Friday, 2 October 2015

The Holy Guardian Angels. Feast Day 2 October (Part One).


Italic Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Non-Italic Text is taken from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Guéranger, O.S.B.
(Translated from the French by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B.)
Time After Pentecost, Book V, Fourth Edition, Volume 14. from
ST. BONAVENTURE PUBLICATIONS

The Holy Guardian Angels.
Feast Day 2 October.

Greater-Double.

White Vestments.


English: Archangel Michael reaching to save Souls in Purgatory,
by Jacopo Vignali, 17th-Century.
Italiano: Jacopo Vignali, San Michele Arcangelo libera le anime
del Purgatorio, (17th-Century).
Source: Giovanni Piccirillo (a cura di), 
La Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano, Becocci Editore, Firenze, 2006.
Author: sailko.
(Wikimedia Commons)


This Feast, Solemnised by the Spaniards in the 16th-Century, was extended to the whole Church by Pope Paul V in 1608.

Pope Clement X, in 1670, appointed it to be kept on the first free day after The Feast of Saint Michael, namely 2 October. 

The Angels, already in Glory, have for their mission to adore The Divinity (Introit, Offertory, Communion). Wherefore, in the Preface, The Church makes us ask God to permit our voices to join with theirs in praising God. ["I have seen the Seraphim," says Isaias, "they stood near The Sublime Throne, where Jehovah was seated: Their faces veiled, they cried out to one another: Holy, holy, holy, is The Lord God of Hosts, the whole Earth is full of His Glory." (Isaias vi, 1-3.)]


But, as their name indicates, the Angels are also Messengers of Divine Commands (Offertory). The holy Fathers teach that they (the Angels) preside over all Created Things, and Saint Paul declares "that their mission is to serve the future heirs of Salvation".



Guardian Angel,
by Pietro da Cortona (1656).
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome.
Source/Photographer: Web Gallery of Art
(Wikimedia Commons).


This is why they are called Guardian Angels (Collect). It is generally thought that Kingdoms, Provinces, Families, Dioceses, Churches, Religious Communities, each have their Protecting Angel. 

[In some Countries, they celebrate The Feast of The Angel of The Nation. Saint Francis de Sales says that the Bishop, as such, has another Guardian Angel. Ezechiel says that The Angel of The Temple of Jerusalem had a writing case hanging down from his girdle (Ezech. 11). These Angels of The Churches, adds Saint Basil, write down our irreverences.]



English: Statue of a Guardian Angel
in The Parish Church of Saint Oswald,
Oberdrauburg, Austria.
Deutsch: Pfarrkirche St Oswald,
Oberdrauburg, Osterreiche: Schutzengel.
Photo: July 2008.
Author: JJ55.
(Wikimedia Commons).


That there is one Guardian Angel for each Just Man, there can be no doubt, and The Church applies to the Souls, that are under The New Law, what is written about the people under The Old Law: "I shall send My Angel to march before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you into the land which I have prepared for you" (Epistle). [Saint Bernard of Clairvaux: Sixth Lesson at Matins.]

Our Guardian Angel has, for his mission, to protect us and defend us, in order that, under his protection, safe from the snares of the enemies of our Souls and from all adversities, we may reach the promised land of eternal life (Collect, Secret, Postcommunion).

This faithful companion deserves our gratitude, and the Veneration, due to one who already enjoys The Beatific Vision (Gospel).

It is to encourage us, to the habitual practice of this Devotion, that The Church instituted The Feast of The Guardian Angels.


PART TWO FOLLOWS

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