We are planning on having a celebration for the Feast days of St. Michael and our Guardian Angels, which are quickly approaching.
Why don’t you plan to have one, too? It can be as simple as a cake to celebrate, or a little procession….or, like Mrs. Newland mentions, some type of craft depicting the Angels in some way or another.
We must not forget these Mighty Messengers and Helpers that God has given us. We need to make our children aware of who these Angels are and how we can invoke their help for whatever little or big need we have!
From The Year and Our Children, Mary Reed Newland
St. Michael the Archangel (September 29)
Pope Pius XII made St. Michael the patron of policemen in 1950. He is also the patron of coopers, hat makers, swordsmen, haberdashers, dashers, and grocers, and is invoked for a happy death. That magnificent edifice, Mont-Saint-Michel, was built “at the cost of great hardship” after he had appeared in a vision to St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, during the eighth century.
He pointed to the rock rising out of the sea, said that it was under his special protection, and requested that a church be built in his honor there. This is the only reasonable explanation for why anyone would ever try to build a church there.That it is of such enduring beauty is due to him also, without doubt.
A mobile with St. Michael hanging high and Lucifer at his feet with the flames of Hell around him would be a stirring decoration for this feast, with, of course, Michaelmas daisies on the table.
These are common weeds to most people, but if you look them up at the same time you look up St. John’s wort, you will know which are to be picked for this day. We should be sure to know the prayer to St. Michael recited at the end of each Mass, and recite it on his feast.
The Guardian Angels (October 2)
It is generally agreed that all Christian communities, countries, families, dioceses, churches, and religious houses have each their Guardian Angel, and St. Francis de Sales wrote that bishops have another other angel as such, in addition to their Guardian Angel.
We can add more angels to the mobile** on this day, one for each in the family (make them very simple shapes, recognizable by a sweep of wings), and write the name of each person on an angel.
“Dear Angel, Ever at My Side” is a simple hymn for children to be found in the Pius X Hymnal, and a few days’ practice ahead of time would prepare us to greet our angels with this at the feast-day dinner in their honor.
An Angel Pie is a luscious dessert we could make as a climax. A recipe for meringue, a half-pint (or more if you are a big family and need two pies) of whipping cream, and fresh or canned fruit, drained, are the ingredients.
You bake the meringue in a pie tin instead of in individual portions, whip the cream very stiff, fold in the fruit, pile it in the shell and serve.
**During the preparation for the feast, children can learn the gifts and fruits by making their own mobiles with wire clothes hangers. Tie a wire clothes hanger to a string, use it as is or bend it into an interesting shape, or suspend additional hangers from it. Let the children cut doves, candles, flames, circles, or other shapes from heavy paper and letter on them the gifts and the fruits. Suspend pend them at varying heights with black threads, sometimes with small objects to weight them so they will swing slowly in space.
In the Catechism, we read: “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by the watchful care and intercession of the angels. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life”
Our angel goes before us and knows the way that leads to life, the path that leads to the spiritual place that God has prepared for each one of us. We are called to listen to his voice and heed it. When we disobey and rebel, we are refusing and rebelling against God’s will.
Our Guardian Angel has been granted authority and power. At the same time, no angel, good or evil, can force us to do something against our will. Good angels present good things to our minds, evil angels present evil disguised as good. Today’s psalm recalls that God has given knowledge to each good angel about us. With this knowledge they can guard us in all of our ways. They can direct us into the way of salvation and peace. But in the end, we are the ones who choose good or evil, we are the ones who choose either to act as free children of God or to abuse our freedom by choosing evil. When we listen to our guardian angel we are assured of God’s protection from our enemies and foes.
Our knowledge of the angels is very imperfect. Here on earth, we can only distinguish them in a general way. In heaven, we will know them distinctly. We will see their relation to God and how they have acted to bring about God’s loving plan. Based on Scripture, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Theology distinguish nine choirs of angels. These nine choirs, organized in three sets of three, are a reflection of the Trinity: the first three choirs are closest to God and contemplate him and the goal of his creation; the next three choirs consider what is to be done to reach this goal; the last three choirs apply this knowledge to God’s effects.
Of those angels who apply this knowledge in a practical way, the Principalities are said to hold the highest place. Their role is compared that of generals and officers in battle. Our guardian angels belong to the lowest choir, because they are the ones who carry out what is to be done.
Our veneration of the Holy Guardian Angels today fills us with gratitude, for we have a heavenly protector who enlightens us, defends us, guides us, and intercedes for us. The contemplation of God’s creation, both visible and invisible, fills us with wonder and awe – for there are things we will see in heaven which surpass our imagination and are more beautiful than anything here on earth. Lastly, we are filled with hope, for we know that the history of the world is in God’s hands and that the heavenly hosts of heaven work tirelessly to accomplish God’s merciful and loving plan.
An excellent book that changed my way of looking at the Angels, realizing their powerful intercession, is All About the Angels by Fr. Paul O’ Sullivan , written in 1871.
Review: “A wonderful book showing how the angels have visited people innumerable times in the past, how they do so today, and would do even more if we asked them. Also, how they prevent accidents, comfort us, help us, and protect us from the devils. Contains many beautiful stories about St. Michael, St. Raphael and St. Gabriel; plus, angel stories from St. Gemma Galgani, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Bosco, etc. One of our 3 most popular titles!”