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Memoirs of a Guardian Angel – The Sanctuary, The First Fruits, The Serpent, Accidents.

Memoirs of a Guardian Angel – The Sanctuary, The First Fruits, The Serpent, Accidents.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Memoirs of a Guardian Angel – The Sanctuary, The First Fruits, The Serpent, Accidents.

[THESE Memoirs are a gallery of paintings in which is brought into view the Catholic doctrine on the ministry of Guardian Angels.
An Angel here tells what were his duties and his impressions from the moment in which a soul was intrusted to him, to that in which she took her place at his side in glory.
We see at a glance, what this best of friends has done for us in the past, is doing for us now, and will do for us in the future.
May the reading of these pages excite the gratitude of hearts that receive so many benefits, and lead them to correspond with these more faithfully! This is the end which the Author had in view. ]

MEMOIRS OF A GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Sanctuary.

NOT only could the child resist my influence, but it could also take from me the sight of its heart.[1]
’Tis a privilege given to man as well as to the angel to be master of himself, and to have a power over his interior feelings that no creature can share.
God only can, without their consent, penetrate the secrets of the angelic and of the human heart.
As a lily opens under the rays of the sun, the young soul had unfolded herself to my eye, and had revealed what was hidden from others. I saw there thoughts arise, judgments formed, the affections grow, intentions directed to their aim.
One day every thing vanished from my sight. By an imfortunate impulse, the soul closed upon herself, veiled her beauty, and hid from me her treasures.
A strange breath had passed over the flower, and the flower had shut up its chalice. Great was my distress! How could I, without the inward view of this soul, cultivate in her good feelings and holy thoughts?—fight against evil thoughts and feelings?
But this state did not last long.
Simplicity and candor opened the sanctuary to me anew, and I came back to discharge there my sweet duties.
Without hindrance I could contemplate the glory of my lily, and bring to it its drop of dew.

The First Fruits.

On its knees, its hands joined, looking toward heaven, the child said, “Jesus! Mary!” Just as a flower, on opening when the morning dawns, breathes forth its first perfume, so the innocent soul sent up her first prayer to God.
He who presides over the harmony of worlds and gives enchantment to the melody of our music, bent forward and gave ear. No chord seemed to have for him a charm like that of this infant voice.
Strengthened by faith, the reason of the child began to discern between good and evil. Fearing to offend a God so good, whom he saw served with love by his father and mother, he kept from the evil that would have flattered his passions, and did the good that cost him effort.
This sacrifice was nothing in the eyes of men; but offered on the immaculate altar of a young heart, the first act of virtue was accepted as a victim of great price.
What emotions did I experience! what hopes I conceived!
This first flower told of a delightful spring; in the first grains I saw a splendid harvest; to this beautiful dawn a most beautiful future was to succeed.
The seed I had intrusted to the soil had not perished; it had put forth its shoot, and had just blossomed.
This spectacle made me redouble my vigilance; it had excited the jealousy of Satan. Satan, too, wished to have his first fruits.

The Serpent.

The infernal serpent succeeded in gliding into the paradise of innocence, and all at once was seen among the children of God.[2]
. . . no one could detect him. He approached without exciting distrust, and came to play with his victim.
To taint a soul so pure, to tear from God a heart so devoted to him—what a triumph![3]
The child looked smilingly at the sword, caressed the hand of the murderer, bent over the abyss, ran every risk.
Where was I then? At his side, I redoubled my care; I spread my wings before his eyes, and I protected him with an invisible cuirass.
He was safe. The tooth of the tawny beast had but touched the fleece of my little lamb. The cruel wolf had to fly without having glutted his rage.
But during this scene the sight of the Divine Face had enkindled my zeal; my anger was roused; my indignation burst forth.
Against the corrupter I lanced the malediction with which each guardian angel is armed by God, the friend and protector of infancy.[4]

Accidents.

My little brother was running there upon the lawn; I was with him and followed each one of his movements.[5]
An insect, that had sucked from the juice of plants a subtle poison, came flying about him. The child tried to catch it, to seize it. . . . With a breath I chased away the insect, and saved my brother. Over the grass a venomous serpent was gliding. With its eye on fire, darting forth its forked tongue, it was about to spring. With the tip of my wing I made a beautiful butterfly leave the bosom of a rose. The child took to following it: the reptile was avoided.
These almost daily accidents were not the only ones in which I was obliged to interfere. There were others that required a visible aid.[6]
The angel of death had just touched the brow of the child with his sceptre: a deathly pallor and motionless members told that life was departing.
The parents at once turn to me: shall I not be able to give back to them him who was their happiness, and who should be the prop of their old age, the light of their eyes, the joy of their fireside?
If his virtue were hereafter only to make sad shipwreck, ’mid the rocks of this world, I should prefer seeing him, at this moment, called, and safe in port.
But the watchfulness and counsels of a father and of a mother, penetrated with a sense of their duty, made me argue better of him, and I besought the Heavenly Physician to deign to hear their vows. My prayer had its wished-for acceptance. From the celestial heights Raphael was sent, the comforter of the sick and the weak.
The archangel came to me, and gave me the remedy, and said to me: “It belongs to thee to apply it, but to God to give it efficacy.”[7]
I bent over the child; I traced on his brow the cross. . . . He was healed!
On waking as from a deep sleep, he cast around him a look of astonishment: “Why,” he asked, “these cries, and these tears.”[8]
What thanksgiving on the part of the parents! But neither Raphael nor I could take to ourselves the honor of such a favor.
Only to God, whom we serve, be the honor and the glory! From Him alone flows all the good that comes to man, through the ministry of the angels.[9]

[1] St. Thomas, De Angelis, q. 57, art. Bail., Théol. Affect. des Anges.
[2] Job i. 6.
[3] St. Thomas of Villanova, On the Angels. John Lopez, Abridgment of the Doctrine of the Fathers.
[4] St. Matt. xviii. 6, 10.
[5] J. Marchant, Jardin des Pasteurs. Life of St. Bridget, Boll.
[6] St. Thomas, De Angelis, q. 113, art. 6. St. Anthony of Padua, Sermons.
[7] Origen, Comment. on Jeremiah li.
[8] Lives of St. Thyrsus, of St. Cuthbert, of St. Udalric, Boll.
[9] Tobias xii. 6 .

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

_______________________________________________

October Devotion: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary.

Virtues to practice: Confidence.


Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

ANTIPHON.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.

Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

GABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Gabriel the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 28, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Raphael the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

PRAYER TO S. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL.

Glorious Archangel, S. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

THE ANGEL GUARDIAN.
PRAYER
.

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna
illumina, custodi,
rege, et guberna.Amen.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.
Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a brief, Oct. 2, 1795, granted to all the faithful, every time that, with at least contrite heart and devotion, they shall say this prayer:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, on the feast of the holy guardian angels (Oct. 2), to those who shall have said this prayer, morning and evening, throughout the year, provided that, on the day of the feast, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The same Sovereign Pontiff, by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 11, 1796, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, at the hour of death, to all those who, during life, shall have frequently said this prayer, provided they shall have the proper dispositions.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 15, 1821, not only confirmed the above mentioned indulgences, but, moreover, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a month, to all the faithful who shall have said it every day for a month, as above directed, on any day, when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church, and pray devoutly for the intention of his Holiness.

NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript dated at Gaeta, Jan. 5, 1849, and by another of the S. Congr. of Bishops and Regulars, Jan. 28, 1850, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of the Guardian Angel, published by the Rev. Joseph M. Falcone, of the Congregation of the Missions:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, either during the novena or upon one of the eight days immediately following, if, truly penitent, they confess and communicate, and say some prayers for the holy Church and for the Sovereign Pontiff.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, the same Sovereign Pontiff deigned to approve that these indulgences may be gained by those who make the novena to the Guardian Angel with any other formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.

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