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By Susan Tassone

From the time of our birth, God has graced us with a faithful companion, appointed guardian and guide: our dear guardian angel. 

Angels are spiritual beings who are constantly in Godís Presence, singing praises to Our Creator. 

Angels serve as Divine messengers, bringing Godís Will and Word to all humanity. Although we are unable to see them they are there ready to protect and watch over us at Godís command. 

The Doctors of the Church teach that the guardianship of the holy angels over men only terminates at the soulsí entrance into Heaven. Some mystics have asserted that it extends to aid in purgatory [see the Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory].

If we heed the Church and invoke our guardian angels throughout life they will be a most potent help for us at the hour of our death strengthening us against temptation, and comforting us in our agony. 

They conduct our souls to judgment. We are assured the angels console us if we are in purgatory, encourage it, and render a most valuable service to the souls in purgatory by inspiring friends and relatives to offer Mass for their intentions and good works for speedy delivery. 

These devoted guardians -- to whom we should pray each day (asking their help in purifying here on earth) -- never cease to be concerned with the souls that God has committed to their charge.

Their great mission and desire is to see us home in Heaven. 

They are intent on obtaining from God all the graces and favors conducive to our eternal welfare. 

The guardian angels pray for their clients with great love before the Throne of God and ascend to present their petitions (in our favor). They descend to bring to the souls in purgatory the favors which they obtained for them from God through the good works of the faithful on earth and, it is said, pass by our place in Heaven everyday.

The guardian angels inform the souls in purgatory who their benefactors are and exhort them to pray for their benefactors.  As St. Augustine said:  "The departed may be informed by the angels of things happening in this world, in so far as this is permitted by Him to whose judgment everything is subject." The souls cannot pray for themselves but can and do pray and intercede for us while they are in purgatory (and then Heaven). 

As St. Margaret of Cortona was praying to Our Lord with tears for all the friends she had lost, they appeared to her surrounded by purifying flames and in such a lamentable condition that she could not endure the sight. 

Our Divine Redeemer said to Margaret: "The pains they endure are very great, but would be incomparably greater if they were not visited and consoled by My angels, the sight of whom comforts them in their sufferings and refreshes them in their purification." 

St. Jerome expressed:

"How great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from birth an angel commissioned to guard it," added St. Jerome.

Throughout your life, give alms and offer Masses for your friends, relatives and benefactors in the name of your Guardian Angel.  Light a candle in honor of him!

In entering Church, unite your intention with that of your angel to adore the Blessed Sacrament. 

It is said the one thing they are unable to do that humans can is to receive Holy Communion.  Invoke your Guardian Angel at the beginning of your day and evening making an act of loving thanksgiving.

Recite the Chaplet of the guardian angel. Spend some time each day in company with your angel alone.  Keep the Feast of the Guardian Angels, and make your birthday a feast of your angel -- who then began his ministry. 

Practice some devotion to the Queen of Angels in the name of your guardian.

The guardian angels are the natural intermediaries between earth and purgatory, as they are between purgatory and Heaven. 

What a consolation is this to those during their lives have shown devotion! 

How often will they be visited if they are detained in purgatory by these pure and charitable spirits. 

 [For Masses and Gregorian Masses:]

[Excerpts from 30 Day Devotions for the Holy Souls]

[see also: Afterlife retreat, Michael H. Brown, Florida, October: signs of the times, signs in your own life; and Ohio retreat, September 20]

[see also: Praying for self-illumination]

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