that they discovered the name of their Guardian Angel.
While the stories appear to confirm the legitimacy of such a practice, the Catholic Church has been very clear about its stance on naming angels.
In the Directory on popular piety the Church proclaims, “The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael, whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.”
Why does the Church discourage this practice?
One of the reasons is that a name contains a certain amount of authority over another person. If I know your name I can call you whenever I want and can feel a certain amount of authority over you. We do not have authority over our Guardian Angels. They only report to one commander: God himself. We can ask for their assistance or help, but we should not feel like they are at our beck and call.
The Church then discourages us from naming our Guardian Angels as we may receive a name in prayer, but it may not be divinely inspired. It could be influenced by the devil or by our own human thoughts. We have only three names of angels confirmed in Scripture and so any other name we receive is difficult to confirm as inspired by God.
This stance is also meant to protect the faithful from certain spiritual dangers that could arise from “angel worship.” There exists an entire “religion” of people who worship angelic beings and claim to know the names of various angels. It is a dangerous path as the angels these people are worshipping may very well be demons in disguise, trying to lure them away from God.
Above all we should have confidence that we do have an angel assigned to protect us and that they are sent by God for our benefit. We don’t need to know their name and can rest assured that we can have a personal relationship with them without that information.
The spiritual dangers of “angel worship”
Does my guardian angel finish praying the Rosary if I fall asleep?