Friday, February 4, 2011
Fr. Marcello Stanzione, an Italian priest, is dedicating his life to promote the proper devotion to angels. He has written several books on these heavenly beings. His most recent work, “The Pope and the Angels”, describes how angels have helped popes throughout history. The book begins by saying how guardian angels are a special help to anyone.
“Angels help us on a physical level. A lot of incidents have been avoided due to the help of angels. But above all, they are our companions against demonic temptations and they also give advice on how we can live in a more saintly way. They also teach us how to pray.”
“The Pope and the Angels” talks about the history of angelic intervention in the lives of past pontiffs. Obviously, it discusses the excerpt from the Book of Acts, in which an angel frees Saint Peter from prison.
“Saint Peter was freed from prison by an angel and when he arrived to the house of the Christians, the interesting thing is that nobody believed him and they said: 'It's not him, it's his angel!' This shows the great devotion Christians had towards angels, in the first years of Christianity.”
The book also tells the story of an episode in the life of Gregory the Great. It was in 590 AD, a plague spread throughout the Empire. The Pope asked for help from Heaven in a procession that ended at the Mausoleum of Hadrian. On their march, they met the archangel Saint Michel cleaning a blood-stained sword, indicating the plague had been defeated.
Since then this place is called Castel Sant'Angelo and is guarded by a statue of the archangel.
“During Pope John XXIII's five-year papacy, he spoke about angels about 40 times, and he always said that he convoked the Second Vatican council after being inspired by his own guardian angel.”
From then on, John XXIII said that every pope has about twelve guardian angels. A devotion which he cultivated, but was never declared as a truth of the Catholic faith.
Source: Rome Reports
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