When I was a little boy and even today now that I am a big boy, when saying my nightly prayers I always include the "Angele Dei" or "Prayer to One's Guardian Angel". I am sure that you know it but in case you don't, it goes like this:
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here,
Ever this day, be at my side
To light and guard, to rule and guide.
If you are Latin buff you can say it in the original Latin like this:
qui custos es mei,
me, tibi commíssum pietáte supérna,
rege et gubérna.
This prayer is about one thousand years old. It was written in the 11th Century by Reginald of Canterbury who was an English monk and poet. The Ángele Dei is found in Reginald's "Life of St. Malchus", about a famous hermit who was a friend of St. Jerome who lived in the fourth century. You remember St Jerome don't you? He was the one who first translated the Hebrew and Greek portions of the Bible into what we call "The Latin Vulgate Bible". He and St. Malchus were also really big on celibacy of which I must say that I am not a big fan. More to my liking is St Anselm who was a friend of Reginald and who was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. He was also a very smart man and is known as the father of scholasticism. Why do I like him so much? Because he was the archbishop who openly and bravely opposed the Crusades for which we are still reaping negative consequences to this very day.
I just happen to be the "padrino" (godfather) of a little four year old Mexican boy named Ian so I take special interest in guardian angels these days. As a matter of fact little Ian says a prayer to his guardian angel every night but the Spanish version of Ángele Dei is slightly different than the English version. It goes like this:
Ángel de mi guarda dulce compañía,
No me desampares ni de noche ni de día.
No me dejes solo que me perdería.
Dear guardian angel my sweet companion,
Do not forsake me night or day.
Do not leave alone lest I get lost.
In case you are interested, guardian angels have their own special feast day on October 2nd. Don't forget to take your GA to lunch on that day. Go ahead and order for your angel. Hint, hint...I think they like angel food cake and just in case your angel isn't hungry you can always eat theirs for desert.
Guardian Angels - Don't leave home without them!
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