From birth to death, everyone has guardian angel, pope says

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Guardian angels exist to protect every human life from its beginning to end, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“The Lord is always near and active in human history, and he also accompanies us with the unique presence of his angels, which the church today venerates” on feast of the Guardian Angels Oct. 2, he said before reciting the Angelus.

Guardian angels are “ministers of divine care for every person,” he said.

“From the beginning to the time of death, human life is surrounded by their unceasing protection,” the pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

He asked everyone to pray for the protection of all those who do the Lord’s work, especially for those who face religious intolerance.

The Gospel reading of the day’s liturgy, he said, recalled Jesus’ parable of the vineyard where the servants would harm or kill the vineyard workers, even the vineyard owner’s own son.

The reading “spurs us to pray for all who work in the Lord’s vineyard, especially where they face violence and threats because of their faith,” he said.

After spending nearly three months at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo, the pope made his permanent return to the Vatican Oct. 1.

Before leaving the hilltop villa, the pope thanked Vatican employees and security for their help in making his vacation unfold with “tranquility and serenity.”

In a Sept. 29 audience with a delegation of town officials, parish leaders, local Italian security as well as Vatican employees and guards, the pope thanked them for their assistance and “qualified service.”

He also met with villa employees Sept. 28, telling them how much he enjoyed being immersed in nature and silence, both of which help people get closer to God.

In a quiet peaceful setting, “it’s easier to find oneself, listen to one’s inner voice — I would say the presence of God — that gives deep meaning to our life,” he said.

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