The Good Word Of The Day

Friday, July 10, 2009

If We Are The Body...

David Jeremiah - The Coming of Antichrist (1 of 3)

Revelation 17 Whore Babylon Antichrist - Part 1

Antichrist Illuminati Obama New World Order Agenda 2012 Exposed

WSBC Sermon - Salvation is Most Important part 1 of 4

WSBC Sermon - Where Is Jesus part 4 of 4

WSBC Sermon - Jesus Christ in the Book of Revelation part 4 of 4

Manna Fest 420 Rapture Revelation - Ancient Jewish Wedding - Part 1 (2 of 3)

Orange Coast Church Sermon - May 9, 2009 - Intro to Revelation - Part 5

Rev. Flemming Preaches A Live Sermon on The Anti-Christ and The Mark of the Beast

Revelations Part III three

3 Revelations of Faith Part 4

Archangel Michael- A Story of His Intervention in Korean War

Saint Michael The ArchAngel School - Part 1

The One True Faith : Saint Michael and the Angels

Saint Michael the Archangel

Michael (archangel)

Michael (archangel)
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"Saint Michael" redirects here. For other uses, see Saint Michael (disambiguation).
For Roman Catholic views and prayers, see: St. Michael: Roman Catholic traditions and views.
Guido Reni's archangel Michael (in the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome, 1636) tramples Satan. A mosaic of the same painting decorates St. Michael's Altar within St. Peter's Basilica.

Michael (Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל‎, Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; Greek: Μιχαήλ, Mikhaḗl; Latin: Michael or Míchaël; Arabic: میکائیل‎, Mikā'īl) is an archangel in Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition. He is viewed as the field commander of the Army of God. He is mentioned by name in the Book of Daniel,[1] the Book of Jude[2] and the Book of Revelation.[3] In the book of Daniel, Michael appears as "one of the chief princes"[4] who in Daniel's vision comes to the angel Gabriel's aid in his contest with the angel of Persia (Dobiel), and is also described there as the advocate of Israel and "great prince who stands up for the children of your [Daniel's] people".[5]

The Talmudic tradition rendered Michael's name as meaning "who is like El?", - so Michael could consequently mean "One who is like God," a belief shared by Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists.

Much of the late Midrashic detail about Michael was transmitted to Christianity through the Book of Enoch, whence it was taken up and further elaborated. In late medieval Christianity, Michael, together with Saint George, became the patron saint of chivalry, and of the first chivalric order of France, the Order of Saint Michael of 1469. In the British honours system, a chivalric order founded in 1818 is also named for these two saints, the Order of St Michael and St George. St Michael is also considered in many Christian circles as the patron saint of the warrior. Police officers and soldiers, particularly paratroopers and fighter pilots, regard him as their patron. He is also a patron of Germany[6] and of the city of Brussels.[7]

Roman Catholics refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael. Orthodox Christians refer to him as the Taxiarch Archangel Michael or simply Archangel Michael. The New Thought Movement refers to Michael as Christ Michael.[8]

* 1 Old Testament
o 1.1 Book of Daniel
o 1.2 Book of Joshua
* 2 Hebrew apocrypha
o 2.1 War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness
o 2.2 Book of Enoch
o 2.3 Rabbinic traditions
o 2.4 Kabbalistic traditions
* 3 Christian tradition
o 3.1 Canonical New Testament
o 3.2 Christian legend
+ 3.2.1 Apparition of Saint Michael
o 3.3 Latter-Day Saints theology
o 3.4 Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witness belief
o 3.5 Shrines
* 4 Islam
* 5 Bahá'í
* 6 Anthroposophy and the occult
* 7 Literature and popular culture
* 8 See also
* 9 Bibliography
* 10 References
* 11 External links

[edit] Old Testament
The main icon of the Archangel Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin (ca. 1410s).

[edit] Book of Daniel

The prophet Daniel experiences a vision after having undergone a period of fasting. In the vision, an angel identifies Michael as the protector of Israel (10:13, 21). Later in the vision (12:1), Daniel is informed that Michael will stand for Israel during the time of the End . There is no further mention of Michael in the Hebrew Bible.

[edit] Book of Joshua

Some believe the numinous "captain of the host of the Lord" encountered by Joshua in the early days of his campaigns in the Promised Land (Joshua 5:13-15) is Michael the Archangel. This unnamed heavenly messenger is of supernatural and holy origin, likely sent by God:

Once when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you one of us, or one of our adversaries?’ He replied, ‘Neither; but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, and he said to him, ‘What do you command your servant, my lord?’ The commander of the army of the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.’ And Joshua did so.
—Joshua 5:13-15 (NRSV)

There is some controversy about this passage, however. In other places in the Bible, angels do not accept the worship of humans (see Rev. 22:9 for an example); the willingness of this person to accept Joshua's worship implies that he was divine (e.g., a theophany of Christ). However, it is not clear whether the angel was the subject of Joshua's worship or merely instigated worship of God.

[edit] Hebrew apocrypha

[edit] War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness
Archangel Michael defeating Satan on the Coat of Arms of Arkhangelsk, Russia - a city called for this angel

In the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, Michael is described as the prince of light, leading forces of God against the darkness of evil, who is led by Belial. He is described as the "viceroy of heaven", a title that is said to have formerly belonged to The Morning Star[citation needed].

[edit] Book of Enoch

Michael is designated in the Book of Enoch, as "the prince of Israel" and the "archistratege" of God. He is the angel of forbearance and mercy (Enoch, xl:3) who taught Enoch the mysteries of clemency and justice (lxxi:2). Some speculate that the angel in the book of Jubilees (i:27 and ii:1), who is said to have instructed Moses on Mount Sinai and to have delivered to him the tables of the Law, may be Michael.

Enoch 9:1 states that Michael, along with Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel and Suriel heard the cries of men under the strain of the Watchers and their giant offspring. It was Michael and his compatriots that beseeched God on behalf of men, prompting Yahweh to call Enoch to prophethood.

In Enoch 10:15 Yahweh says to Michael; "Go and announce his crime to Samyaza, and to the others who are with him, who have been associated with women, that they might be polluted with all their impurity. And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the day of Judgement, and of consummation, until the judgement, the effect of which will last forever and be completed."

Enoch 20:5 says that Michael presides over human virtue in order to command nations.

Enoch 24:4-10 has Enoch before the Tree of Life/Mercy, and Michael explains to him that he should not touch it, for it is for those who are 'elect' after the day of Judgement.

Enoch 40:8 says that Michael is patient and merciful.

Enoch 53:6 states that Michael, along with Gabriel, Raphael and Phanuel shall be strengthened during the Battle of Armageddon.

Enoch 58 shows Enoch overcome with terror over a vision he has, and Michael is quick to interpret. The terror is only for those who turn on Yahweh, that the Day of Judgement is for the elect, a day of covenant, while for sinners it is a day of inquisition.

Enoch 66:14-15 has Michael explaining to Enoch that the evil spirits [demons] shall bear witness against those of the flesh who supported them. Yet Enoch is told that Michael holds a secret oath so that the elect shall not perish by their knowledge like the sinners, Enoch 68:20-22.

Enoch 70:11-16 shows that Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Phanuel always 'escort' Yahweh [God the Father], whenever He leaves His Throne.

[edit] Rabbinic traditions

According to rabbinic Jewish tradition, Michael acted as the advocate of Israel, and sometimes had to fight with the princes of the other nations (cf. Daniel 10:13) and particularly with the angel Samael, Israel's accuser. Michael's enmity with Samael dates from the time when the latter was thrown down from heaven. Samael took hold of the wings of Michael, whom he wished to bring down with him in his fall; but Michael was saved by God (Midrash Pirke R. El. xxvi.).[9]

The rabbis declare that Michael entered upon his role of defender at the time of the biblical patriarchs. Thus, according to Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob, it was Michael who rescued Abraham from the furnace into which he had been thrown by Nimrod (Midrash Genesis Rabbah xliv. 16). It was Michael, the "one that had escaped" (Genesis 14:13), who told Abraham that Lot had been taken captive (Midrash Pirke R. El.), and who protected Sarah from being defiled by Abimelech. He announced to Sarah that she would bear a son and he rescued Lot at the destruction of Sodom (Talmud B. M. 86b).

It is said that Michael prevented Isaac from being sacrificed by his father by substituting a ram in his place, and saved Jacob, while yet in his mother's womb, from being killed by Samael (Midr. Abkir, in Yalḳ., Gen. 110). Later Michael prevented Laban from harming Jacob (Pirke R. El. xxxvi.). According to one source, it was Michael who wrestled with Jacob and who afterward blessed him (Targum pseudo-Jonathan to Genesis xxxii. 25; Pirke R. El. xxxvii.).

The midrash Exodus Rabbah holds that Michael exercised his function of advocate of Israel at the time of the Exodus also, when Satan (as an adversary) accused the Israelites of idolatry and declared that they were consequently deserving of death by drowning in the Red Sea (Ex. R. xviii. 5). But according to Midr. Abkir, when Uzza, the tutelar angel of Egypt, summoned Michael to plead before God, Michael remained silent, and it was God Himself who defended Israel.

Legend makes Michael the teacher of Moses; so that the Israelites are indebted to their advocate for the supreme good of the Torah. This idea is alluded to in Midrash Deuteronomy Rabbah xi. 6 in the statement that Michael declined to bring Moses' soul to God on the ground that he had been Moses' teacher.

Michael is said to have destroyed the army of Sennacherib (Midrash Exodus Rabbah xviii. 5), a deed normally attributed to an otherwise unnamed angel of destruction but perhaps accomplished by Uriel, Gabriel, or others.

Michael is also credited with being the angel who spoke to Moses in the burning bush (an honor often bestowed upon Zagzagel).

He is accepted in lore as well as being the special patron of Adam. Supposedly he was the first angel in all of the heavens to bow down before humanity.[10] Michael then kept an eye on the first family, remaining vigilant even after the fall of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

In the apocryphal Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, Michael taught Adam how to farm. The archangel later brought Adam to heaven in a fiery chariot, giving him a tour of the blessed realm. After Adam's death, Michael helped convince the Lord to permit Adam's soul to be brought to heaven and cleansed of its great sin. Jewish legend also states Michael to be one of the three "men" who visited Abraham. He is said to have tried to prevent Israel from being led into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar II and to save the Temple from destruction; but the sins of the people were so great that he was powerless to carry his purposes into effect. There is a legend which seems to be of Jewish origin, and which was adopted by the Copts, to the effect that Michael was first sent by God to bring Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, and that Michael was afterward very active in freeing his nation from Babylonian captivity (Amélineau, "Contes et Romans de l'Egypte Chrétienne," ii. 142 et seq.). According to a midrash, Michael saved Hananiah and his companions from the Fiery furnace (Midrash Genesis Rabbah xliv. 16). Michael was active in the time of Esther: "The more Haman accused Israel on earth, the more Michael defended Israel in heaven" (Midrash Esther Rabbah iii. 8). It was Michael who reminded Ahasuerus that he was Mordecai's debtor (Targum to Esther vi. 1); and there is a legend that Michael appeared to the high priest Hyrcanus, promising him assistance (comp. Josephus, "Ant." xiii. 10, § 3).

The motive of Michael and the dragon appears in Michael's fight with Samael in Assumptio Mosis, x.). This legend is not found in Jewish sources except insofar as Samael or Satan is called in the Kabbalah "the primitive serpent".

The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and His people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy. There were two prayers written beseeching him as the prince of mercy to intercede in favor of Israel: one composed by Eliezer ha-Kalir, and the other by Judah b. Samuel he-Hasid. But appeal to Michael seems to have been more common in ancient times. Thus Jeremiah is said (Baruch Apoc. Ethiopic, ix. 5) to have addressed a prayer to him. "When a man is in need he must pray directly to God, and neither to Michael nor to Gabriel" (Yer. Ber. ix. 13a).

With regard to the nature of the offerings which Michael brings to the altar, one opinion is that they are the souls of the just, while according to another they are fiery sheep. The former opinion, which has become prevalent in Jewish mystical writings, explains the important position occupied by Michael in Jewish eschatology. The idea that Michael is the Charon of individual souls, which is common among Christians, is not found in Jewish sources, but that he is in charge of the souls of the just appears in many Jewish writings.

Michael is said to have had a dispute with Samael over the soul of Moses (Midrash Deut. Rabbah xi. 6.) According to the Zohar, Michael accompanies the souls of the pious and helps them to enter the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem. It is said that Michael and his host are stationed at the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem and give admittance to the souls of the just. Michael's function is to open the gates also of justice to the just. It is also said that at the resurrection Gabriel will sound the trumpet, at which the graves will open and the dead will rise.

[edit] Kabbalistic traditions

In later Jewish writings, particularly in Kabbalistic works, he is viewed as "the advocate of the Jews."

[edit] Christian tradition
Saint Michael the Archangel

A 13th-century Byzantine icon from Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai
Canonized pre-congregation
Feast September 29 ("Michaelmas"); May 8; many other local and historical feasts
Attributes Archangel; Treading on Satan or a serpent; carrying a banner, scales, and sword
Patronage Paratroopers; Police officers; Mariners; Grocers; the sick; Paramedics; the German people; the Archdiocese of Toronto

[edit] Canonical New Testament

In the Epistle of Jude of the New Testament in verse 9, St Michael disputes with the Devil over the body of Moses. In Revelation 12:7-8, "And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven." Saint John describes Satan being thrown out of heaven three and a half years from the end of the age, "a time, times and half a time" (Revelation 12:14). Satan being thrown from heaven coincides with the "abomination that causes desolation" as spoken of by the prophet (Daniel 9:27). In Catholic teachings, Saint Michael will also triumph at the end times when Antichrist will be defeated by him.[11] The Book of Daniel (12:1) states: "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise."[12]

[edit] Christian legend

According to some Christian theologians Saint Michael may appear in Scripture where his name is not mentioned. Examples of this include the cherub who stood at the gate of paradise, "to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24), the angel through whom God published the Decalogue to his chosen people, the angel who stood in the way against Balaam (Numbers 22:22 sqq.), the angel who routed the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35).

It may have been natural to St Michael, the champion of the Jewish people, to be the champion also of Catholic Christians, giving victory in war to his clients. The early Catholics, however, regarded some of the martyrs as their military patrons: Saint George, Saint Theodore, Saint Demetrius, Saints Sergius and Bacchus, Saint Procopius, Saint Mercurius, etc.; but to St Michael they gave the care of their sick. At the place where he was first venerated, in Phrygia (modern-day Turkey), his prestige as an angelic healer obscured his interposition in military affairs. It was from early times the centre of the true cult of the holy angels, particularly of St Michael. Catholic tradition relates that Saint Michael in the earliest ages caused a medicinal spring to spout at Chairotopa near Colossae, where all the sick who bathed there, invoking the Blessed Trinity and St Michael, were cured.
The Miracle of St. Michael at Chonae, 12th-century icon from Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai.

Still more famous are the legends of the springs which St. Michael is said to have drawn from the rock at Colossae (Chonae, on the Lycus). Catholic tradition tells that the pagans directed a stream against the sanctuary of St. Michael to destroy it, but the custodian of the shrine, named Archippus, prayed to St. Michael and the archangel appeared and split the rock, opening up a new bed to divert the stream, and forever sanctified the waters which came from the gorge. The Orthodox Church believes that this apparition took place about the middle of the first century and celebrates a feast in commemoration of it on September 6[13] as the "Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Chonae."[14] The Monastery of the Miracle in the Moscow Kremlin, where the Russian Tsars were baptized, was dedicated to the Feast of the Miracle at Chonae (Kona). Hot springs at Pythia in Bithynia and elsewhere in Asia Minor were also dedicated to St Michael.

At Constantinople likewise, Saint Michael was the great heavenly physician. His principal sanctuary, the "Michaelion", was at Sosthenion, some fifty miles south of Constantinople. He supposedly visited Emperor Constantine the Great at Constantinople, intervened in assorted battles, and appeared, sword in hand, over the mausoleum of Hadrian, in apparent answer to the prayers of Pope St. Gregory I the Great (r. 590-604) that a plague in Rome should cease. In honor of the occasion, the pope took to calling the mausoleum the "Castel Sant'Angelo" (Castle of the Holy Angel), the name by which it is still known. The sick slept in this church at night to wait for a manifestation of St Michael; his feast was kept there June 9.

Another famous church was within the walls of the city, at the thermal baths of the Emperor Arcadius; there the synaxis of the archangel was celebrated November 8. This feast spread over the entire Greek Church, and the Syrian, Armenian, and Coptic Churches also adopted it. It is currently the principal feast of St Michael amongst the Eastern Christians. Although originating in Phrygia, its station at Constantinople was known as the "Thermae of Arcadius" (Martinow, "Annus Graeco-slavicus", November 8). Other feasts of St Michael at Constantinople were: October 27, in the "Promotu" Church; June 18, in the Church of St Julian at the Forum; and December 10, at Athaea.
Archangel Michael as represented on a coin of Emperor Michael V.

The Catholics of Egypt placed their life-giving river, the Nile, under the protection of Saint Michael; they adopted the above Greek feast and kept it on November 12. On the twelfth of every month they celebrate a special Commemoration of the Archangel Michael. In addition, on June 12, when the Nile river commences to rise, they keep as a day of obligation the feast of "St Michael for the rising of the Nile."

At Rome the Leonine Sacramentary (sixth century) has the "Natale Basilicae Angeli via Salaria", September 30; of the five Masses for the feast three mention St Michael. The Gelasian Sacramentary (seventh century) gives the feast "S. Michaelis Archangeli", and the Gregorian Sacramentary (eighth century), "Dedicatio Basilionis S. Angeli Michaelis", September 29. A manuscript also here adds "via Salaria" (Ebner, "Miss. Rom. Iter Italicum", 127). This Church of the Via Salaria was six miles to the north of the city; in the ninth century it was called Basilica Archangeli in Septimo (Armellini, "Chiese di Roma", p. 85). It disappeared a thousand years ago. At Rome also the part of heavenly physician was given to St Michael. According to an (apocryphal?) legend of the tenth century he appeared over the Moles Hadriani (Castel di S. Angelo), in 950, during the procession which St. Gregory held against the pestilence, putting an end to the plague. Pope Boniface IV (608-15) built on the Moles Hadriani in honour of him, a church, which was styled St. Michaelis inter nubes (in summitate circi).[15]
Fontaine Saint-Michel in Paris

In Normandy, Saint Michael is the patron of mariners in his famous sanctuary at Mont-Saint-Michel in the Diocese of Coutances. He is said to have appeared there, in 708, to St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches. In Normandy his feast "S. Michaelis in periculo maris" or "in Monte Tumba" was universally celebrated on October 18, the anniversary of the dedication of the first church, October 16, 710; the feast is now confined to the Diocese of Coutances.
Saint Aubert's dream
The Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, France

In Germany, after its evangelization, Saint Michael replaced for the Christians the pagan god Wotan, to whom many mountains were sacred, hence the numerous mountain chapels of St. Michael all over Germany. He is also known as the patron saint of the German Nation. His picture bedecked the war standard of the old German Empire (the Holy Roman Empire).

The hymns of the Roman Office are said to have been composed by Saint Rabanus Maurus of Fulda (d. 856). The hymn "Te Splendor" to Saint Michael (which derives its name from the fact that in Latin it begins with Te splendor et virtus Patris) is published in the Raccolta collection of prayers with indulgences and in 1817 Pope Pius VII granted an indulgence for saying the hymn.[16]

In art, St Michael is represented as an angelic warrior, fully armed with helmet, sword, and shield (often the shield bears the Latin inscription: "Quis ut Deus?"), standing over the dragon, whom he sometimes pierces with a lance. He also holds a pair of scales in which he weighs the souls of the departed (cf. Rock, "The Church of Our Fathers", III, 160), or the Book of Life, to show that he takes part in the judgment. Michaelangelo depicted this scene on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.[17]

His feast (September 29) in the Middle Ages was celebrated as a holy day of obligation, as he was the patron of knights, but along with several other feasts it was gradually abolished since the eighteenth century. Michaelmas Day, in England and other countries, is one of the regular quarter-days for settling rents and accounts; but it is no longer remarkable for the hospitality with which it was formerly celebrated. Stubble-geese being esteemed in perfection about this time, most families had one dressed on Michaelmas Day. In some parishes (Isle of Skye) they had a procession on this day and baked a cake, called St Michael's bannock.

Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians often refer to the angel Michael as "Saint Michael", an honorific title that does not indicate canonisation. He is generally referred to in Christian litanies as "Saint Michael the Archangel." Orthodoxy accords him the title "Archistrategos", or "Supreme Commander of the Heavenly Hosts."
St Michael's Victory over the Devil, sculpture above the main entrance to St. Michaelis in Hamburg, Germany.

Saint Michael was usually honored on mountain tops and high places, and many famous shrines to him survive on those places, often replacing shrines of pre-Christian gods concerned with weather, like Wotan.

In Greek folklore, St Michael also assumed the god Hermes' role as the psychopomp who leads souls to Hades, and in the role of weigher of souls on Judgment Day. A related folk belief is that St Michael's face can only be seen by the dead and by those about to die. It is for this reason that some folk icons depict him without a face.
The Altar of the Chapel of Saint Michael, an Episcopal Church in Sagada, Mountain Province, Mountain Province, Philippines.

In the Roman Catholic Church Saint Michael has four main roles or offices.[18] He is the Christian angel of death, carrying the souls of all the deceased to heaven, where they are weighed in his perfectly balanced scales (hence Michael is often depicted holding scales). At the hour of death, Michael descends and gives each soul the chance to redeem itself before passing, thus consternating the devil and his minions. St Michael is the special patron of the Chosen People in the Old Testament and is guardian of the Church; it was thus not unusual for the angel to be revered by the military orders of knights during the Middle Ages. Last, he is the supreme enemy of Satan and the fallen angels.

In the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and the Lutheran Calendar of Saints, his feast day, once widely known as Michaelmas, is celebrated September 29 and was one of the four quarter days on which accounts were settled and, in England, when terms began in universities. In the Eastern Orthodox Church his principal feast day is November 8, where he is honored along with the rest of the "Bodiless Powers of Heaven" as their Supreme Commander, and his miraculous appearance at Colossae (see below) is commemorated on September 6.

The last visit, that of his appearance over the mausoleum of Hadrian, certified one major aspect involving Michael, namely his role as an angel of healing. This title was bestowed at Phrygia, in Asia Minor, which also propagated the cult of angels and became a leading center for their veneration. St Michael is reputed to have caused a healing spring to flow in the first century at Colossae, and his churches were frequently visited by the sick and lame. The angel is invoked additionally as the patron of sailors in Normandy (the famous monastery of Mont Saint Michel on the north coast of France is named after him). He is especially remembered in France as the angel who, along with Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret gave Saint Joan of Arc the courage to save her country from the English during the Hundred Years' War (1337-1455). Perhaps his most singular honor was given to him in 1950 when Pope Pius XII (r. 1939-1958) named him patron of policemen. St Michael is also said to have announced to the Virgin Mary her impending death, declaring himself to be "Great and Wonderful."
A monument to St. Michael, the patron of Kiev at the Independence Square in the center of the city.

According to legend, Michael instructed St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches to build a church on the rocky islet now known as Mont Saint Michel in 708. Also dedicated to Michael was the French Order of St Michel founded in 1469.[19] Today, however, he is more usually associated with police officers, paramedics, EMTs and other emergency workers.[20] He is also claimed as the patron saint of the American airborne units. He is the patron of Ukraine and its capital Kiev and of the archdiocese of Seattle.

In Australia, National Police Remembrance day is commemorated on September 29 each year, being the feast day of St Michael.

Under the influence of the widely read angelology of the Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, among Church fathers much time was spent allotting Michael a rank in the celestial hierarchy: Alfonso Salmeron, Cardinal Bellarmine, Saint Basil the Great's homily (De Angelis) and other Greek fathers place Saint Michael over all the angels; they say he is called "Archangel" because he is the prince of the other angels. Others (cf. P. Bonaventura, op. cit.) believe that he is the prince of the Seraphim, the first of the nine angelic orders. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas (Summa Ia. 113.3), he is the Prince of the last and lowest choir, the angels.

The hymn of the Mozarabic Breviary places St Michael even above the Twenty-four Elders.

A favorite angelic subject in art, matched only by Saint Gabriel, Saint Michael is often depicted as winged and with unsheathed sword. As with all angels' iconography, his wings represent swiftness, his sword means authority or power, and his white raiment stands for his enlightenment.[21] In the Renaissance period, he is shown as young, strong, and handsome, and is most often depicted as a proud, handsome angel in white or magnificent armor or a splendid coat of mail and equipped with sword, shield and spear. His wings are generally conspicuous and very grand. He is usually shown holding in his hand a banner or the scales of justice. Quite often he is seen, like Saint George and in some representations of the Madonna, in conflict with a dragon or standing upon a vanquished devil, who most of the time is Satan.
Stylised, on National Police Memorial Australia

[edit] Apparition of Saint Michael

The Roman Breviary for May 8 relates the story of the apparition of Saint Michael (494 or 530-40) at his sanctuary on Monte Gargano, where his original glory as patron in war was restored to him. This is further alluded to in a paragraph listed for the feast day of St Michael on this date found in the "Saint Andrew Daily Missal."[22] To his intercession the Lombards of Sipontum (modern-day Manfredonia) attributed their victory over the Greek Neapolitans May 8, 663. To commemorate this victory the Church of Sipontum instituted a special feast on May 8 in honour of the archangel, which spread throughout the Latin Church under the name "Apparition of St Michael", although it originally commemorated the victory, not the apparition. The Tridentine Calendar gave this feast the rank of "Double", which was raised in 1602 to the newly invented rank of "Greater Double". In 1960 Pope John XXIII removed it from the General Roman Calendar, along with other cases of second feasts of a single saint.[23]

[edit] Latter-Day Saints theology

According to Latter-day Saint theology, Michael lived his mortal life as the patriarch Adam. Michael and Adam are regarded as the same individual; Adam being his mortal name and Michael being his pre-mortal/post-mortal name. Thus, all of the descendents of Adam are the earthly descendents of Michael. Adam's angelic name, Michael ("(he) who is like God"), would be descriptive of the man's appearance, being as he was created in the image of the Father. Brigham Young preached on April 9, 1852 that Adam/Michael came to earth with a spiritual purpose, had helped to create the world, and is now an exalted being.[24]

See also: Adam, Noah ~ Gabriel (archangel)

[edit] Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witness belief

Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus and the Archangel Michael are the same being (Seventh-Day Adventists believe that Jesus/Michael made the universe, the angels and mankind). In this pre-human existence he was known as the Word of God. He later took human form as Jesus and led a life without sin. After his death (Jehovah's Witnesses believe he died on a torture stake), Jesus was resurrected in spiritual form.

See also Seventh-day Adventist beliefs about Michael and Jehovah's witnesses beliefs about Jesus.

[edit] Shrines

For a larger gallery (and hence a structured list) of church images, please see: Saint Michael church gallery.

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev.
Basilica of St Michael the Archangel in Tayabas, Quezon.

* St. Michael's Cathedral (Toronto), Ontario, Canada
* St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, in Brussells, Belgium
* Mont Saint Michel, Normandy, France - a World Heritage Site
* Skellig Michael, off the Irish west coast - a World Heritage Site
* Archangel Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin - a World Heritage Site
* Chudov Monastery in the Moscow Kremlin, where the future Russian tsars were baptized
* St. Michael Chapel in Košice, Slovakia
* Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano, Gargano, Italy
* St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, UK
* Michaelhouse Chapel, Balgowan, KZN, South Africa
* St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, Kiev, Ukraine
* St Michael's Church in Vienna, Austria
* St. Michael and All Angels' Anglican Church, Weltevreden Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
* Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
* Basilica of St Michael the Archangel, Tayabas, Quezon, Philippines
* St. Michael's Cathedral, Wagga Wagga, Australia

[edit] Islam

In Arabic literature, Michael is called Mikha'il. In the Qur'an, Michael is mentioned once only, in Sura 2:98. In his commentary on verse 98 of that sura, Baiḍawi relates that on one occasion Umar ibn al-Khattab went into a Jewish school and inquired concerning Gabriel. The pupils said he was their enemy, but that Michael was a good angel, bringing peace and plenty. In answer to Umar's question as to the respective positions of Michael and Gabriel in God's presence, they said that Gabriel was on His right hand and Michael on His left. Umar exclaimed at their untruthfulness, and declared that whoever was an enemy to God's angels, to him God would be an enemy. Upon returning to Muhammad, Umar found that Gabriel had forestalled him by revealing the same message, which is contained in verse 98. Muslim commentators state with reference to Sura 11:69 that Michael was one of the three angels who visited Abraham.

[edit] Bahá'í

In Thief in the Night, the Bahá'í writer, William Sears, interpreted references to Michael as referring to Bahá'u'lláh.[25] He quotes Daniel (10:13): "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me...'.Daniel was told that this vision concerned "...what shall befall thy people (Israel) in the latter days."Sears interprets this as a prophecy about Bahá'u'lláh, who was a Persian nobleman of Sassanian royal lineage. He also quotes from the Book of Enoch (69:14): "He (God) spoke to holy Michael to discover to them the sacred name, that they might understand that secret name".

[edit] Anthroposophy and the occult

The French occultist, Eliphas Levi, the German philosopher Franz von Baader, and the Theosophist Louis Claude de St. Martin spoke of 1879 as the year in which Michael overcame the dragon. This is confirmed by the esoteric writer Rudolf Steiner in a lecture in Zurich on November 13, 1917, where he states: "in 1879, in November, a momentous event took place, a battle of the Powers of Darkness against the Powers of Light, ending in the image of Michael overcoming the Dragon"[26].

Anthroposophists consider Michael to be the administrator of cosmic intelligence, who 'dwells on the Sun'. Waldorf schools celebrate the Michaelmas Festival (the festival of 'strong will') during the Autumnal Equinox (September 29).

Michael also plays a prominent role in many of the rituals of Western Ceremonial magic based on Hermetic Qabalah. He is commonly called forth from the direction of South under the classical element of fire.

[edit] Literature and popular culture

In the English epic poem Paradise Lost by John Milton, Michael commands the army of angels loyal to God against the rebel forces of Satan. Armed with a sword from God's armory, he bests Satan in personal combat, wounding his side.[27]

According to a diary authored by Father Raymond Bishop, a Jesuit priest at Saint Louis University, the mere mention of the name of St. Michael caused scratches on a 13-year old boy during an exorcism. Near the end of the exorcism, the boy saw a vision of the Devil and ten of his helpers engaged in a fiery battle with St. Michael. At one point during the dream, the angel smiled at the boy and said "Dominus." Shortly thereafter, the boy shouted out: "Satan! Satan! I am St. Michael, and I command you Satan, and the other evil spirits to leave the body in the name of Dominus, Immediately." Father Bishop's diary was used by William Peter Blatty as the basis for his book, The Exorcist, and later, by Thomas B. Allen, in his 1993 book Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism.[citation needed]

Archangel Michael appears in the Crucible Trilogy by fantasy author Sara Douglas. He is portrayed as violent and an enforcer, a common view of angels in the Dark Ages.[citation needed]

The Archangel Michael was the title character, played by John Travolta, in the 1996 movie Michael. The film was a comedy about an "unconventional angel" found living on Earth. Cast member Robert Pastorelli described Michael in an interview as "God's bouncer."[citation needed]

In Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, Michael is one of the Powers That Be, and is described as "the One's champion". He has two different incarnations inside mortal beings during the course of the series: first as an oracular macaw, and later as an Irish wizard who wields the Spear Lúin to defeat Balor, one of the many shadows of the Lone Power, or Satan.[citation needed]

In Episode 13, Season 2 of the television show Supernatural, the character Sam points to an image on the church wall and says, "Father, that's Michael, right?", to which the Priest replies, "That's right. The archangel Michael, with the flaming sword. The fighter of demons, holy force against evil."[citation needed]

Michael is a song from the album Jordan: The Comeback by Prefab Sprout. A reflective and contrite Lucifer asks Michael the Archangel to help him write a letter appealing to God for forgiveness.[citation needed]

[edit] See also
Saints portal
Turamichele (Tower-Michael) in Augsburg / Germany

* Prayer to Saint Michael
* Novena to Saint Michael
* Chaplet of Saint Michael
* Angel
* Archangel
* St. George
* San Michele
* Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel

[edit] Bibliography

* Bamberger, Bernard Jacob, (March 15, 2006). Fallen Angels: Soldiers of Satan's Realm. Jewish Publication Society of America. ISBN 0-8276-0797-0
* Briggs, Constance Victoria, 1997. The Encyclopedia of Angels : An A-to-Z Guide with Nearly 4,000 Entries. Plume. ISBN 0-452-27921-6.
* Bunson, Matthew, (1996). Angels A to Z : A Who's Who of the Heavenly Host. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-517-88537-9.
* Cruz, Joan C. 1999. Angels and Devils. Tan Books & Publishers. ISBN 0-89555-638-3.
* Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels. Free Press. ISBN 0-02-907052-X
* Graham, Billy, 1994. Angels: God's Secret Agents. W Pub Group; Minibook edition. ISBN 0-8499-5074-0
* Guiley, Rosemary, 1996. Encyclopedia of Angels. ISBN 0-8160-2988-1
* Kreeft, Peter J. 1995. Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know About Them? Ignatius Press. ISBN 0-89870-550-9
* Lewis, James R. (1995). Angels A to Z. Visible Ink Press. ISBN 0-7876-0652-9
* Melville, Francis, 2001. The Book of Angels: Turn to Your Angels for Guidance, Comfort, and Inspiration. Barron's Educational Series; 1st edition. ISBN 0-7641-5403-6
* Ronner, John, 1993. Know Your Angels: The Angel Almanac With Biographies of 100 Prominent Angels in Legend & Folklore-And Much More! Mamre Press. ISBN 0-932945-40-6.

[edit] References

1. ^ Daniel 10:13
2. ^ Jude 1:9
3. ^ Revelation 12:7
4. ^ Daniel 10:13
5. ^ Daniel 10:21, 12:1
6. ^ "Michael the Archangel". Patron Saints Index. Catholic Community Forum. Retrieved on 2007-12-04.
7. ^ Bruxelles International : Brussels... Mysterious and esoteric
8. ^
9. ^ "Jewish Encyclopedia - MICHAEL". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2009-02-18.
10. ^ Kirkham, Melanie, Beyond Archangel - The Archangel Theme in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Grin Verlag, 2007 [1]
11. ^ Catholic encyclopedia [2]
12. ^ Bible gateway, Daniel 12:1 [3]
13. ^ Analecta Bolland., VIII, p 285-328
14. ^ *Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Chonae
15. ^ Alban Butler, The lives of the fathers, martyrs, and other principal saints Published by Published by J. Duffy, 1866 page 320
16. ^ The Raccolta Collection of indulgenced prayers by T. Galli, authorized translation by Ambrose Saint John, Published by Burns and Lambert, London, 1857, page 252
17. ^ Vatican website: Sistine Chapel [4]
18. ^ Catholic encyclopedia [5]
19. ^ Angels in the early modern world By Alexandra Walsham, Cambridge University Press, 2006 ISBN 0521843324 page 2008
20. ^ Michael McGrath, Patrons and Protectors Published by Liturgy Training, 2001 ISBN 1568541090
21. ^ Lesser Feasts and Fasts, p. 380 (Episcopal Church).
22. ^ As found on page 1328 the section reads: During the pontificate of Pope Gelasius I, in 492, St Michael appeared on the summit of Monte Gargano in Apulia, near the Adriatic coast of Italy on the same latitude as Rome. He asked that a church dedicated to him should be built, in which God should be worshipped in memory of himself and all the angels. This shrine was made famous by many miracles. Today's feast celebrates its dedication rather than the apparition itself; just as the feast of September 29 commemorates the dedication of the same Archangel's church at Rome. "The Saint Andrew Daily Missal, with Vespers for Sundays and Feasts," by Dom Gaspar LeFebvre, O.S.B., St Paul, MN, E. M. Lohmann Co., 1952, pp 1,959
23. ^ General Roman Calendar of 1962
25. ^ Sears, W. (2002) [1961]. Thief in the Night. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. ISBN 085398008x.
26. ^ Steiner, Rudolf (1994) [1917]. Christopher Bamford. ed. The Archangel Michael. Hudson, NY: Anthroposophic Press. ISBN 0-88010-378-7.
27. ^ John Milton, Paradise Lost ISBN 0140424393 page 310

[edit] External links

* Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Michael
* Jewish Encyclopedia: Michael


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Angels)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the supernatural beings. For other uses, see Angel (disambiguation).
One of Melozzo's famous angels from the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli, now in the sacristy of St. Peter's.
The Archangel Michael wears a late Roman military cloak and cuirass in this 17th century depiction by Guido Reni

Angels are usually viewed as messengers of a supreme divine being, sent to do the tasks of that being. Traditions vary as to whether angels have free will. While the appearance of angels also varies, many views of angels give them a human shape. Despite a common popular belief— or at least metaphor— that angels are former human beings, most major religious groups deny such a view, and this position is held only by Latter Day Saints and the Bahá'í Faith.[citation needed]

* 1 Etymology
* 2 Judaic beliefs
* 3 Christianity
o 3.1 Iconography
o 3.2 Latter Day Saint beliefs
* 4 Islam
* 5 Zoroastrianism
* 6 Bahá'í Faith
* 7 Hinduism
* 8 Mysticism
* 9 Contemporary research
* 10 See also
* 11 Notes
* 12 References
* 13 Further reading
* 14 External links

[edit] Etymology

The word angel in English is a fusion of the Old English word engel (with a hard g) and the Old French angele. Both derive from the Latin angelus, and thence the Koine Greek angellos ('messenger') used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew mal'akh (yehowah) "messenger (of Yahweh)".[1][2]

[edit] Judaic beliefs
Andrei Rublev's icon showing the three Angels hosted by Abraham

The Bible uses the terms מלאך אלהים (melakh Elohim; messenger of God), מלאך יהוה (melakh Adonai; messenger of the Lord), בני אלוהים (b'nai Elohim; sons of God) and הקדושים (ha-qodeshim; the holy ones) to refer to beings traditionally interpreted as angels. Other terms are used in later texts, such as העליונים (ha'oleevoneem; the upper ones). Daniel is the first biblical figure to refer to individual angels by name.[3]

In post-Biblical Judaism, certain angels came to take on a particular significance and developed unique personalities and roles. Though these archangels were believed to have rank amongst the heavenly host, no systematic hierarchy ever developed. Metatron is considered one of the highest of the angels in Merkabah and Kabbalist mysticism and often serves as a scribe. He is briefly mentioned in the Talmud,[4] and figures prominently in Merkabah mystical texts. Michael, who serves as a warrior and advocate for Israel (Daniel 10:13) is looked upon particularly fondly. Gabriel is mentioned in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 8:15-17) and briefly in the Talmud,[5] as well as many Merkabah mystical texts.

Medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides explained his view of angels in his Guide for the Perplexed II:4 and II:6:

...This leads Aristotle in turn to the demonstrated fact that God, glory and majesty to Him, does not do things by direct contact. God burns things by means of fire; fire is moved by the motion of the sphere; the sphere is moved by means of a disembodied intellect, these intellects being the 'angels which are near to Him', through whose mediation the spheres [planets] move... thus totally disembodied minds exist which emanate from God and are the intermediaries between God and all the bodies [objects] here in this world.

– Guide of the Perplexed II:4, Maimonides

[edit] Christianity
An angel in The Dream of St. Ursula (1495) by Vittore Carpaccio
Coat of arms of Sant'Angelo (rione of Rome)
Main article: Christian angelic hierarchy

Early Christians took over Jewish ideas of angels. In the early stage, the Christian concept of an angel shifted between the angel as a messenger of God and a manifestation of God himself. Later came identification of individual angelic messengers: Gabriel, Michael, (Raphael, and Uriel). Then, in the space of little more than two centuries (from the third to the fifth) the image of angels took on definite characteristics both in theology and in art.[6]

By the late fourth century, the Church Fathers agreed that there were different categories of angels, with appropriate missions and activities assigned to them. Some theologians had proposed that Jesus was not divine but on the level of immaterial beings subordinate to the Trinity. The resolution of this Trinitarian dispute included the development of doctrine about angels.[7]

The angels are represented throughout the Christian Bible as a body of spiritual beings intermediate between God and men: "You have made him (man) a little less than the angels..." (Psalms 8:4,5). They, equally with man, are created beings; "praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts... for He spoke and they were made. He commanded and they were created..." (Psalms 148:2-5; Colossians 1:16). The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) declared that the angels were created beings. The Council's decree Firmiter credimus (issued against the Albigenses) declared both that angels were created and that men were created after them. The First Vatican Council (1869) repeated this declaration in Dei Filius, the "Dogmatic constitution on the Catholic faith". In traditional Christianity angels are regarded as asexual and not belonging to either gender.

The words "He that liveth for ever created all things together..." (Ecclesiasticus 18:1) have been held to prove a simultaneous creation of all things; but it is generally conceded that "together" (simul) may here mean "equally", in the sense that all things were "alike" created. Angels are spirits; the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says: "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister to them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14).

[edit] Iconography
12th century icon of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel wearing the loros of the Imperial guards.

The earliest known Christian image of an angel, in the Cubicolo dell'Annunziazione in the Catacomb of Priscilla, which is dated to the middle of the third century, is without wings. Representations of angels on sarcophagi and on objects such as lamps and reliquaries of that period also show them without wings,[8] as for example the angel in the Sacrifice of Isaac scene in the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus.

The earliest known representation of angels with wings is on what is called the Prince's Sarcophagus, discovered at Sarigüzel, near Istanbul, in the 1930s, and attributed to the time of Theodosius I (379-395).[9]

In this same period, Saint John Chrysostom explained the significance of angels' wings: "They manifest a nature's sublimity. That is why Gabriel is represented with wings. Not that angels have wings, but that you may know that they leave the heights and the most elevated dwelling to approach human nature. Accordingly, the wings attributed to these powers have no other meaning than to indicate the sublimity of their nature."[10]

From then on, though of course with some exceptions, Christian art represented angels with wings, as in the cycle of mosaics in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major (432-440).[11] Four- and six-winged angels, often with only their face and wings showing, drawn from the higher grades of angels, especially cherubim and seraphim, are derived from Persian art, and are usually shown only in heavenly contexts, as opposed to performing tasks on earth. They often appear in the pendentives of domes or semi-domes of churches.

Angels, especially the Archangel Michael, who were depicted as military-style agents of God came to shown wearing Late Antique military uniform. This could be either the normal military dress, with a tunic to about the knees, armour breastplate and pteruges, but also often the specific dress of the bodyguard of the Byzantine Emperor, with a long tunic and the loros, a long gold and jewelled pallium restricted to the Imperial family and their closest guards. The basic military dress is still worn in pictures into the Baroque period and beyond in the West (see Reni picture above), and up to the present day in Eastern Orthodox icons. Other angels came to be conventionally depicted in long robes, and in the later Middle Ages they often wear the vestments of a deacon, a cope over a dalmatic, especially Gabriel in Annunciation scenes - for example the Annunciation in Washington by Jan van Eyck.

[edit] Latter Day Saint beliefs
Bern Switzerland Temple statue of the Angel Moroni

The Latter Day Saint movement (generally called "Mormons") view angels as the messengers of God. They are sent to mankind to deliver messages, minister to humanity, teach doctrines of salvation, call mankind to repentance, give priesthood keys, save individuals in perilous times, and guide humankind.[12]

Latter Day Saints believe that angels are former human beings or the spirits of human beings yet to be born,[13] and accordingly Joseph Smith taught that "there are no angels who minister to this earth but those that do belong or have belonged to it."[14] As such, Latter Day Saints also believe that Adam (the first man) is now the archangel Michael,[15][16] and that Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.[13] Likewise the famous Angel Moroni first lived in a pre-Columbian American civilization as the 5th-century prophet-warrior named Moroni.

Joseph Smith, Jr. described his first angelic encounter thus:[17]

While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.

He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant....

Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me.

Most angelic visitations in the early Latter Day Saint movement were witnessed by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, who both claimed (prior to the establishment of the Church[when?]) to have been visitated by the prophet Moroni, the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi, John the Baptist, and the Apostles Peter, James, and John. Later, at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, Smith and Cowdery claimed to have been visited by Jesus, and subsequently by Moses, Elias, and Elijah.[18]

People who claimed to have received a visit by an angel include the other two of the three witnesses: David Whitmer and Martin Harris. Many other Latter Day Saints, both in the early and modern church, have claimed to have seen angels, though Smith posited that, except in extenuating circumstances such as the restoration, mortals teach mortals, spirits teach spirits and resurrected beings teach other resurrected beings. [19]

[edit] Islam
Main article: Islamic view of angels

Islam is clear on the nature of angels in that they are messengers of God. They have no free will, and can only do that which God orders them to do. Angels mentioned in the Quran include Gabriel (Jibril), Michael (Mikail), Haroot, Maroot, and the Angel of Death, Azrael.

Angels can take on different forms. Prophet Muhammad, the last Prophet of Islam, speaking of the magnitude of Angel Gabriel has said that his wings spanned from the Eastern to the Western horizon. At the same time, it is well known in Islamic tradition that angels used to take on human form.

The following is a Quranic verse that mentions the meeting of an angel with Mary, mother of Jesus: Surah Aal ‘Imran Chapter 3 verse 45

Behold! The angels said: O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name is the Christ Eisa the son of Mariam, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those Nearest to God.

– [Al-Qur’an 3:45]

[edit] Zoroastrianism
Main article: Zoroastrian angelology

In Zoroastrianism there are different angel-like figures. For example, each person has one guardian angel, called Fravashi. They patronize human beings and other creatures, and also manifest God’s energy. The Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, although they don't convey messages,[20] but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they initially appear in an abstract fashion and then later became personalized, associated with diverse aspects of the divine creation.[21]

[edit] Bahá'í Faith

Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, referred to angels as people who through the love of God have consumed all human limitations and have been endowed with spiritual attributes.[22]

`Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's son, defined angels as "those holy souls who have severed attachment to the earthly world, who are free from the fetters of self and passion and who have attached their hearts to the divine realm and the merciful kingdom".[23]

Furthermore, he said that people can be angels in this world:

"Ye are the angels, if your feet be firm, your spirits rejoiced, your secret thoughts pure, your eyes consoled, your ears opened, your breasts dilated with joy, and your souls gladdened, and if you arise to assist the Covenant, to resist dissension and to be attracted to the Effulgence!"[24]

[edit] Hinduism

In Hinduism, the word angel is synonymous with deva.[25]

[edit] Mysticism

The Persian Islamic Sufi mystic poet Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi wrote in his poem Masnavi:

I died as inanimate matter and arose a plant,
I died as a plant and rose again an animal.
I died as an animal and arose a man.
Why then should I fear to become less by dying?
I shall die once again as a man
To rise an angel perfect from head to foot!
Again when I suffer dissolution as an angel,
I shall become what passes the conception of man!
Let me then become non-existent, for non-existence
Sings to me in organ tones, 'To him shall we return.'[26]

The Christian (Swedish) writer Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) wrote in his book Conjugial Love that a soul of a man and a soul of a woman who are (happily) united by marriage enter heaven and become an angel. This could be a married couple on earth or a couple that met after their earthly deaths.[citation needed]

[edit] Contemporary research

A 2002 study based on interviews with 350 people, mainly in the UK, who said they have had an experience of an angel, describes several types of such experiences: visions, sometimes with multiple witnesses present; auditions, e.g. to convey a warning; a sense of being touched, pushed, or lifted, typically to avert a dangerous situation; and pleasant fragrance, generally in the context of somebody's death. In the visual experiences, the angels described appear in various forms, either the "classical" one (human countenance with wings), in the form of extraordinarily beautiful or radiant human beings, or as beings of light.[27]

In the US, a 2008 survey by Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion , which polled 1,700 respondents, found that 55 percent of Americans, including one in five of those who say they are not religious, believe that they have been protected by a guardian angel during their life. An August 2007 Pew poll found that 68 percent of Americans believe that "angels and demons are active in the world". [28]

In Canada, a 2008 survey of over 1000 Canadians found 67 percent believe in angels. [29]

[edit] See also

* Archangel
* Fallen angel
* Shoulder angel
* Christian angelic hierarchy
* Jewish angelic hierarchy
* Nephilim

[edit] Notes

1. ^ Angel in Online Etymological Dictionary
2. '^ 'angel, n, Oxford English Dictionary Online, Second Edition 1989
3. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia, accessed Feb. 15, 2008
4. ^ Sanhedrin 38b and Avodah Zerah 3b.
5. ^ cf. Sanhedrin 95b
6. ^ Proverbio(2007), pp. 25-38; cf. summary in Libreria Hoepli
7. ^ Proverbio(2007), pp. 29-38; cf. summary in Libreria Hoepli and review in La Civiltà Cattolica, 3795-3796 (2-16 August 2008), pp. 327-328.
8. ^ Proverbio(2007), pp. 81-89; cf. review in La Civiltà Cattolica, 3795-3796 (2-16 August 2008), pp. 327-328.
9. ^ Proverbio(2007) p. 66
10. ^ Proverbio(2007) p. 34
11. ^ Proverbio(2007), pp. 90-95; cf. review in La Civiltà Cattolica, 3795-3796 (2-16 August 2008), pp. 327-328.
12. ^ "God's messengers, those individuals whom he sends (often from his personal presence in the eternal worlds), to deliver his messages (Luke 1:11-38); to minister to his children (Acts 10:1-8, Acts 10:30-32); to teach them the doctrines of salvation (Mosiah 3); to call them to repentance (Moro. 7:31); to give them priesthood and keys (D. & C. 13; 128:20-21); to save them in perilous circumstances (Nehemiah 3:29-31; Daniel 6:22); to guide them in the performance of his work (Genesis 24:7); to gather his elect in the last days (Matthew 24:31)); to perform all needful things relative to his work (Moro. 7:29-33) — such messengers are called angels.", McConkie, Bruce R., "Angels", Angels, LightPlanet,, retrieved on 2008-10-27 ;
^ Deseret (1966) p.36.
13. ^ a b LDS Bible Dictionary-Angels
14. ^ D&C 130:5
15. ^ "Chapter 6: The Fall of Adam and Eve," Gospel Principles, 31, see also the entry for Adam in “Glossary,” Gospel Principles, 376
16. ^ D&C 107:24
17. ^ Joseph Smith History 1:30-33
18. ^ D&C 110
19. ^ The Fulness of Times
20. ^ Lewis, James R., Oliver, Evelyn Dorothy, Sisung Kelle S. (Editor) (1996), Angels A to Z, Entry: Zoroastrianism, pp. 425-427, Visible Ink Press, ISBN 0-7876-0652-9
21. ^ Darmesteter, James (1880)(translator), The Zend Avesta, Part I: Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 4, pp. lx-lxxii, Oxford University Press, 1880, at
22. ^ Smith, Peter (2000). "angels". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 38-39. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
23. ^ 'Abdu'l-Bahá (1976). "THE SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY". US Bahá’í Publishing Trust. Retrieved on 2007-06-24.
24. ^ 'Abdu'l-Bahá. "Ye Are The Angels". Retrieved on 2007-06-24.
25. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica
26. ^ Masnavi
27. ^ Emma Heathcote-James (2002): Seeing Angels. - London: John Blake Publishing.
28. ^ Harris, Dan (2008-09-18). "Most Americans Believe in Guardian Angels: More Than Half of Americans Say Guardian Angels Watch Over Us". ABC News.
29. ^ News Service, Canwest (2008-12-23). "Believe in angels? You're not alone". ABC News.

[edit] References

* Proverbio, Cecilia (2007). La figura dell'angelo nella civiltà paleocristiana. Assisi, Italy: Editrice Tau. ISBN 8887472696.

[edit] Further reading

* Cheyne, James Kelly (ed.) (1899). Angel. Encyclopædia Biblica. New York, Macmillan.
* Driver, Samuel Rolles (Ed.) (1901) The book of Daniel. Cambridge UP.
* Davidson, A. B. (1898). "Angel". in James Hastings. A Dictionary of the Bible. I. pp. pages 93-97.
* Oosterzee, Johannes Jacobus van. Christian dogmatics: a text-book for academical instruction and private study. Trans. John Watson Watson and Maurice J. Evans. (1874) New York, Scribner, Armstrong.
* Smith, George Adam (1898) The book of the twelve prophets, commonly called the minor. London, Hodder and Stoughton.
* Bamberger, Bernard Jacob, (March 15, 2006). Fallen Angels: Soldiers of Satan's Realm. Jewish Publication Society of America. ISBN 0-8276-0797-0
* This article incorporates text from the article "Angel" in the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
* Briggs, Constance Victoria, 1997. The Encyclopedia of Angels : An A-to-Z Guide with Nearly 4,000 Entries. Plume. ISBN 0-452-27921-6.
* Bunson, Matthew, (1996). Angels A to Z : A Who's Who of the Heavenly Host. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-517-88537-9.
* Cruz, Joan Carroll, OCDS, 1999. Angels and Devils. TAN Books and Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-89555-638-3
* Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels. Free Press. ISBN 0-02-907052-X
* Graham, Billy, 1994. Angels: God's Secret Agents. W Pub Group; Minibook edition. ISBN 0-8499-5074-0
* Guiley, Rosemary, 1996. Encyclopedia of Angels. ISBN 0-8160-2988-1
* Jastrow, Marcus, 1996, A dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic literature compiled by Marcus Jastrow, PhD., Litt.D. with and index of Scriptural quotatons, Vol 1 & 2, The Judaica Press, New York
* Kainz, Howard P., "Active and Passive Potency" in Thomistic Angelology Martinus Nijhoff. ISBN 90-247-1295-5
* Kreeft, Peter J. 1995. Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know About Them? Ignatius Press. ISBN 0-89870-550-9
* Lewis, James R. (1995). Angels A to Z. Visible Ink Press. ISBN 0-7876-0652-9
* Melville, Francis, 2001. The Book of Angels: Turn to Your Angels for Guidance, Comfort, and Inspiration. Barron's Educational Series; 1st edition. ISBN 0-7641-5403-6
* Ronner, John, 1993. Know Your Angels: The Angel Almanac With Biographies of 100 Prominent Angels in Legend & Folklore-And Much More! Mamre Press. ISBN 0-932945-40-6.
* Swedenborg, Emanuel (1979). Conjugal Love. Swedenborg Foundation. ISBN 0-87785-054-2
* This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel


That every individual soul has a guardian angel has never been defined by the Church, and is, consequently, not an article of faith; but it is the "mind of the Church", as St. Jerome expressed it: "how great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it." (Comm. in Matt., xviii, lib. II).

This belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Eusebius, "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and Assyrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an Assyrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

In the Bible this doctrine is clearly discernible and its development is well marked. In Genesis 28-29, angels not only act as the executors of God's wrath against the cities of the plain, but they deliver Lot from danger; in Exodus 12-13, an angel is the appointed leader of the host of Israel, and in 32:34, God says to Moses: "my angel shall go before thee." At a much later period we have the story of Tobias, which might serve for a commentary on the words of Psalm 90:11: "For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways." (Cf. Psalm 33:8 and 34:5) Lastly, in Daniel 10 angels are entrusted with the care of particular districts; one is called "prince of the kingdom of the Persians", and Michael is termed "one of the chief princes"; cf. Deuteronomy 32:8 (Septuagint); and Ecclesiasticus 17:17 (Septuagint).

This sums up the Old Testament doctrine on the point; it is clear that the Old Testament conceived of God's angels as His ministers who carried out his behests, and who were at times given special commissions, regarding men and mundane affairs. There is no special teaching; the doctrine is rather taken for granted than expressly laid down; cf. 2 Maccabees 3:25; 10:29; 11:6; 15:23.

But in the New Testament the doctrine is stated with greater precision. Angels are everywhere the intermediaries between God and man; and Christ set a seal upon the Old Testament teaching: "See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 18:10). A twofold aspect of the doctrine is here put before us: even little children have guardian angels, and these same angels lose not the vision of God by the fact that they have a mission to fulfil on earth.

Without dwelling on the various passages in the New Testament where the doctrine of guardian angels is suggested, it may suffice to mention the angel who succoured Christ in the garden, and the angel who delivered St. Peter from prison. Hebrews 1:14 puts the doctrine in its clearest light: "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?" This is the function of the guardian angels; they are to lead us, if we wish it, to the Kingdom of Heaven.

St. Thomas teaches us (Summa Theologica I:113:4) that only the lowest orders of angels are sent to men, and consequently that they alone are our guardians, though Scotus and Durandus would rather say that any of the members of the angelic host may be sent to execute the Divine commands. Not only the baptized, but every soul that cometh into the world receives a guardian spirit; St. Basil, however (Homily on Psalm 43), and possibly St. Chrysostom (Homily 3 on Colossians) would hold that only Christians were so privileged. Our guardian angels can act upon our senses (I:111:4) and upon our imaginations (I:111:3) -- not, however, upon our wills, except "per modum suadentis", viz. by working on our intellect, and thus upon our will, through the senses and the imagination. (I:106:2; and I:111:2). Finally, they are not separated from us after death, but remain with us in heaven, not, however, to help us attain salvation, but "ad aliquam illustrationem" (I:108:7, ad 3am).
About this page

APA citation. Pope, H. (1910). Guardian Angel. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved July 10, 2009 from New Advent:

MLA citation. Pope, Hugh. "Guardian Angel." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 10 Jul. 2009 .

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Herman Holbrook. Ad Dei gloriam honoremque angeli custodis mei.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is feedback732 at (To help fight spam, this address might change occasionally.) Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.

Guardian angel

Guardian angel
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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For other uses, see Guardian angel (disambiguation).
"Guardian Angel" statue found in the parish church Saint Oswald

A guardian angel is an angel assigned to protect and guide a particular person. The concept of tutelary angels and their hierarchy was extensively developed in Christianity in the 5th century by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.

The theology of angels, and tutelary spirits, has undergone many refinements since the 400s, and belief in both the eastern and western churches is that guardian angels protect whichever person to whom God assigns them,[1] and present prayers to God on that person's behalf. The Roman Catholic Church's calendar of saints includes a memorial for the guardian angels on October 2.

* 1 Origin
* 2 Beliefs
* 3 Prayer
* 4 Notes

[edit] Origin

The belief that God sends a spirit to watch every individual was common in Ancient Greek philosophy, and was alluded to by Plato in Phaedo, 108. The idea appears in the Old Testament, although it is not specifically articulated nor delineated. The belief that angels can be guides and intercessors for men can be found in Job 33:23-6, and in the Book of Daniel (specifically Daniel 10:13) angels seem to be assigned to certain countries. In this latter case the “prince of the Persian kingdom” was referring to one of the fallen angels also known to many as a demon. The same verse mentions “Michael, one of the chief princes,” and Michael is one of the few angels named in the Bible. In the New Testament Book of Jude Michael is described as an archangel. The Book of Enoch, part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church's canon of scripture, says that God will "set a guard of holy angels over all the righteous" (1En 100:5).
18th century rendition of a guardian angel

In Matthew 18:10, Jesus says of children: "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven" (New International Version). This is often understood to mean that children are protected by guardian angels, and appears to be corroborated by Hebrews 1:14 when speaking of angels, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"

In Acts 12:12-15 there is another allusion to the belief that a specific angel is assigned to protect each individual. After Peter had been escorted out of prison by an angel, he went to the home of 'Mary the mother of John, also called Mark'. The servant girl, Rhoda, recognized his voice and ran back to tell the group that Peter was there. However the group replied, "It must be his angel"' (12:15). With this scriptural sanction, Peter's angel was the most commonly depicted guardian angel in art, and was normally shown in images of the subject, most famously Raphael's fresco of the Deliverance of Saint Peter in the Vatican.

[edit] Beliefs

Whether guardian angels attend each and every person is not consistently believed or upheld in patristic Christian thought.[2] Saint Ambrose, for example, believed that saints lose their guardian angels so that they might have a greater struggle and persevere. Saints Jerome and Basil of Caesarea argued that sin drove the angels away.
Statue of a guardian angel in the parish church of Memmelsdorf near Bamberg, Franconia in northern Bavaria, Germany.

The first Christian theologian to outline a specific scheme for guardian angels was Honorius of Autun. He said that every soul was assigned a guardian angel the moment it was put into a body, although such a thought requires the pre-existence of the soul/essence. Scholastic theologians augmented and ordered the taxonomy of angelic guardians. Thomas Aquinas agreed with Honorius and believed that it was the lowest order of angels who served as guardians, and his view was most successful in popular thought, but Duns Scotus said that any angel might accept the mission. Saint Gemma Galgani, a mystic, stated that she had spoken with her guardian angel.

Guardian angels were often considered to be matched by a personal devil who countered the angel's efforts, especially in popular medieval drama such as morality plays like the 15th century The Castle of Perseverance. In Christopher Marlowe's play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, of about 1592, Faustus has a "Good Angel" and "Bad Angel" who offer competing advice (Act 2, scene 1, etc.). These useful dramatic characters have enjoyed continued popularity in popular media, as the shoulder angel, often matched by a personal devil, of modern films and cartoons.

Guardian angels appear in literary works of the medieval and Renaissance periods. Later the Anglican English physician and philosopher Sir Thomas Browne (1605-82), stated his belief in Religio Medici (part 1, paragraph 33),

Therefore for Spirits I am so farre from denying their existence, that I could easily believe, that not only whole Countries, but particular persons have their Tutelary, and Guardian Angels: It is not a new opinion of the Church of Rome, but an old one of Pythagoras and Plato; there is no heresay in it, and if not manifestly defined in Scripiture, yet is it an opinion of a good and wholesome use in the course and actions of a man's life, and would serve as an Hypothesis to salve many doubts, whereof common philosophy affordeth no solution.[3]

By the 19th century, the guardian angel was no longer viewed in Anglophone lands as an intercessory figure, but rather as a force protecting the believer from performing sin. A parody apperars in Lord Byron's Don Juan,

"Oh! she was perfect past all parallel—

Of any modern female saint's comparison;

So far above the cunning powers of hell,

Her guardian angel had given up his garrison" (Canto I, xvii).

While Byron's usage of the guardian angel is influenced by Alexander Pope's "sylph," it seems that the popular image of the angel was as a spiritual superego.

There is a similar Islamic belief in the Kirama Katibin, two angels residing on either shoulder of humans which record their good and bad deeds. However, these angels do not have influence over the choices one makes, and only record one's deeds.

[edit] Prayer
19th century guardian angel at work

This is the traditional Catholic prayer to one's guardian angel.[4]

Angel of God, my guardian dear
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day/night be at my side
to light, to guard, to rule and guide.

In Latin:

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me, tibi commissum pietate superna,
illumina, custodi,
rege et guberna.

An Eastern Orthodox prayer to the Guardian Angel:

O Angel of Christ, my holy Guardian and Protector of my soul and body, forgive me all my sins of today. Deliver me from all the wiles of the enemy, that I may not anger my God by any sin. Pray for me, sinful and unworthy servant, that thou mayest present me worthy of the kindness and mercy of the All-holy Trinity and the Mother of my Lord Jesus Christ, and of all the Saints. Amen.

[edit] Notes

1. ^ cf. CCC 336.
2. ^ "Guardian Angel". New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved on January 11, 2008.
3. ^ Religio Medici 1:33
4. ^ Beliefnet Christian Children's Prayers. Retrieved on January 11, 2008.
5. ^ Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Retrieved on January 11, 2008.

Retrieved from ""
Categories: Angels | Classes of angel | Tutelary

For the spirit who is believed to protect and to guide a particular person see Guardian angel.

For the spirit who is believed to protect and to guide a particular person see Guardian angel.
Guardian Angels Image:Guardianangelslogo.jpg
Founders Curtis Sliwa
Founded 1979
Headquarters New York City, New York, United States
Area served Global
Focus public safety

The Guardian Angels is a non-profit, international, volunteer organization of unarmed citizen crime patrollers. The Guardian Angels organization was founded February 13, 1979 in New York City by Curtis Sliwa and has chapters in 11 countries (in over 100 cities) around the world.

Sliwa originally created the organization to combat widespread violence and crime on the New York City subways. The organization originally trained members to make citizen’s arrests for violent crimes. The organization patrols the streets and neighborhoods but also provides education programs and workshops for schools and businesses.

In the beginning, New York City Mayor Ed Koch publicly opposed the group. Many government officials also opposed the group whenever they attempted to open a chapter in their cities. Over the years, however, as the novelty of the organization and controversy has died down, and as citizen involvement and outreach has increased, there has been less public opposition to the group by government officials. Former Mayor Ed Koch later reversed his stance on the organization[1] and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and current New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have publicly supported the group, although Toronto Mayor David Miller and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair publicly oppose the group.[citation needed]

* 1 Casualties
* 2 Chapters
o 2.1 Los Angeles Chapter
* 3 Activities
o 3.1 CyberAngels
* 4 Controversy
* 5 Publicity
* 6 Outside of the United States
o 6.1 Japan
o 6.2 United Kingdom
o 6.3 South Africa
o 6.4 Canada
o 6.5 New Zealand
o 6.6 Mexico
* 7 In Popular Culture
* 8 References
* 9 External links

[edit] Casualties

Two Guardian Angels have been killed while on a patrol. Frank Melvin was shot by a police officer in Newark, New Jersey in 1981. The officer who killed the angel alleged that Melvin was running toward his partner in a hostile manner. Juan Oliva was shot by a gang member in New York City in 1983. Two other former members were killed while intervening in muggings (The episodes inspired the song "Red Angel Dragnet" by the British rock band The Clash). There have been no more fatalities of Guardian Angels on a Safety Patrol since then.

[edit] Chapters

The Guardian Angels have established chapters in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, London, Dallas, Tokyo, Houston, Cape Town, Auckland, and York, (Pennsylvania). Recently, the organization has established chapters in smaller cities such as the Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Brockton. The York Chapter is also the only chapter in the world that not only works with, but provides foot patrols with official law enforcement officers and agencies.[citation needed] The Guardian Angels have also begun to include youth programs, teacher programs, disaster response, an Internet safety program called the CyberAngels, self-defense courses, as well as community outreach addressing issues beyond crime.

[edit] Los Angeles Chapter

The Guardian Angels Safety Patrol Organization made it to the West coast in 1981 by establishing a Chapter in Los Angeles California. The Los Angeles Chapter grew and reached its zenith in membership in the mid-1980s with over 6 Chapters and over 250 members. Although the Chapter was active in 1990s its membership was on the decline. By the late 1990s there was only a single Venice Beach Chapter remaining in Los Angeles. Between the late 1990s and 2006, there was virtually no Los Angeles Chapter of the Guardian Angels. Except for a few attempts to restart the Los Angeles Chapter in 2003 and 2004 the Angels were not patrolling the streets of LA.

In 2006 there was a successful effort to restart the Los Angeles Chapter. This effort was lead by Alex Makarczyk, a Guardian Angel who previously served in the Los Angeles Chapter in the Mid-1980s. His return to the Guardian Angeles was prompted by the death of a fellow Guardian Angel who was shot to death out side his home on October 18, 2000. James Richards was not on patrol when he was gunned down in the early morning hours, but he was assisting local law enforcement with information about crime and drug dealing in his neighborhood.

Today, the Los Angeles Chapter is strong and growing. The Chapter has a good working relationship with local law enforcement and the communities that they serve feel the positive effects of their involvement. The Chapter works closely with Curtis Sliwa and has a reputation for implementing, innovative, and proven training methods to promote a higher standard of Guardian Angel.

[edit] Activities

The original and main Guardian Angels activity is "Safety Patrol" in which members walk the streets or ride transit. Guardian Angels must be in uniform to represent the organization. They can be identified by their red berets and red jackets or white t-shirts with the Guardian Angels logo of an eye inside a shield with wings. Chapters operate similar to franchise networks supporting one another regionally under standard rules, regulations, and training. The Guardian Angels state that they are an equal opportunity organization that encourages diversity.

The organization accepts volunteers who do not have a recent or serious criminal record and are not members of a gang or racial hate group. In order to join the Safety Patrol program, members must be at least 16 years old. Younger members are allowed to participate in youth programs. Safety Patrol members are prohibited from carrying weapons and are physically searched before patrolling. They are trained in basic first aid, CPR, law, conflict resolution, communication, and basic martial arts. Members are paired up and follow the directions of a Patrol Leader. Members, however, are allowed to do whatever they feel is lawful and necessary in case their lives, or the lives of other citizens, are endangered or fear serious personal injury.

As of 2006, the Guardian Angels have been active in Orlando, Florida.[2] due to the increase in murder and crime rates. Boston, Massachusetts followed suit in 2007, at first to the opposition of Mayor Tom Menino who eventually supported the group due to the welcoming the Angels received from the people. Residents of Brockton, Massachusetts followed Boston's lead in March 2008 by launching a new chapter in response to a rise in street violence. Unlike other cities, in Brockton, the chapter has been able to quickly build a working relationship with the city's police chief.

The Los Angeles Chapter of the Guardian Angels is one of the oldest, beginning in 1981, just two years after the group was founded back in 1979. The Los Angeles Chapter is still active today and it is recognized for its "state of the art" Guardian Angels training program.

[edit] CyberAngels

CyberAngels was founded in 1995 by Gabriel Hatcher as an online "neighborhood watch". Originally the group monitored chatrooms directly with the intent of apprehending sexual predators. Later the group took what it had learned and changed its focus to educating police, schools, and families about on-line abuse and cyber crime. In 1998, CyberAngels received a Presidential Service Award.

[edit] Controversy

In 1992 Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa issued a public apology for staging several subway rescues in the 1980s in order to get publicity for the group[3]. Since the statute of limitations on filing false police reports had expired, no charges were brought against him or the organization. Sliwa also admitted that the group primarily patrolled the Restaurant Row section of midtown Manhattan, except for occasional well-publicized patrols in other areas and subway patrols to recruit new members.[4]

[edit] Publicity

The Guardian Angels uniform and persona is distinct and the organization actively courts press. The 1981 CBS made-for-TV movie "We're Fighting Back," featuring Bronx-born Ellen Barkin, was based on the Guardian Angels. Angels members signed releases giving Warner Bros. permission to depict their lives. In some cases, their brand or identity is used by others. Notably, while performing in World Championship Wrestling, Ray Traylor wrestled under the alias "The Guardian Angel" for a short time, complete with an authentic Guardian Angels uniform. In 1998, the Angels authorized Casio to release a limited edition of G-Shock Guardian Angels Raysman watch (DW9300GA-4T, module 1584), dominated by Red with Black accent. Around metal bezel, it is printed "We Dare to Care", "Guardian Angels" & "Safety Patrol". The watch also features a titanium caseback with Guardian Angels logo.[citations needed]

[edit] Outside of the United States

In the years since their founding as thirteen people in the Bronx, the Angels have grown into a worldwide, multi-national group.

[edit] Japan

A local organization of the Guardian Angels was formed in Japan in 1996, which has a low violent crime rate compared to many other industrial countries. Recently, however, Japan is beginning to experience greater public disorder and criminal activity. The Guardian Angels Japan has chapters in most of the major cities and is second only to America in membership and activities. Keiji Oda, the founder and president of the Guardian Angels Japan, joined the Boston and New York City chapters in the 1980’s. As with most American concepts, the Guardian Angels received both immediate acceptance and rejection in Japan. However, Oda succeeded in convincing Japanese officials that the organisation would be run by Japanese members for the Japanese people, and the principles of the organization were not just American but universal. Official acceptance culminated with a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2005. The Guardian Angels were the first community organization in Japan to ever be awarded non-profit status.[5][6]

Four members of the Japanese Guardian Angels appear in an episode of Insomniac with Dave Attell filmed in Tokyo. Dave interviews them before their attention is diverted to an (apparently) drunk and disorderly individual.[citations needed]

[edit] United Kingdom

In London the Guardian Angels have been active since 1989, however, by 2007 they have become a very small group of around 12 and with very little activity. In Britain, the law requires citizens acting in self-defence to use only "reasonable force" which is appropriate to the situation, which leads to Guardian Angel training to centre on using the minimum possible force and to only use force to prevent a dangerous situation from escalating. All violent crimes are reported to the police, and intervention leading to citizens' arrests (legal in Britain) or use of force is only employed in extreme cases.[7]

Their presence in London was highly controversial in the first decade of existence, press articles having likened their actions to vigilantism. In 1989, discussion in Parliament raised the possibility of American members of the Guardian Angels being deported owing to their presence being "not conducive to the public good" but this was rejected.[8]

[edit] South Africa

The Guardian Angels South African Chapter was started by Charl Viljoen in 2004 in Cape Town.[9][10] Other chapters are in Kuilsriver, Cape Town, Western Cape and Potchefstroom, North West Province[11][12]

[edit] Canada
In Calgary, Alberta, on March 24, 2007, a group of Guardian Angel trainees did one last training patrol, the day before their expected graduation day. They toured the East side of the downtown.

A Toronto chapter was originally formed in 1982 and ran until 1984. A smaller chapter ran briefly in the Parkdale area of Toronto in 1992 but disbanded. The 2005 "Boxing Day shooting" resulted in the death of teenager Jane Creba on a busy downtown street, and provoked renewed attention to law-and-order issues in Canada, and Curtis Sliwa stated that he had been contacted by many Torontonians interested in having a local chapter. On July 13, 2006, a new chapter of the Guardian Angels Canada formed in Toronto, Ontario. However, both mayor David Miller and police chief Bill Blair stated they were not interested in trying what had not worked twice before.[13] When Sliwa arrived with 3 other Angels, Miller declined to meet with them, stating that police work was best left to the police. Despite the opposition of the Mayor, community groups, and the police chief, the Toronto Chapter moved ahead. 2006 mayoral candidate Jane Pitfield expressed her support for the Guardian Angels as did former television anchor Peter Kent and former professional boxer (and now radio talk show host) Spider Jones. Toronto's first group of Guardian Angels hit the streets Thursday, July 13 for their inaugural patrol in the city's downtown core.The group's official launch in Toronto came just two days after members were forced to move their graduation ceremony from a seniors residence on Dundas Street.

According to Lou Hoffer, a former Toronto Police officer and the Guardian Angels national director in Canada, the security committee at the William Dennison Seniors Residence, near Dundas and Sherbourne streets, had invited the group to hold their ceremony at the building because many of the residents have safety concerns. But when the Angels arrived at the property, which is run by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), they were asked to leave by TCHC housing cops, who told the Angels members they were trespassing, Hoffer said.

"We're still perplexed as to the political meddling that went on," Hoffer said Thursday. "It's basically just an unfortunate occurrence."

Ward 26 Councillor Jane Pitfield (Don Valley East), who was invited but unable to attend the graduation ceremony Tuesday, stopped in at the seniors residence earlier that day.

"I dropped in to look at their residence and also to see the issue of the church across the way," she said of All Saints Church-Community Centre, which houses a drop-in program for the homeless.

"The seniors are older, they're vulnerable, they're nervous. Some people won't leave the building," Pitfield said, adding, "They had, on their own initiative, contacted the Guardian Angels. They got the permit six weeks ago. It was just (Tuesday) the TCHC found out it was the Guardian Angles and said no." The group ended up holding an outdoor ceremony in Allen Gardens.

TCHC CEO Derek Ballantyne flatly refused to allow the Guardian Angels to patrol or so much as step foot in any of his crime infested housing projects, insisting that his own private Security force was adequate to police his violence riddled properties.

"I thought it was unnecessary and heavy-handed," Pitfield said of the decision to bar the group from the building. "We need to think about the big picture and not reduce everything to politics. And the big picture is only 18 per cent of people in the city have said they feel safe and secure," she said.

Pitfield said she believes a "fast judgment" has been made regarding the Guardian Angels in the city. "I think because (Mayor) David Miller and (TCHC) honcho Derek Ballantyne had refused to meet with the Guardian Angels, that there is a negative bias right from the beginning," she said. "These are Toronto volunteers. This is not an American group. We should encourage them and not discourage them."

However, Miller said he doesn't believe there is any place for the Guardian Angels in Toronto. "Policing should be done by the police. It's very simple. Police are accountable, they're properly trained, they're trained in all aspects of public safety, including first aid. And if a police officer makes a mistake there's ways to hold that police officer accountable," he told reporters at city hall. .[14]

Lou Hoffer, the national director of the Canadian branch, said the unwelcome response by Mayor David Miller and Police Chief Bill Blair is ridiculous. "It's unfounded, it's out of ignorance of the organization. I mean we have a 27-year track record -- we're now in over 80 cities around the world as the world's largest safety patrol organization," Hoffer, a former Toronto police officer, told CTV's Canada AM on Wednesday. "It's absurd that in this day and age there is still skepticism around the organization."

Hoffer said supporters of the group include former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, current mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's police commissioner. "It's absurd that Mayor Miller and Police Chief Blair wouldn't just pick up the phone and call these gentlemen and find out more and become educated on our organization," he said.

Hoffer said the Guardian Angels are becoming more popular across Canada, and the group receives more than 100 emails a day showing support. "Citizens are expressing an immense amount of interest in having the organizations come to their city," he said, adding plans are underway in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Ottawa.

Among the first graduates of Toronto's chapter included Holly Weisflock, who said she wants to "make a difference in the community." "I had been involved in '92, and when I heard they were coming around again I got all excited and I just couldn't say no," she said on Canada AM.

"I just wanted to be out there on the streets again and making a difference." Weisflock said three months of training included self-defense classes, scenario training, first aid and legal discussions about what they can and can't do as citizens. [15]

A Vancouver chapter is in operation as of November 2006. There was a chapter there in the early 1980s. Some of the alumni from that group are assisting with the new chapter.

A attempt to organise a chapter in Ottawa failed after the police and city refused to cooperate plus a negative reaction and lack of interest from the majority of its population

A Calgary chapter was set-up, with the first group finishing its training in March 2007.[16]

A Halifax chapter is in operation as of May 2008. Recent outbreaks of violent crime in Halifax had prompted citizens to contact the Guardian Angels, urging them to start a chapter.[17][18]

[edit] New Zealand

In January 2006, the Guardian Angels opened its New Zealand Headquarters in the Henderson suburb of Waitakere City west of Auckland and New Zealand's fifth largest city. The NZ National Director is Andy "Chieftain" Cawston.

New Zealand's inaugural Guardian Angels Patrol was held on January 13, 2006. Since then, Guardian Angels have also been active in South Auckland; however the activities of this Chapter have been temporarily halted for logistical purposes.

On August 30, 2007 Curtis Sliwa graduated the Auckland CBD Chapter, led by Anna "Kimodo" Cruse. This Chapter's first official Patrol was on the following evening, August 31, 2007.[citation needed]

Members of the Wellington Chapter held their inaugural training and orientation Patrol on October 6, 2006 in the Auckland CBD.

Within New Zealand, The International Alliance of Guardian Angels is recognized and registered as a Charitable Trust for tax purposes. Their headquarters is the Henderson Returned Services Association Inc. offices on Railside Avenue, Henderson NZ.

[edit] Mexico

In 2007, a chapter formed in Mexico City led by the Canadian professional wrestler Vampiro.[19]

[edit] In Popular Culture

* The Guardian Angels were spoofed in the 2006 videogame Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories as "The Avenging Angels" but instead with green bomber type jackets.

* In the "Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City" episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mac and Dee become vigilantes that mimic the Guardian Angels.

[edit] References

1. ^ Guardian Angel's Growing Pains in Time Magazine, dated January 18th, 1982
2. ^ "Guardian Angels launch city patrol, expand across US". Boston Globe. March 31, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-24.
3. ^ Gonzalez, David (November 25, 1992), Sliwa Admits Faking Crimes For Publicity, New York Times,, retrieved on 2009-03-01
4. ^ Gonzalez, David (November 26, 1992), Police Union To Sue Sliwa Over Hoaxes, New York Times,, retrieved on 2009-03-01
5. ^ Japan Today article about the Angels
6. ^ Angels running an anonymous tip line in Japan
7. ^ Fallen Angels
8. ^ Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs
9. ^ Guardian Angels South Africa | Dare to Care
10. ^ Guardian Angels - South Africa
11. ^ Guardian Angels Potchefstroom
12. ^ Guardian Angels Chapter List
13. ^ 'Guardian Angels get bumpy ride in Toronto', CBC News, January 14, 2006
14. ^ {{]
15. ^ [1]
16. ^ "Angels test their wings". Calgary Herald: p. B3. March 25, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-03-25.
17. ^ "Guardian Angels visiting Halifax". The Daily News. September 11, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-09-11.
18. ^ Nova Scotia News -
19. ^ Former wrestler 'Vampiro' to take bite out of Mexico City crime