"Are they not all ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?" (Heb 1:14)

Consecration to the Guardian Angel for Children

The Children Consecration to the Guardian Angel is nothing new. St. Thérèse of Lisieux cherished a special devotion to the holy angels. At the age of nine years, before her First Holy Communion, she consecrated herself to the holy angels. This fitted very well her Little Way, since our Lord Himself associated littleness with the presence and care of the holy angels, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you, their Angels in heaven always behold the face of My Father in Heaven” (Mt 18:10).

Parents are encouraged to lead their children (normally age 4 to 13) to this special covenant with their Guardian Angels.

Parallel to Early First Holy Communion

Candidates and members strive to give the holy angels as much space as possible in their lives and apostolate, so that the Angels can work with them for the glory of God and the salvation of the world.

“Let the children come to Me, and do not prevent them.” (Mt 19:14)

In 1910 Pope Pius X endorsed the decree Quam Singulari stressing the Church’s rule that children are to be admitted to receive Holy Communion as soon as they reach the age of discretion.

Commenting on Our Lord’s words, “Let the children come to Me, and do not prevent them” (Mt 19:14), the Holy Father complained that in various places “the age determined for the reception of First Communion was placed at ten years or twelve, and in some places fourteen years or even more were required.” These practices have been the cause of many evils, because “children in their innocence were forced away from the embrace the food of their interior life.” The Pope, finally, observed that “the loss of first innocence ... might have been avoided by reception of the Eucharist in more tender years.” of Christ and deprived of the food of their interior life.” The Pope, finally, observed that “the loss of first innocence ... might have been avoided by reception of the Eucharist in more tender years.”

“From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by [the angels’] watchful care and intercession."

Analogically, the same principle can be applied to the children in relation to their Guardian Angels. Stressing the need to prevent children from scandal, Our Lord solemnly stated, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of My heavenly Father” (Mt 18:10).

There is good reason to believe that already at the moment of conception a personal Guardian Angel is assigned to the child to protect and accompany it at every moment through life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church alludes to this angelic presence in a generic fashion, “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by [the angels’] watchful care and intercession” (CCC 336).

If parents would teach their children in a timely fashion through instruction and example to know and to love their angels, how much light, strength and guidance, could they receive from their angels already at a tender age and, consequently, overcome with greater ease the temptations of the devil and the world.

The Value of the Consecration

Through the consecration the child binds itself to the holy Guardian Angel, so that his help can become much more efficacious. It enables the angel to exercise more influence upon the child, speaking more clearly through inner admonitions, motivating it more to do good (cf. CCC 350), alert it to dangers, illumine the child's mind, so that it advances more rapidly on the way to God.

According to Mother Gabriele the consecration has as its aim,

to give the child an understanding of the holy Guardian Angel; helping the child to love him, listen to him and receive from him its "first religious instruction", that is to say, the angel helps the child distinguish good from evil and helps it learn the first virtue of a child, which is obedience.

Holy Guardian Angel ... never let go of my hand! Here you have it!

Requirements for the Child

The requirements for a child to make the Consecration to the Guardian Angel are comparable to those established by the Church for early First Holy Communion.

The Church has not determined a precise chronological age, rather she has wisely foreseen that the children should have reached the age of discretion to be able to distinguish the Eucharistic Bread from the common bread; that is, to know that what looks like bread is not bread, but contains the real, living Body and Blood of Christ. The child further needs to be in the state of grace and desire to receive Jesus in the Eucharistic Host.

Similarly, with respect to the Consecration to the Guardian Angel, the chronological age of the child is not decisive.

What is Required?

The requirements for a child to make the Consecration to the Guardian Angel are comparable to those established by the Church for early First Holy Communion.

• Children should be mentally perceptive and open to the holy angel.

• Naturally, they should have a great love for the holy Guardian Angel

• They should be able to express that they want to make the consecration to him.

Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” ~ CCC 336

(To make the consecration, children do not need go through a year of preparation with formation letters as adults do, nor is a formal admission required. Further, by this consecration children do not become official members. Later, when they are ready, they may choose to assume the commitment of the Consecration to the Guardian Angel for adults, freely renew the consecration and become full members of the Work of the Holy Angels.)

The Role of the Sponsor

Because the child is not yet capable of making autonomous decisions for itself, a sponsor steps to its side as a visible Guardian Angel, while on the other side God's messenger, the holy Guardian Angel, takes the child's hand.

• The sponsor is the visible representative of the invisible Guardian Angel.

• He takes care that the child lives the Consecration to the Guardian Angel.

• He guides and advises the child as the holy angel would do, and paves the way for him to God.

The sponsor needs to know how the holy angel leads, what he as sponsor of the child can concretely do, and what the phrase in the promise of the sponsor means, to guide the child “as his (her) Guardian Angel would”. That is why the sponsor must have a basic knowledge of the holy Guardian Angel, so that he can properly educate the child in everyday life.

It is therefore appropriate that the parents themselves take over the task of sponsor, since they are closest to the child. The sponsorship is for the parents a challenge, but also a strengthening in the task that they already have as Christian parents!

The right side of the child is vacant to indicate the presence of the Guardian Angel.

Consecration to the Guardian Angel

If the requirements are fulfilled, the child can make the consecration in accordance with the approved liturgical rite. During the ceremony, presided by a priest and before the Blessed Sacrament, the sponsor kneels at the left side of the child, while the place at the right side of the child remains vacant in order to indicate symbolically the presence of the Guardian Angel.

After the consecration of the child and the promise of the sponsor, the priest concludes:

Lord and God, You love children so much that You said: “Unless you become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” And again You said: “Let the children come to Me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

We ask You now that You have heard the consecration of these children, grant them and us the grace that we may always remain a child at heart, in purity and simplicity and boundless trust in You, in Mary and in the holy Angels.

And you, holy Guardian Angels, assist these children with all your might and strength! Ward off the evil enemy and all temptations! Guide them along the right way to the light of God’s love, so that they may never ever lose sight of this light and so one day at your hand can enter into the heavenly glory. Amen.

Recommended Reading

In the context of the Consecration to the Guardian Angel for children we recommend the following reading for both, the parents and children:

• The Book of Tobit from Sacred Scripture
• Catechism of the Catholic Church nn. 327-352, 391-395 (more for parents)

Under Angels Wings, Autobiography of Sister Maria Antonia Cony; the true and highly inspirational story of a young girl and her intimate friendship with her Guardian Angel.

Daily Prayer to the Guardian Angel

Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God's love commits me here,
Ever this day, be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide.
Take me by the hand: I promise Docile obedience to your guidance, So that I may attain eternal happiness. Amen.

Ecclesiastical approval by the Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, September 6, 2011.