The Feast of the Archangels is followed a few days later on October 2 by The Feast of the Guardian Angels. This year it was superseded by the Sunday. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, humans share the company of angels here on earth. “From infancy to death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life’” (CCC 336)
The window is one of the panes of the Seven Sorrows of Mary beside the Mary altar. The guardian angel pictured in the window is interceding for the Holy Family on their flight into Egypt. They fled Herod’s wrath as he killed the baby boys in the region around Bethlehem, seeking to kill Jesus. The urgency and fear of their journey is indicated by the lowered head of the donkey; the meager sack of possessions that Joseph is carrying; by Mary bending protectively over her Son; and by Jesus reaching out for Joseph’s hand. The posture of the angel reminds us that our guardian angels protect and intercede for us. The face of the angel looks very much like the face of the infant Jesus, and they are clothed in the same color, perhaps indicating that our angels are personal beings.
Our angels accompany us always and can assist us as we grow in faith and seek to follow Jesus and live according to God’s ways. We can pray to our angel and ask for help and guidance as we discern. We can ask our angel to be with us at Mass and help us to focus on all the prayers and to know that Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. We can ask our guardian angel to protect us when we are traveling and keep us safe. We can turn to our angel when we are afraid.
As we reflect on the angel protecting the Son of God on this trip, may we also consider how we might come to have a greater sense of the presence of our own guardian angel and how we might invite our angel to help us grow closer to God.