By Alexander Elfreich
When St. Gemma Galgani was a teenager, her relatives used to hear her talking to someone in her room.
The weird thing was, she was alone. Or was she?
As a Catholic, Gemma believed in spiritual beings invisible to human eyes, who are here with us in this world. And she had the extraordinary gift to see and hear one of them: her own guardian angel.
Catholic belief in guardian angels
The belief in guardian angels goes back to the Old Testament. In the Book of Tobit, the angel Raphael serves as a guardian angel for Tobias. He saves Tobias from being eaten by a huge fish, then wards off a demon on his wedding night!
Jesus mentions guardian angels in the Gospels. He tells the disciples, “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 (Matthew 18:10).”
Guardian angels are part of God’s plan to care for us. He sets a guardian angel to watch over you, to help you avoid physical and spiritual harm, and to guide you back to Him when you drift astray. St. Gemma knew that firsthand. Her guardian angel gave her advice but even scolded her sometimes!
Did Jesus have a guardian angel?
There’s no official Church teaching on this, but a pious tradition says that when Jesus became man, he did allow Himself to have a guardian angel during his earthly life. According to that tradition, that angel was none other than St. Michael the Archangel.
Whether or not St. Michael was Jesus’ guardian angel, Jesus was supported and comforted by the angels during his earthly life, such as when he fasted for 40 days in the desert and during the Agony in the Garden.
Pray to Your Guardian Angel
What does this all mean for you? You can pray to your guardian angel just like you would to your favorite saint. Just like it’s fitting for a tour guide to lead you on a trip, so it’s fitting that God gives you a heavenly guide for your earthly journey to Heaven. How often do you pray to your angel?
St. Josemaria Escriva encouraged everyone to pray to their guardian angel. He said, “Have confidence in your guardian Angel. Treat him as a lifelong friend — that is what he is.”
Guardian Angel Prayer
Angel of God, my guardian dear
To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
Alexander Elfreich is a writer and editor from Toledo, Ohio. He holds a BA in English and an MA in Catholic Studies. He loves to read, cook, play guitar, and wander through used bookstores.