The Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels is a memorial of the Catholic Church officially observed on 2 October. In some places, the feast is observed on the first Sunday in September with the permission of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Catholics set up altars in honor of guardian angels as early as the 4th Century, and local celebrations of a feast in honor of guardian angels go back to the 11th Century.The feast is also observed by some Anglo-Catholics within the Anglican Communion and most churches of the Continuing Anglican movement.
Devotion to the angels is an ancient tradition which the Christian Church inherited from Judaism. It began to develop with the birth of the monastic tradition.The feast was first kept by the Franciscan order in 1500.This feast, like many others, was local before it was placed in the General Roman Calendar in 1607 by Pope Paul V. The papal decree establishing the feast was cosigned by Robert Bellarmine, which has led some scholars to speculate that the feast was created under the influence of the Society of Jesus.It was originally ranked as a double, and is believed that the new feast was intended to be a kind of supplement to the Feast of St. Michael, since the Church honoured on that day (29 September) the memory of all the angels as well as the memory of St. Michael. Clement X elevated it to the rank of an obligatory double, and, finally, Leo XIII raised the feast to the rank of a double major. Since 1976, it has been ranked an obligatory memorial.
On October 2, 1795, Pius VI granted a partial indulgence for making the Devotions to our Guardian Angels and Patron Saints, as well as a plenary indulgence on the actual feast day to those who make the devotion twice a day for an entire year. The Devotion reads: “O Angel of God, to whose holy care I am committed by the supernal clemency, enlighten, protect, defend, and govern me. Amen.”
John XXIII wrote a Meditation for the Feast of the Guardian Angels, which reads, in part: “We must remember how admirable was the intention of divine Providence in entrusting to the angels the mission of watching over all mankind, and over individual human beings, lest they should fall victims to the grave dangers which they encounter.”
“Be alert in your every action as one should be who is accompanied by angels in all your ways, for that mission has been enjoined upon them. In whatever lodging, in whatever nook or corner you may find yourself, cherish a reverence for your guardian angel. In his presence do not dare to do anything you would not do in mine. Or do you doubt his presence because you do not see him? Would it really help if you did hear him, or touch him, or smell him? Remember, there are realities whose existence has not been proven by mere sight.
Brethren, we will love God’s angels with a most affectionate love; for they will be our heavenly co-heirs some day, these spirits who now are sent by the Father to be our protectors and our guides. With such bodyguards, what are we to fear? They can neither be subdued nor deceived; nor is there any possibility at all that they should go astray who are to guard us in all our ways. They are trustworthy, they are intelligent, they are strong — why, then, do we tremble? We need only to follow them, remain close to them, and we will dwell in the protection of the Most High God. So as often as you sense the approach of any grave temptation or some crushing sorrow hangs over you, invoke your protector, your leader, your helper in every situation. Call out to him and say: Lord, save us, we are perishing. “~St. Bernard
Quotes on Our Holy Angels
1) “When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.” – St. John Chrysostom
2) “Beside each believer stands an Angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life.” – St. Basil the Great
3) “Those closest to God in heaven, the seraphim, are called the fiery ones because more than the other angels they take their fervor and ardor from the intense fire of God.” – St. Robert Bellarmine
4) “When tempted, invoke your Angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel.” – St. John Bosco
5) “How happy is that guardian angel who accompanies a soul to Holy Mass!” – St. John Vianney
6) “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” – G. K. Chesterton
7) “If the Angels could envy, they would envy us for Holy Communion.” – Pope St. Pius X
8) “We should show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux
9) “Make yourself familiar with the Angels, and behold them frequently in spirit. Without being seen, they are present with you.” – St. Francis de Sales
10) “I have great reverence for Saint Michael the Archangel; he had no example to follow in doing the will of God, and yet he fulfilled God’s will faithfully.” – St. Faustina Kowalska
11) “The powers of hell will assail the dying Christian; but his angel guardian will come to console him. His patrons, and St. Michael, who has been appointed by God to defend his faithful servants in their last combat with the devils, will come to his aid.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori
12) “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” – St. Augustine
“O angel of Christ, holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me everything wherein I have offended you every day of my life, and protect me from all influence and temptation of the Evil One.
May I never again anger God by my sins.
Pray for me to the Lord, that He may make me worthy of the grace of the All-Holy Trinity, and of the blessed Mother of God, and of all the saints.