"...awaken and sharpen your realization of the invisible world about you,... foster a certain familiar acquaintance with the Angels, who are so constant in their solicitude for your salvation and holiness." Pope Pius XII

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Fatima, Lourdes, Santiago de Compostela
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St. Gabriel Building Project

Commonly Asked Questions
on the Angels

The short answer to this most asked of all questions about the angels is simply "no." For the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Sacraments of the Vatican stated in the document The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy of 2001, that "the practice of assigning names to the holy angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and St. Michael, whose names are contained in Holy Scripture" (217).

We do well to reflect, then, that the term "Holy Guardian Angel" expresses very deeply our bond to the angel assigned to us by God for life. For just as there is only one woman and one man in this whole world who can respond to us when we say, "Mom" or "Dad", so too in all the choirs of angels, there is only one angel who can respond to us when we cry out, "Holy Guardian Angel, help me!"

That every baptized person has a Guardian Angel is clear from what St. Basil taught and the new Catechism of the Catholic Church reiterated, "Every one of the faithful has an angel standing at his side as educator and guide, directing his life" (cf. CCC 336). This passage does not state specifically that every human being, without exception, has a Guardian Angel. Nevertheless, in another passage, the Catechism stresses in no uncertain terms that "From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their [that is, the angels'] watchful care and intercession" (CCC 336).

In accord with this, the general teaching of theologians holds that not only every baptized person, but every human being has their own personal Guardian Angel which also teaches the recently published YOUCAT (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church), approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in 2010, "Every person receives from God a Guardian Angel" (n. 55). This view is biblically based and founded on the words of Our Lord in the Gospels, where He states emphatically to His disciples, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven" (Mt 18:10). Moreover, St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that the protection of the angels is a gift not only of grace, but also a gift to mankind in the order of nature. Finally, since each individual, based on their own free will, has a unique destiny, it is fitting that there be a one-on-one relationship with an angel. This same position was also taught by St. Gregory the Wonder Worker and St. Jerome, who held that every person has from birth their own special Guardian Angel.

St. Thomas Aquinas maintains that everyone receives a Guardian Angel at birth. Moreover, he states that the Guardian Angel of the mother guards her child while it is still in the womb. Other Fathers and Doctors of the Church, however, for example, St. Jerome and St. Basil the Great, believe that our Guardian Angel is assigned at baptism. St. Anselm, on the other hand, goes a step farther by stating that "every soul is committed to an angel when it is united with a body." In other words, he believes, along with some other saints and theologians, that everyone receives a Guardian Angel at conception. To sum up, then, there are three opinions about when our Guardian Angel may be assigned to us, namely, 1.) at conception, 2.) at birth, or 3.) or at baptism.

The fact, that every human person has a Guardian Angel excludes implicitly that we receive the Guardian Angel at baptism. It remains, then, a question open to speculation whether a human being receives the Guardian Angel at conception or birth. But since a person's life begins at the moment of conception, there is no reason for the angel to have to wait until the person is born. Considering the importance of prenatal care, it is reasonable to believe that the Guardian Angel would be want to be involved. It may also be true, that all benefit from the angelic assistance from the beginning of life according to the natural providence of God, and that in baptism a deeper supernatural bond with the holy angels arises.

A Guardian Angel Story

I felt assured by my Guardian Angel that it would be okay

As a result of chemo therapy for stage four cancer, I had an ICV filter put in because of blood clots. It should have been removed seven years ago. The vascular surgeon said it was a surgeon's worst nightmare, because it had come undone and they probably would not be able to remove it, but they would try. If not, I would have to be sent to UCLA for extensive surgeries.

I started praying and asking for prayer from everyone, received the anointing of the sick and asked my Guardian Angel for help. At the time of surgery, I again prayed the "Sanctus" (the Angel's Holy, Holy, Holy prayer of the Mass) and my Guardian Angel prayer. I felt assured by my Guardian Angel that it would be okay and all would go well.

The doctor explained how the procedure would go, and that, if successful, at one point I would feel the ICV filter being pulled up through my chest and out my neck. I told the surgeon it would not be "if" but "when". He looked at me and laughed.

The surgery team were two brothers, both vascular surgeons and brilliant. When I felt the ICV filter coming up, I called upon my Guardian Angel and felt as if he had surrounded it. The next thing I knew, the doctors said it was OUT! Thank you, JESUS, through my Guardian Angel!.

~Paul F

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Latest Meditations

Living the Beatitudes with the Angels
The Angels and Saints in heaven all enjoy perfect beatitude in God. They have passed the test and, by God's grace, have reached the goal. Man on earth, however, is still journeying with the help of divine grace through the trials of this life to reach that state of perfect joy and rest in God. To reach this goal, he must climb up the heavenly ladder, as it were, of the eight Beatitudes which Jesus taught us in the Sermon on the Mount (cf. Mt 5:1-12 and Lk 6:20-23).

The Angels are sent to help us, as our guides and guardians, as counselors, admonishers and leaders in this "vale of tears", to live out those Beatitudes. Yet, given the supernatu.container-fluid pral goal towards which man strives, the Angels' natural capacities would not have sufficed to lead man to heaven. Thus, in order to become a Guardian Angel, the Angels must descend by the rungs of their own "angelic Beatitudes" in order to be able to fetch man and bring him to heavenly glory.

The Priest: Witness to the Joy of the Gospel
In our world and culture today, we see an emptiness, a sadness, a despair which drives people and especially our youth to seek love and happiness in ways which only deepen their despondency: in pleasure, in consumerism, in the "quick fix" of addictions, in useless games, texting and the superficiality of social media among many other things. So many today have lost or have never known the joy of the Gospel, the truly good news that GOD became man and lived among us, He forgives us and wants to raise us up to His Kingdom, a Kingdom of love and communion with the Father. Only in God will man find the true meaning of his life and his happiness, yet how shall this message be known if there is no one to preach? And how can they accept the message unless it is accompanied by the witness of a life on fire with Christ. If one is not on fire for Christ, the Holy Spirit's anointing will not really divinize and all talk about tenderness, mercy and compassion will only amount to a secular humanism empty of divine power and grace.

"An angel has spoken to him."
(Jn 12:29)

The Gospel of St. John can be divided in two parts. With chapter 12 ends the description of the first part about the public life of Jesus. The narration of the Last Supper and Passion with the resurrection covers the second part, more than a third of the entire Joannine Gospel. However, still in chapter 12, St. John relates a surprising situation: Jesus says in the midst of his teaching:
"I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again." The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come for my sake but for yours." (Jn 12:27-30)
Some people thought it must have been an angel who spoke to Jesus. What justification is there for this position?

Global Opus Angelorum


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Rector: Father Ludwig M. Oppl, ORC

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