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What Does the Church Teach About Guardian Angels?

Q. We celebrate the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels on October 2. What does the Church teach about these angels?

A. The Catholic Church teaches, of course, that the good angels exist and are sent to help us, but she has never formally defined the doctrine that each individual human person is assigned a particular angel as a guardian and intercessor throughout his or her earthly life. Nevertheless, the belief is rooted in Scripture and has been amply affirmed since ancient times by Church Fathers and Doctors, by the saints, and by popular devotion.

The Catechism sums up the matter this way: “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their [the angels’] watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life’” (CCC 336, quoting St. Basil, AD 330–379).

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