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
“The Lord gave a guardian angel to each one of us, from when we were small until we are elderly. The Lord gave this to us to help us in life. Each one of you has one. Get used to talking with your guardian angel, so that he will protect you, give you inspiration and lead you always to win in life.”—Pope Francis, Address to the Children from the Oncological Clinic in Wroclaw, Poland
On this day we also remember the Jesuit priest Blessed Jan Beyzym. After serving in his community’s schools in Tarnopol and Chyrów, Poland, he became a missionary in Madagascar, focusing his ministry on the care of patients of Hansen’s Disease (i.e. leprosy). Blessed Jan died on October 2, 1912, and was beatified in 2002.
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.