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Theodore and Pachomius were quickly eating a little bread soaked in water on their way to another monastery where a brother catechumen (one preparing for baptism) was dying.


While awaiting for their bread to soften, fear came to them when they saw an angel standing before them in shining light and, holding out his hand to them, the angel  said, "Give me your sweet smelling  prayers that I may bring them before the Lord."


Theodore and Pachomius bowed down to the ground and prayed unceasingly for the dying brother catechumen that they may see him before he died. They they went on their journey.


As they arrived, the superior told Pachomius, "He has been sick for two days. We could not bring him to town for baptism lest he die on the way."


"Could you not baptize him here?"


"We have no priest."


As they spoke, Pachomius and Theodore saw angels coming to fetch the soul of the dying brother catechumen. But before he passed away, an angel secretly baptized him.


St. Pachomius: Koinonia I. G. 92



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Angel apparitions abound both in the Old and New Testaments. Their role, however, gravitates around the first and second coming of Christ, thus, the two angels who appeared with Christ during His Ascension emphasized this.


Angels, by their very name, connote a messenger; the Archangels are chief messengers.


If we must believe Scriptures, man was created just to fill up the spaces in heaven lost by the rebellious angels. Is that how many angels fell? Well, very few men go to heaven.


If we must fill up the spaces left behind by the rebellious, then we must resemble those with whom we shall sit side by side.

Now, let's see how man and the 9 different choirs of angels work hand in hand for the benefit of the Church.


Christian souls who know little Divine truths but teach this little well are aided by angels.


Men who know the higher heavenly doctrines and teach them to others are helped by archangels.


Men who perform great tasks for the Church are aided by virtues.


Priests who can expel the devil that possesses others are aided by powers.


The greater saints that support the pillar of the Church are aided by principalities.


Moses, because of his great and unique role in God's plan, was aided by a dominion.


Watchful souls who are constantly examining themselves and holding fast to the fear of the Lord, like the hermits, thus making them competent to judge others, are aided by thrones.


Those filled with the love of God and neighbor are inspired by cherubims.


Those inflamed with he love of God so that they inflame others are aided by seraphims.



* * *


The word 'angel' denotes a function rather than a nature. Angels are spirits but they can only be called angels when they deliver some message. Those who deliver messages of lesser importance are called angels; while those who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called archangels.


St. Gregory the Great


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Those who are in the first rank, and have, as it were, wings on their breasts and carry before them faces like the faces of men, in which the countenances of  men appear as in pure water--these are angels, expanding the desires of a profound intellect like wings, not that they have wings like birds, but that they perform the will of God quickly in their desires, as a man flies quickly in his thoughts.


St. Hildegard


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My Guardian Angel came and asked me what was the matter; I asked him to stay with me all night, and he said, "But I must sleep." "No," I replied, "The angels of Jesus do not sleep." "Nevertheless,," he rejoined, smiling, "I ought to rest. Where shall you put me?" I begged him to remain near me. I went to bed; after that he seemed to spread his wings and come over my head. In the morning, he was still there.


Gemma Galgani








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