These weeks, the end of September and the beginning of October, I have always thought of as the angel days. September 29th is the feast of the great archangels and October 2 is the feast of our guardian angels.
With my children and now with my grandchildren, I always celebrate the angels sometime in those weeks, whenever it works out. Our parties take different forms, from creating paper wings to pin onto stuffed animals to making angel food cake. Every angel statue we have graces the table. One year, I looked for angel images online and downloaded them for a child to paste into a booklet.
If you did not grow up knowing about angels, you can enjoy educating yourself. I would recommend this article of an interview with Joan Wester Anderson and any books of her many books. See http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/angels/2002/08/in-the-company-of-angels.aspx
You may also want to learn about saints who knew their guardian angels. Here are a few: Hildegard of Bingen, Isadore the Farmer, Bonaventure, Gemma Galgani, Padre Pio, and Blessed Anna Maria Taigi. Saint Patrick was on a first-name basis with his angel and they had meetings! And I find the most delightful of guardian angel stories is that of Grigio, a big, rather vicious looking gray dog. When Saint John Bosco was hard at his charitable and social justice work in 19th century Italy, he was often in danger. A stray dog showed up one day and began accompanying John wherever he went. Numerous times Grigio saved John’s life. The dog seemed to have a sense in advance when others were plotting against Bosco. Grigio lived an extraordinarily long life and was never seen to eat…..
Looking for ways to celebrate the angels with children? Do you want to help a child become aware of the presence of a guardian angel? Here is some information to pass on, and also an art project. (And don’t forget the angel food cake!)
- The word angel means servant or messenger of God.
- Angels are heavenly beings and considered “higher” than people.
- Angels have no bodies so they do not die; but they think and can make choices.
- They are different from saints, who are people who became especially good.
- There are many places in our Scriptures that talk about angels—at least 296 times!
- The kinds of angels that watch over us are called guardian angels.
Guardian Angel Project:
Copy the information below, preferably onto a piece of colored paper. Using a glue stick, attach that page onto a piece of drawing paper (such as 17”x22”). Read this with a child. Then offer watercolor paints, crayons or markers and suggest the child draw a picture of an angel.
MY GUARDIAN ANGEL
Each of us has an angel that watches over us!
A holy man named Saint Jerome said that every human has a soul. Our souls are very special and very important. Our souls are so important that each one of us is given an angel at the beginning of her or his life!
Our own angels are with us always, protecting and helping us. This is the angel’s work.
Some people talk to their angels, telling the angels if they are scared, lonely, mixed up or need some other kind of help.
Once in a while, some people see their angels. St. Patrick even had meetings with his angel, and he knew his angel’s name! St. John Bosco was a good man who was sometimes in danger because of his work. A big, stray dog came to John often and protected him. Many people believe that the dog was a guardian angel.
Jesus tells us that children’s angels can always see God. So angels connect children and God!