The meaning of the celebration
+ Mindful that Divine Providence has entrusted us to the care of angels, the Church has promoted devotion to the Guardian Angels since the late Middle Ages (cf. Exodus 23:20-23; Matthew 18:5).
+ The Feast of the Guardian Angels was first celebrated in Valencia, Spain, in 1411. It was extended to the Universal Church in 1608, three days after the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel.
+ Many saints are said to have communicated directly with their Guardian angels, including Saint Frances of Rome, Saint Gemma Galgani, and Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. Pope Francis has encouraged the faithful to express their devotion to their Guardian Angel through prayer and gratitude.
For prayer and reflection
“They who keep us in all our ways cannot be overpowered or led astray, much less lead us astray. They are loyal, prudent, powerful. Why then are we afraid? We have only to follow them, stay close to them, and we shall dwell under the protection of God’s heaven.”—Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
On this day we also remember the Salesian lay brother Blessed Mateu Garrolera Masferrer. He was martyred in Madrid Spain, on October 2, 1936, during the anti-Catholic violence of the Spanish Civil War. He was beatified with other martyrs in 2007.
O God, who in your unfathomable providence
are pleased to send your holy Angels to guard us,
hear our supplication as we cry to you,
that we may always be defended by their protection
and rejoice eternally in their company.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.