How many times have we found ourselves being grateful to our guardian angel for some danger that we have managed to avoid, a carelessness that could have ended in a tragedy which would have cost us dearly? Since our childhood we are taught to say some prayers to him, and we never stop to recite them till we grow old. The guardian angel of our immagination always remains one of protection who considers us always as though we were small and defenceless children. Which, in reality we really are, when we rid ourselves of all our suppositions, presumptions, and we realise what we really are: simple human-beings incapable of giving us an additional day of life even though we would want it. “Angel of God, who art my guardian, enlighten and keep me from all evil, uphold me and govern me…..” A slap in the face to the delirium of omnipotence which too often overweighs the soul and mind.
From mankind’s beginning to the hour of death, his life is conducted under their protection and intercession. “Every faithful believer has at his side a guardian and pastor to help him through life”. Right here, from earth, the Christian life participates, in faith, in the blessed community of the angels and of men, united with God. The Catholic doctrine, concerning the presence of these heavenly figures stands very clear which are well rooted in the Holy Scriptures. Just like the devil exists, and so do angels committed to keeping guard over us. “They demonstrate the existance of God who is always near to mankind” stresses the Pope with reference to Joseph Ratzinger. He himself, has sustained to have have witnessed the presence of an angel first hand during his lifetime. During an interview, before He relinquished His office, His guardian Angel had held His hand over His head for four times helping Him in moments of extreme difficulty. The first time, He was saved from a terrible form of Diphtheria which He had during His early years as an infant, so much so that the doctors had thought that the weak child would never manage to overcome it. But it was not so. A few years later, He was to fall into a pond and in that episode too, His guardian Angel worked in order to save Him. Following that, it occurred when He was by then an adult during the war. In February 1945, he was infected by a form of septaecemia and the air-defence military doctor (where He had been forced to enroll) had thought of amputating his thumb to save Him His life. Moreover, at the end of the conflict, once He came to know that Hitler had died, He decided to desert and during His return He risked ending up not returning, if it hadn’t been for two soldiers, who tired of fighting, hadn’t decided to turn a blind eye to that deserter with the baby-face who was on his way home.
The belief in guardian angels dates back to the early centuries and carries on right through the entire bible, interventions on the life of men, are to be found both in episodes in the Ancient and New Testament. St. Basil Bishop of Cesarea in Cappadoccia San Basilio, vescovo di Cesarea in Cappadocia, referred to as ‘Magno’ for his doctrine and wisdom, already was preaching to the early Christians that a guardian angel existed whose task was to carry out fundamental functions, lead men to eternal life , help them not to fall in error, and show them the way. Angels in the classic Iconography assume the resemblance of asexual figures having wings, smiling faces, and often crowned with blond curls. Luminous perfect beings capable of drawing out their swords in defense of good.
Bearers of the Divine messafge, as in those of the Annunciation to Maria; or protecters of the innocent, as in the sacrifice of Isaac. Abraham was ready to kill his own son, when a hand immediately stopped him. Positive flow of energy, grace, power, strength and equilibrium are characteristics that pertain to the angels. It is across them that the Lord, reveals Himself representing a bond between the Divine and the human, a sign of infinite love… even though they are invisible, it is possible to percieve their presence. Many saints have shared a special relationship with them: from Father Pio to Gemma Galgani. St. Francesca Romana not only had continual dialogues with her guardian angel but considered his presence as being really effective, to the extent that she never forgot to keep them a place beside her. A fortune that not all can boast of. Cardinal Charles Journet wrote in his diary: “The angels reveal themselves only to those who invoke and love them.”
Throughout the Chritian world, Easter celebrates and commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus, the centre and focus of all the faith. The day after has come to be known as the “Monday of the Angel”, due to the Gospil of the day which tells of the Angel who together with the women had reached the sepulchre. The Gospil tells of the meeting of the women with the Resurrected soon after having met the Angel at the empty sepulchre. Tradition has spoused these occurrences on the morn of Easter with the successive day (Monday), perhpas because the Gospil indicates “the day after Easter”, even though many scholars agree that it alludes to the Jewish Passover which takes place on Saturday.