|"Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared.
Give heed to him and hearken to his voice, do not rebel against him...for My name is in him." (Exodus 23:20-21)
Dear Members and Friends of Opus Angelorum,
As all of you probably know, Opus Sanctorum Angelorum not only promotes a devotion to the Holy Angels, but also a consecration to the Guardian Angel and to all the holy Angels as well. Therefore, it is very encouraging for us to see that even Pope Francis has done something similar. On July 5th he, together with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, consecrated the Vatican City State to Saint Michael the Archangel. The occasion of this consecration was the blessing of a statue St. Michael in the Vatican Gardens, which was already commissioned by Pope Benedict XVI.
In his discourse for the occasion of this consecration, Pope Francis stressed the superiority of God: "Michael – which name means "Who is like God" - is the champion of the primacy of God, of His transcendence and power. Michael struggles to restore divine justice and defends the people of God from His enemies, above all by the enemy par excellence, the devil. And St. Michael wins because in him, there is the God who acts." This is, moreover, the precise reason why we should unite ourselves with the Holy Angels. If we are united with them, they will guide us safely to God. We will be able to discern the truth more clearly and we will be able to act with greater strength. Mother Gabriele said: "When the Angel lends us his eyes, he does this so that we can better and more clearly recognize the will of GOD. And when the Angel lends us his strength, he does this so that we can carry out the will of GOD more clearly and consistently." "We are not alone on the journey or in the trials of life", said Pope Francis during the consecration ceremony, "we are accompanied and supported by the Angels of God, who offer, so to speak, their wings to help us overcome so many dangers, in order to fly high compared to those realities that can weigh down our lives or drag us down."
Pope Francis consecrated the Vatican to St. Michael, so that he "defend the Vatican from the evil one and to banish him". When we consecrate ourselves to the Guardian Angel or to all the Angels, they too can protect us more efficiently. These consecrations, though, go far beyond mere protection; by them we enter into a holy covenant with the angels in order to glorify God more perfectly and to work together for the salvation of souls. By these consecrations we are associated with the angels in their ministry; they are God's "ministering spirits, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation" (Heb 1,14). Hence, the angels are not just our Guardians, but we become "fellow servants" (cf. Rev 19,10; 22,9) and friends in a special way. "Is this possible?" some may wish to ask, "since we are so different from the Angels". The book of Tobit in the Bible answers this question in a definitive way, telling the touching story of the deep bond of friendship which united Tobias and St. Raphael, indicating in the process, the abundant fruits which issues from this intimate friendship.
We are now at the beginning of Advent. The angels play a special role throughout the whole Christmastide. May this season help us to reflect deeply on friendship we are called to have with the Angels. They are most open and willing to help us. May our hearts be open to their guidance,light and strength so that we may can enter ever deeper into the mysteries of the Word made flesh.
Fr. Ludwig M. Oppl, ORC ~ Director
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
Let us pray:
Catechism of the Catholic Church
327 The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council affirms that God “from the beginning of time made at once (simul) out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then the human creature, who as it were shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body.”
I. The Angels: The Existence of Angels ~ A Truth of Faith
328 The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.
Who are they?
329 St. Augustine says: “‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do, ‘angel.’” With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” they are the “mighty ones who do His word, hearkening to the voice of His word”.
330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.
Christ “With All His Angels”
331 Christ is the centre of the angelic world. They are His angels: “When the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him...” (Mt 25:31). They belong to Him because they were created through and for Him: “for in Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him” (Col 1:16). They belong to Him still more because He has made them messengers of His saving plan: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” (Heb 1:14).
332 Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed Abraham’s hand; communicated the law by their ministry; led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the prophets, just to cite a few examples. Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus Himself.
St. Theotonius and the
Photos from Public Veneration of Relics of St. Theotonius