The Guardian Angels
See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the
way and bring you to the place I have prepared. Be attentive to him and heed his voice. Do
not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin. My authority resides in him. If
you heed his voice and carry out all I tell you, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a
foe to your foes. (Ex
See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I
say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
It is the conviction of the Church
that every human being is assigned an angel of God to be his guardian, an angel who has as
his task to "lead (us) to the place that (God) has prepared," heaven. Not
everyone listens attentively to their guardian angel, however, as he seeks to enlighten
them through the voice of conscience to avoid sin, or gives them good inspirations to the
love and service of God and neighbor. Certainly Padre Pio was one who did, from the
earliest years of life, so that God granted him the vision not only of his own guardian
angel but those of others. Many times it was through the guardian angel of a person
that their need was brought to Padre Pio's attention, who then prayed for that person.
One might ask, why would the angel
bring the need to Padre Pio, rather than directly to God? First, people often sent
their angel to Padre Pio to ask for prayer. The angels, for their part, like true friends
were happy to perform this little service for their proteges, especially the ones who
habitually listened to their guidance. Since the angel can do nothing contrary to the will
of God, God Himself must have desired it, as well. As with the other forms of intercession
and mediation acknowledged by the Church, God has ordained that the true magnificence of
His own glory be shown through His working through creatures (angelic and human). As St.
Paul noted, God chooses the weak to show up the strong (1
Padre Pio was especially careful for
the well-being, spiritual and material, of those whom he had accepted as his spiritual son
or daughter. He would look after them from a distance, with the help of their guardian
angel. The following story is related in Send Me Your Guardian Angel, a book on
Padre Pio's relations with the angels by Fr. Alessio Parente, OFM Cap.. Fr, Alessio had
the privilege of taking care of Padre Pio in the later years of his life.
a person was accepted as Padre Pio's spiritual child, he would never abandon them, no
matter what danger they were in. Even if he did not visit them personally, they would
receive his help through his Guardian Angel.
Humphrey-Smith, a well known gentleman from England, is Padre Pio's spiritual child.
Whilst in Italy, during the time Padre Pio was alive, Cecil had a car crash and was very
seriously injured. A friend of his, seeing him in such a bad condition afterwards, went to
the Post Office and sent a telegram to Padre Pio requesting his prayers for the injured
Cecil. When he presented the telegram at the desk, the man gave him back a telegram from
Padre Pio assuring his prayers for Cecil Humphrey-Smith's recovery.
was some months before Cecil was in good enough shape to travel again, but immediately he
had recovered he made tracks for San Giovanni Rotondo. On this occasion, both Cecil and
his friend met Padre Pio and they thanked him for his prayers. At the same time, they were
curious to know how he came to know about the accident and how a telegram had arrived in
such a short space of time. In response to their demand, Padre Pio, in his humoristic way
said: "Do you think the Angels go as slowly as the planes?"
had given him the light to see his spiritual child in danger of death and, as usual, he
sent his Guardian Angel to assure his prayers and protection.
Here at Our
Lady of Grace Friary, we produce a magazine called "The Voice of Padre Pio", in
which we publish information on the work going on at the shrine. This magazine is a mine
of information on the life of Padre Pio and arrives six times a year in the homes of
devotees throughout the world. The arrival of this magazine usually serves to brighten the
day of those who receive it, but in some cases it has a very special significance... I
receive a lot of English mail from all parts of the world and often people tell me how
glad they are to receive it. On a number of occasions I was told of cases where a
subscriber was feeling very depressed due to family problems or difficulties of some sort.
Knowing that Padre Pio had always told them to send him their Guardian Angel, the
ever-ready Angel was sent, and within a short time they found "The Voice" in
their letter box! Nothing would convince these devotees that it was not their Guardian
Angel who delivered it in time of need, acting on Padre Pio's instructions. The Bible
tells us that the Angels act as messengers "sent out", and Padre Pio told us
that they go faster than the planes so there is no need to doubt it.
several occasions Padre Pio expounded further on the role of the angel in his ministry and
in our lives, in this case to his spiritual daughter Raffaelina Cerase.
tell me that in the midst of the sufferings that oppress you, you often turn to me in your
thoughts and you call me. Well, your good Guardian Angel sometimes transmits these
necessities of yours and then I, in my unworthiness, always do my duty with Jesus,
recommending you to his Fatherly goodness. (Letters vol. II, no. 30)
to the glory of His Divine Majesty the rest you are about to take, (she was struck down
with cancer of the breast at this time) and never forget the Guardian Angel who is always
with you, never leaving you for whatever wrong you might do. Oh, the ineffable goodness of
this our good Guardian Angel! How many times, alas!, I have made him cry for not having
wanted to comply with his wishes, which were also God's. May this our most faithful friend
free us from further disloyalty. (Letters vol. II, no. 41)
Raffaelina, what a consolation it is to know one is always in the care of a celestial
spirit, who does not abandon us (how admirable) even when we disgust God! How sweet is
this great truth for the believer! Who, then, does the devout soul fear who tries to love
Jesus, having always close by such a great warrior? Oh, was he not one of the many who,
together with the Angel Saint Michael, up there in the Empyrean, defended the honour of
God against Satan and against all the other rebellious spirits, and finally reduced them
to perdition and bound them in hell?
know that he is still powerful against Satan and his satellites; his charity has not
diminished, nor will he ever fail in defending us. Develop the beautiful habit of always
thinking of him; that near us is a celestial spirit, who, from the cradle to the tomb,
does not leave us for an instant, guides us, protects us as a friend, a brother; will
always be a consolation to us especially in our saddest moments.
oh Raffaelina, that this good Angel prays for you; offers to God all the good works you
accomplish; your holy and pure desires. In the hours when you seem to be alone and
abandoned, do not complain of not having a friendly soul to whom you can unburden yourself
and in whom you can confide your sorrows. For pity's sake, do not forget this invisible
companion, always present to listen to you; always ready to console you.
delicious intimacy, oh blessed company! Oh if all men could understand this great gift
that God, in His excess of love for man, assigned to us; this celestial spirit. Often
remember his presence; you must fix on him the eyes of your soul; thank him; pray to him;
he is so refined, so sensitive. Respect him; be in constant fear of offending the purity
of his gaze.
often this Guardian Angel, this benevolent Angel and repeat the beautiful prayer: 'Oh
Angel of God' (etc.) ... What will be, oh my dear Raffaelina, the consolation when, at the
moment of death, your soul will see this Angel, so good, who accompanied you through life
and was so liberal in maternal care. Oh may this sweet thought make you grow always more
fond of the Cross of Jesus, this being also what your good Angel wants. May the desire to
see this inseparable companion arouse in you that charity which incites you to leave this
Oh what a
holy and salutary thought it is to want to see this our good Angel. it is this thought
which should make us want to leave this dark prison in which we are bound. Oh, Raffaelina,
where do my thoughts fly to now...? Treat this dear little Angel, I do not say as a
friend, but as one of the family. And, to tell you the truth, this little Angel does not
seem to be the least little bit offended by my treatment of him. How dear and how good he
is. (Letters vol. II, no. 64)