“…he shall give his angels charge over thee: to keep thee in all thy ways” (King James Bible, Psalm 91:11)
The angels have always been a familiar reality in the lives of Christians, from Our Lady and the Apostles to the present day. Indeed, they played a prominent part in the history of the first years of our Holy Faith – the announcement to Zechariah of the birth of John the Baptist and to Our Lady of the Birth of Jesus; the Nativity in Bethlehem, the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt, Our Lord’s temptations in the wilderness, his agony in Gethsemane, his Resurrection on Easter Day, his Ascension into Heaven, and, after the establishment of his Church, the escape of St Peter from prison on the eve of his execution – all these events were attended by God’s angels, acting sometimes as his messengers, sometimes as his appointed guardians.
It is chiefly in this latter capacity that they share our lives, for each one of us, at our birth, was assigned a Holy Guardian Angel to be our personal protector. It is in this way that God sees to the safety of our souls and bodies and looks after us in danger and temptation – just as he also uses the services of people for the same purpose.
This fact was given prominence by Our Blessed Lord in his warning against despising the spiritual welfare of little children. “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven” (NRSV, Matthew 18:10).