Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Feast of the Guardian Angels - October 2nd

"How great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it." – St. Jerome

According to St. Jerome as well as St. Thomas Aquinas, an angel takes watch over a person's body and soul at the very moment of birth.  All of us, whether we are saints or sinners, believers or skeptics, have guardian angels who:
  • protect us from physical and spiritual harm;
  • pray for us constantly before the throne of God;
  • inspire us with good thoughts;
  • incline us toward virtue;
  • drive away evil;
  • strengthen and console us in our sufferings;
  • and eagerly await our prayers so that they may help us even more.

Today is the Feast of the Guardian Angels. Like many current feast days in the Church, this one was first celebrated locally in Austria, Spain and Portugal in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1608 Pope Paul V made it an official feast by placing it in the canon (the "official list"), and in 1670 Clement X declared it an "obligatory observance" for the universal church. It is one of two days in the liturgical calendar devoted just to the angels. The other is one we just recently celebrated, the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (September 29).

Attending Mass on this special day is, of course, the most wonderful way to honor our guardian friends. But there are other things we can do to show our love and respect as well:

  • Say the Guardian Angel Prayer upon waking and before going to bed. (Pope John XXIII was known to say this prayer five times a day.)
        Angel of God
        My Guardian dear,
        To whom God's love
        Entrusts me here,
        Ever this day (or night)
        Be at my side,
        To light and guard
        To rule and guide.
  • Teach our children about their guardian angels and then do something fun to commemorate the day, such as coloring an angel picture or two, writing an angel poem, making angel kisses together (see recipe at the end of post), baking an angel food cake, or having angel hair pasta for dinner.
  • Finally, let's not forget them tomorrow! Of course we should give the angels special attention on their special day, but we have to make sure we give them our love, honor and respect every other day too. After all, it's not like they only watch over us on our birthdays.

Recipe for Angel Kisses

2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.

Whip the egg whites until frothy. Continue to beat while gradually adding the sugar and vanilla. When stiff peaks form, drop from a teaspoon onto the greased cookie sheet. Place in the oven and immediately turn the oven off. Keep the oven door closed for at least 2 hours. Then take them out and arrange the "angel kisses" on a plate and enjoy!
(From The Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions for Children's Faith Formation, Beth Branigan McNamara, Sue Robinson, and Anne E. Neuberger)

    No comments:

    Post a Comment