HOM-slide September

Devotion to the Holy Angels developed especially during the 15th and 16th centuries. The feast of St. Michael the Archangel on September 29th made the devotion more popular.

Pope Clement X established the feast of the Guardian Angels for October 2nd. Since Leo XIII declared the month of October  "The month of the Holy Rosary" the devotion to the Holy Angels is transferred to the month of September.

Sacred Heart Review, Boston, September 29, 1894, excerpt.

The recommendation of "Devotion to the Holy Angels," as the general intention of the League of the Sacred Heart for October, is a very timely one and it shows that our Holy Father, in recommending it, does not desire that the devotion of the rosary, which he formerly recommended for October, should displace the devotion to the Holy Angels which had previously been practised during that month.

Those blessed spirits occupy so important a position in the Christian scheme that it would be strange indeed if they did not occupy a correspondingly important position in the devotion of the Church. There is something very beautiful and attractive in that devotion. In the first place it appeals to the innate sense and desire of human nature for the supernatural. Catholics, of course, have no doubt of the existence of those blessed spirits, who, we are taught, surround the throne of God and rejoice to do his bidding.

Universal belief

The belief in the existence and even the appearance of invisible spirits in visible form on certain occasions is as old as the race, and it exists in all nations. The Old Testament is full of the accounts of angelic appearances on missions of divine mercy and benevolence, and the New Testament is not less prolific in its allusions to these heavenly spirits who are represented as employed in a great variety of missions in accomplishing the holy will of God.

St. Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews, tells us that they are "all ministering spirits sent to minister for them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation." Is not this language a strong confirmation of that most beautiful feature of the Church's teaching — devotion to guardian angels?

Heavenly messenger, specially appointed

What can be more consoling, more encouraging and delightful than the thought that each one of us has a heavenly messenger, specially appointed by Almighty God to attend us constantly, night and day, while we wake and while we sleep, to guard, protect and defend us, to suggest good thoughts to our minds, to check us by a silent impulse when we would do wrong, and to prompt and encourage us when we do right?

Clearly taught by Our Lord

We do not envy those severe and strait-laced puritanical people who can see no beauty or utility in devotion to our holy angel guardians, and who consequently deny all intercourse between the soul and those invisible spirits. That the angels are deeply interested in what is going on here below we are clearly taught by our Lord himself, when he said to his disciples : "So I say unto you there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance." If they know and rejoice when a sinner repents on earth, they must know when he prays, and if they can hear his prayers where is the reasonable objection to his praying to them and begging them to intercede for him at the throne of divine mercy? But a still more pertinent and emphatic passage is that where our Lord said to the people on one occasion: "See that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." Their angels; what can you make of it but that each of Christ's little ones — his children — has a special angel who beholds the face of the Father in heaven and on that very account it is dangerous to despise any one of their clients on earth. Why then — O, why are we not more devoted to the holy angels — especially our dear guardian angels?

Spiritual, invisible

Alas! they are spiritual, invisible, and we are carnal, devoted to material things. We would fain believe that the great majority of Catholics say a prayer every day to their guardian angel, but we fear it is too often a perfunctory duty. Do we not too often fail to realize the delightful fact that we have an invisible friend who is always with us, always watching over us ; sorrowing, indeed, when we sin, but rejoicing when we do well; putting good thoughts into our minds and inspiring us with good resolutions?

We are spiritually weak

Of course it is perfectly natural that in our spiritually weak and imperfect state we should fail to sympathize fully with this beautiful devotion. A consciousness of not deserving has a depressing effect upon all our spiritual exercises. But we should never be discouraged. What more powerful motive to courage and perseverance could be presented than the thought that we have a multitude of heavenly spirits, all of them powerful with God, who are ever ready to plead for and to aid us in our struggle against our own infirmities as well as against the spirits of wickedness in high places, against whom we must wage a persevering and unending warefare? "Therefore" says the Apostle, " take unto you the armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect."