Early Christians and guardian angels

. St. Matthew ends the narrative of Our Lord's temptations with this verse: Then the devil left him, and the angels came and ministered to him

"Let us contemplate a little on this intervention of the angels in the life of Jesus, because in this way we will better understand their role - the angelic mission - in every human life. The Christian tradition describes the Guardian Angels as great friends, placed by God at the side of every human being, to accompany him on his journeys. This is why we are invited to treat them, to go to them.

"The Church, in making us meditate on these passages from the life of Christ, reminds us that, in the season of Lent, in which we recognize ourselves as sinners, full of miseries, in need of purification, there is also room for joy. For Lent is simultaneously a time of strength and joy: we must be filled with encouragement because the grace of the Lord will not fail us, because God will be at our side and will send his Angels to be our traveling companions, our prudent counselors along the way, our collaborators in all our endeavors.

"Sacred Scripture and Tradition properly call angels those pure spirits who in the fundamental test of freedom have chosen God, his glory and his kingdom." To them is entrusted the guardianship of men. Are they not all spirits, as we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews, spirits who act as servants or ministers on behalf of those who should be the heirs of health?

It is a common doctrine that each and every man, baptized or not, has his Guardian Angel. His mission begins at the moment of man's conception and continues until the moment of his death. St. John Chrysostom affirms that all the guardian angels will concur at the universal judgment to "bear witness themselves to the ministry which they exercised by order of God for the salvation of every man".

In the Acts of the Apostles we find numerous passages in which the intervention of these holy angels is manifested, and also the confidence with which they were treated by the first Christians.

This veneration and trust in the angels on the part of our first brothers in the faith is especially emphasized in the liberation of St. Peter from prison: An angel of the Lord appeared in the dungeon of Peter, who was enlightened; and striking Peter on the side, he awoke him, saying, "Arise quickly"; and the chains fell from his hands. The angel added, "Gird up your loins and put on your sandals." And he did so. And he said, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.

And Peter, now free, went to the house of Mary, the mother of Mark, where many were gathered together in prayer.

He knocked at the door of the hall, and out came a servant named Rode, who, when she heard Peter's voice, was beside herself with joy, and without opening the door, ran to announce that Peter was in the hall. They said, "You are mad. She insisted that it was so: and then they said: "It will be his angel". This story shows us the great affection they felt for Peter and the naturalness of the faith in the guardian angels that the first faithful had. "See with what confidence the first Christians treated their guardians.

"-And you?"

We too must treat them with naturalness and trust, and we will often be astonished at the help they give us, in order to win in our struggles against the evil one. "We are well helped by the good angels, messengers of God's love, to whom, taught by the tradition of the Church, we address our prayer: 'Angel of God, who art my guardian, enlighten me, sustain me, stiffen me and govern me, since I have been entrusted to your heavenly mercy. Amen.""