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Guardian Angels Day

Surveys have shown that close to 75% of Americans believe in guardian angels. Guardian Angels Day, also known as Guardian Angel Day, is for giving recognition and thanks to the guardian angels in our life, and to do something special to recognize them. It is a day to learn about the role that guardian angels have played in our lives, as well as to learn about the roles they have played in different cultures and religions.

Today also is an official day of the Catholic Church, known as Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels or the Feast of Guardian Angels. This Catholic festival is celebrated on October 2 each year and is a day to thank God for one's guardian angels. Local celebrations of guardian angels date to the eleventh century CE, and the belief that every human had a guardian angel was widespread in the Catholic church by the twelfth century. The feast was first observed in 1500, by the Franciscan Order.

In 1608, Pope Paul V officially authorized the feast. It originally was a supplement of sorts to the Feast of Saint Michael. In the 1670s, Pope Clement X made October 2 the official date and made the day an obligatory double feast. Leo XIII made it a double major feast in 1883, and since 1976 it has been ranked as an obligatory memorial.

According to Catholic belief, both Christians and non-Christians have a guardian angel assigned to them, that gives them guidance throughout their lives. Guardian angels are from the lowest rank of angels. The angels protect their assigned person from demons and encourage them to do good works. Everyone is reunited with their guardian angel when they reach heaven.

According to beliefs throughout the world, guardian angels may protect people, groups, kingdoms, or countries. The concept of guardian angels goes back to ancient Judaism; in the Hebrew Bible, angels sometimes were given missions to intervene in the affairs of humans, and they are mentioned as being guides and intercessors. Psalm 91:11 is often cited as evidence of guardian angels: "For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."

The New Testament also mentions angels that go between God and man. By the fifth century CE, the belief in guardian angels was prevalent in Christianity. Belief in guardian angels is largely held in the Anglican Communion, and the Eastern Orthodox Church sees guardian angels as friends and protectors. The Catholic Church's beliefs are as described above. Many other Christian denominations, such as Lutherans and Methodists, have some form of belief in guardian angels.

In Islam, there is a belief in mu'aqqibat, which has to do with guardian angels. Some Muslims believe everyone has two guardian angels—one in front of them and one in back of them. In Zoroastrianism, each person has a guardian angel which guides them throughout their life. The belief in guardian angels crosses cultures and religions, and today everyone who believes in their power gives them thanks.

How to Observe Guardian Angels Day

If you are a believer in guardian angels, thank them for what they have done for you. The day may also be celebrated by learning more about the role of guardian angels in different cultures and religions. After reading the description of today's holiday, reading a book on the subject of guardian angels may help you learn more. If you are Catholic, you could also celebrate the day as the Feast of Guardian Angels. Some other ideas on how to celebrate the day include reading Angels on Earth magazine, watching a film about angels—especially one that explores the subject of guardian angels, such as It's a Wonderful Life—or watching a television show about guardian angels, such as Touched by an Angel.

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