We don’t think about angels often, mostly because they are invisible. And yet, we know that they are always near. Sometimes we can feel their invisible effect on our lives, the protection coming from the angels of light and the adversities inflicted by the angels of darkness. Every day, in prayer, we ask our Guardian Angel to protect us from sin and all evil and to be our helper in the coming day or night. There are two days in a year when we especially commemorate angels. One is on our Name Day and the other one is November 21, Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Powers. Following an old Christian tradition, our presents to friends and family members are often decorated with images of angels.
We have already written about some facts about the angelic world that the Holy Scripture gives us. In this article, we would like to complement our previous article with some examples of the angelic intervention in our lives, taken from the Bible and everyday life.
The Holy Scriptures and the lives of saints describe many cases when angels appeared to people for the main reason of proclaiming the will of God or the good news of the Gospel. The most important of these episodes is the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the Archangel Gabriel. Angels also announced the birth of the Child to the shepherds of Bethlehem and the second coming of Jesus Christ to the apostles during the Ascension. In the Acts of the Apostles, an angel brings St Philip the Apostle to the Ethiopian eunuch, who is then baptized by him (Acts 8).
The will of God directs the Angelic Host to protect righteous Christians. “For he will command his angels about you – to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91). God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt the prophet Daniel (Dan. 6). An angel releases the apostles from prison and says, “Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life” (Acts 5).
Almost every Christian has a personal amazing story of an angelic intervention in his or her life. It could be a rescue from fatal danger, a timely warning or some other miraculous help that has no logical explanation. The well-known modern priest Valery Dukhanin once told a story from his childhood, in which he fell off a table and suddenly felt that someone took him into his arms and gently put him on the floor. He did not see anyone, but inside he felt an unspeakable peace, silence and joy, which he later wanted to experience again. Another story told by Fr Valery describes a pious woman Nina, who fell seriously ill and was discharged from the hospital, because the doctors considered her a hopeless case. The woman did not stop praying and trusted in the mercy of God. The moment came when she saw an Angel above her. After that joyful encouragement, Nina quickly recovered and lived for another 10 years.
Heavenly messengers help us in temptations and strengthen us. There are two passages in the Gospel that illustrate this. Angels appeared to Jesus Christ when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, “Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him” (Mt 4:11). An angel comforted the Lord in His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength” (Luke 22:43).
There are frequent cases in the lives of saints, where angels serve them, feed them and even give the Holy Communion to them. For example, St Macarius of Alexandria (4th century) once told a story about a certain monk named Mark, to whom he could not give the Communion, because an angel prevented him from doing it. Eventually, the angel personally took the Holy Gifts from the altar and gave Br. Mark the Holy Communion. Many times in the lives of saints we read about the angels serving communion to righteous people on their deathbed.
Sometimes angels appear in human guise in order to test a person. In the Epistle to the Hebrews we read the following instruction, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Heb. 13: 2). Here Paul refers to the hospitality shown by Lot to the two angels guised as men, whom he begged to spend the night in his house and whom he then tried to protect from mockery at the cost of his two innocent daughters (Genesis 19).
Knowing our weakness and sinfulness, the Lord protects us by His grace from visions of Angels (including the dark ones) so that we do not fall into delusion or insanity. According to the Savior’s words, spoken to His disciples, faith is more valuable when it does not require miracles or visions. “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20: 29) In the light of this, the fact that visions are not given to everyone does not make faith any less ‘available’ to everyone.
The important role that angels play in our lives explains the popularity of Christmas, Name Day and Easter gifts, decorated with their images.
A Bright Angel is a pure creation of God, inspiring artists and craftsmen. In our catalog you will find a great variety of beautiful stained glass angels with news items constantly being added.
Our collection also includes a variety of wooden angels that make wonderful Christmas tree decorations.
Our crushed stone paintings, ceramics and many other products with images of Angels are made to warm the soul and delight the eye for many years.
In all likeliness, the appearance of real angels has little to do with the images portrayed by artisans. And yet, these images have been created to convey the warmth and joy experienced by people in the rare moments of the angelic visitations and their invisible assistance. Even a child’s image of an angel is dear to us, because it reminds us of the ethereal ‘Forces of light’ that are always invisibly present in our lives.