The belief in one having a Guardian Angel is a part of Catholic faith. There are also prayers addressed to the Guardian Angel eg. in preparation of Confession and for protection during one's sleep. Though there are a number of references in the Old Testament and New Testament of angels assisting human beings on specific occasions, the belief on permanent accompaniment of a Guardian Angel to a person, seems to have come up as a later addition.

My question therefore is: Are there any consolidated teachings from the side of Catholic Church on Guardian Angels?

1 Answer 1


Are there any consolidated teachings from the side of Catholic Church on Guardian Angels?

Do not know if there is a book or document of consolidated teachings on the subject of the Guardian Angels in the sense that it is considered the ultimate teaching guide on this subject. Certainly there are several good informative Catholic books out there on there Catholic teachings on the Guardian Angels.

The Catholic Encyclopedia is a good place to start off with on the subject of the Guardian Angel.

Guardian Angels

That every individual soul has a guardian angel has never been defined by the Church, and is, consequently, not an article of faith; but it is the "mind of the Church", as St. Jerome expressed it: "how great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it." (Comm. in Matt., xviii, lib. II).

Without dwelling on the various passages in the New Testament where the doctrine of guardian angels is suggested, it may suffice to mention the angel who succoured Christ in the garden, and the angel who delivered St. Peter from prison. Hebrews 1:14 puts the doctrine in its clearest light: "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?" This is the function of the guardian angels; they are to lead us, if we wish it, to the Kingdom of Heaven.

St. Thomas teaches us (Summa Theologica I:113:4) that only the lowest orders of angels are sent to men, and consequently that they alone are our guardians, though Scotus and Durandus would rather say that any of the members of the angelic host may be sent to execute the Divine commands. Not only the baptized, but every soul that cometh into the world receives a guardian spirit; St. Basil, however (Homily on Psalm 43), and possibly St. Chrysostom (Homily 3 on Colossians) would hold that only Christians were so privileged. Our guardian angels can act upon our senses (I:111:4) and upon our imaginations (I:111:3) — not, however, upon our wills, except "per modum suadentis", viz. by working on our intellect, and thus upon our will, through the senses and the imagination. (I:106:2; and I:111:2). Finally, they are not separated from us after death, but remain with us in heaven, not, however, to help us attain salvation, but "ad aliquam illustrationem" (I:108:7, ad 3am).

As already mentioned St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae, deals with the subject of the Guardian Angels in Question 113. The guardianship of the good angels.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the sacraments Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, Principle and Guidelines tells us not to give names to our Guardian Angels (217):

Popular devotion to the Holy Angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations:

  • when, as sometimes can happen, the faithful are taken by the idea that the world is subject to demiurgical struggles, or an incessant battle between good and evil spirits, or Angels and daemons, in which man is left at the mercy of superior forces and over which he is helpless; such cosmologies bear little relation to the true Gospel vision of the struggle to overcome the Devil, which requires moral commitment, a fundamental option for the Gospel, humility and prayer;

  • when the daily events of life, which have nothing or little to do with our progressive maturing on the journey towards Christ are read schematically or simplistically, indeed childishly, so as to ascribe all setbacks to the Devil and all success to the Guardian Angels. The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.

There are many good books out there on the subject of the Holy Angels and our Guardian Angels which could be considered as consolidated material on the subject of the Guardian Angels:

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