Thursday, July 19, 2012

St. Josemaria Escriva and a New Book on the Angels

Earlier this summer (June 26) the Church celebrated the feast day of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei. According to a new book published last year by the Vatican, The Angels: An Essential Guide, St. Josemaria was known for (among many other things, of course) his devotion to the angels.
"Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer was a devotee of the angels and when he entered in any church, he stood a moment. His associates knew the reason: he said he first let his angel pass and he would pass him."
The author of the book, Monsignor Marcello Stanzione, has written 40 books on the angels and is renowned as an "angel expert." Among other interesting tidbits in the book are his remarks regarding the modern popes and the angels. The famous Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, for example, was written by Pope Leo XIII. Pope John Paul II repeatedly said that he asked for his guardian angel's help on a daily basis. And his successor, Benedict XVI, has also publicly spoken about the angels and encouraged devotion to them.

Another point of interest, Msgr. Stanzione reminds us that the angels are examples to humankind. Unlike the fallen angels led by Lucifer, the good angels decided freely to follow God and do good. It's a decision that, ultimately, we all are called to make.

Unfortunately, The Angels: An Essential Guide only seems to be available in Italian. If anyone knows differently, please let me know.


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