Angels are purely spiritual creatures with intelligence and will. According to the Bible, angels have appeared to people on Earth during both Old Testament and New Testament times. In this article, Pope Francis tells us to listen to our guardian angels.  Link to the Catechism’s description of angels.


"Castel Sant'Angelo at Night" by Livioandronico2013 - Own work (License: CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
"Castel Sant'Angelo at Night" by Livioandronico2013 - Own work (License: CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

    St. Michael the Archangel  (in Rome)


In 591 A.D., Saint Michael the Archangel was seen by Pope Gregory and by hundreds of pilgrims in procession in Rome.   As a plague ravaged Rome, Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great) led the people in prayer and penance to convince God to lift the suffering. Finally, the pope led a procession to atone for sins and beg for forgiveness. The pope carried a painting of the Virgin Mary believed to be the work of Saint Luke. That’s when the pope and many followers  saw an apparition of the Archangel holding a sword. The pope correctly surmised that the angel's appearance signified the end of the plague.


The archangel stood atop the tomb of Emperor Hadrian. The pope added a chapel to the tomb and renamed the building "Castel Sant’Angelo" after the angel.  A statue of the archangel stands atop the fortress. The castle sits on the banks of the Tiber River and was once the tallest building in Rome. Many tourists walk across this bridge on their way to St. Peter's Square.


Catholic Encyclopedia: “As the plague still continued unabated, Gregory called upon the people to join in a vast seven-fold procession which was to start from each of the seven regions of the city and meet at the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin, all praying the while for pardon and the withdrawal of the pestilence … the memory of the event is still preserved by the name ‘Sant' Angelo’ given to the mausoleum of Hadrian from the legend that the Archangel St. Michael was seen upon its summit in the act of sheathing his sword as a sign that the plague was over” (Catholic Encyclopedia).

The Miracle of Castel Sant'Angelo (Panel from an altarpiece). Leading a procession to beg God to halt the plague in Rome, Pope Gregory carries a painting of the Blessed Mother, painted by Saint Luke.
The Miracle of Castel Sant'Angelo (Panel from an altarpiece). Leading a procession to beg God to halt the plague in Rome, Pope Gregory carries a painting of the Blessed Mother, painted by Saint Luke.


Brittanica Encyclopedia: “According to tradition, Gregory led a penitential procession to Santa Maria Maggiore during that plague; a vision of the archangel Michael atop Hadrian’s Tomb (now the Castel Sant’Angelo) convinced him that Rome would be spared. Today a statue on the Castel Sant’Angelo depicts Michael replacing his sword in its scabbard” (Brittanica Encyclopedia).


Abbot Orsini: “The Abbot Orsini wrote: “On this day, in the year 591, St. Gergory the Great, having had the picture of Our Lady, which was painted by St. Luke, carried in procession, the plague ceased at Rome” (Source: Plague in Rome)


Mark Weil: “Pope Gregory organized a procession in which the people of Rome marched from S. Maria Maggiore to St. Peter’s, carrying the image of the Madonna thought to have been painted by St. Luke and singing hymns imploring the Madonna to intercede with Christ to end the plague. On approaching the Pons Aelius, Pope Gregory and his followers witness an apparition of the Archangel Michael standing atop the mausoleum and sheathing his bloody sword as a signal that the plague had ended” (Source: The History and Decoration of Pont S Angelo, Mark Weil, 1974, The Pennsylvania State University Press)


Plague in Rome  The History and Decoration of the Ponte S. Angelo      Painting of the Archangel’s Apparition    Painting: The Miracle of Sant’Angelo (Philadelphia Art Museum)  St. Michael: Guardian of the Church   St. Michael the Archangel   Photo 1   Photo 2   Photo 3      Vision of Pope Leo

St. Michael the Archangel seen on 9/11. . . Saint Michael and other winged angels were seen in 2001 by Lillie Leonardi, of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, at the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In her book, In the Shadow of a Badge, Leonardo states that in an open area to the left of the crash site, there were hundreds of angels that formed in the mist, taking full shape and lining up “row after row after row.”


Radiant light surrounded each angel, and each had a different face. “They were Archangels with their wings arched up toward the sky. Each of them appeared to be dressed in warrior garments. They were dressed like a legion of Roman Centurions from times past.” According to Leonardo, the angels “clearly had a leader. He stood majestically in front of them all.” (p. 38-39). The angelic leader was Saint Michael.   Book: In the Shadow of a Badge      Lillie Leonardi


At a later time, Leonardi had a dream of the crash site. In one scene, she observed red colorations began to violently swirl until forming a shape. The shape was the evil face of a demon who “twisted in great fury and gave a mighty roar.” She called on St. Michael and saw a vision of Jesus rising from his tomb and moving towards the demon. Find out on p. 154 and 155 what a voice told her when she was fully awake.



J.R.R. Tolkien – A vision of his guardian angel was given to the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as Tolkien was praying before the Blessed Sacrament (which is Jesus himself) and this angel was not interposed between himself and God but rather “God’s very attention itself.” Tolkein wrote, “I perceived or thought of the Light of God and in it suspended one small mote (or millions of motes to only one of which was my small mind directed), glittering white because of the individual ray from the Light which both held and lit it...And the ray was the Guardian Angel of the mote: not a thing interposed between God and the creature, but God's very attention itself, personalized...This is a finite parallel to the Infinite. As the love of the Father and Son (who are infinite and equal) is a Person, so the love and attention of the Light to the Mote is a person (that is both with us and in Heaven): finite but divine, i.e. angelic”   (Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien).


          Tolkien loved the Eucharist and went to Mass not only Sundays but as many weekdays as he could. On the question of why he believed the Catholic Church was the True Church, Tolkien said he was convinced by the Church’s papal succession going back to Saint Peter and that, if one believes Christianity is true, then “does there seem much doubt which … is the True Church.” (See these quotes by Tolkien on One True Church, the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother) J.R.R. Tolkien: Truth and Myth  JRR Tolkien (EWTN)   Articles on Tolkien


Angel guiding car. A man driving in his car recalls an incident from 25 years ago. An inner voice kept telling him to look up while he was driving. “ . . . so I did and above the car was an Angel just plain as ever. Every time I looked up the Angel was still there for about two minutes and then disappeared.” The man told his best friend about the incident the same evening but then never mentioned the story ever again until he shared it on the forums of Catholic Answers on Christmas Eve of 2010 after he noticed someone had asked if anyone had ever seen their guardian angel. (Source: scroll to forums member fegbdf)


Story about his grandpa: When his grandfather was a child, he ran out in front of a milk truck while playing ball and should have been hit, but he saw a “tall, shining person” grab him and throw him backwards. His siblings did not see the angel but saw him “spring backward as if he hit a rubber wall.” (Source: scroll to forums member jfallaw)


Guardian Angel on Motorcycle: This student was almost late for an exam at school due to becoming lost in prayer at Eucharistic Adoration. But a man on a motorcycle gave him a ride and said, “I always see you adoring Him. I’m always beside you.” This was odd since the student had never seen him at church.  The motorcyclist dropped off the student, and then vanished into thin air after driving a few meters away. (Source:   Scroll to “FraLeones.”)


Gracie sees angels: This woman has a little daughter named Gracie who sees angels. “Once at morning Mass, she said, ‘Momma, did you see that?’ She told me that when the priest extended his arms in prayer, he bumped an angel. I let her tell Father after Mass. He asked her if the angel was alright and she looked sad and said, ‘So you don’t see them either? Neither does Momma.'"     When she was five, Gracie learned from angels that “every time Father breaks the bread at Mass, Jesus splashes out on the people . . .” Once Gracie told her mother to call a friend because “she has wet eyes.” The friend’s husband had died unexpectedly. (Source - Scroll to  Suslar)


Angel escorts four-year-old girl to heaven: This woman reports two stories: 1) Her husband’s cousin had a four-year-old daughter who was seriously ill in the hospital with a system-wide bacterial infection. “Shortly before she died, she looked at her parents and said something like . .  . ‘My new friend says you will both be OK. She says I have to go with her pretty soon, though.’”    2) Her husband’s grandmother was sitting by her father’s side when “it suddenly got VERY light inside the room. Her dad said, ‘Mary I am coming.’ He died right after that.” (Source - Scroll to Catholic90)


Saint Camilla Battista da Varano (1458-1524). This rich Italian princess gave up wealth and joined a monastery of the Poor Clares. The princess had many visions, including visions of angels. In her autobiography, The Spiritual Life, she writes: “Two angels came to me, dressed in resplendent white garments which I have seen only worn by Jesus. They had wings of gold. One of them took my soul from the right side, the other from the left side, and they elevated it in the air, laying it down near the crucified feet of the Son of God made Man. This state lasted about two months almost continually; I seem to walk, to speak, and do what I wished, deprived however of my soul. It remained there where the two Angels had placed it but they never abandoned it.”


“...They declare to me that they were so intimate with God that God is not ever separated from them. They also explained to me that the seraphim were likewise united to the cherubim in that none of them could ever go without the other to a soul.”


Saint Gemma Galgani(1878-1903) often saw her guardian angel and spoke to him like a friend. To read about her many experiences with angels, see these links: gemma1   gemma2   gemma3  gemma4  gemma5     gemma6   St. Gemma Galgani and her Guardian Angel


Angel with wings and halo appears to little girl whose dear grandfather was dying. The angel told the sad girl to be calm because everything would be alright.  Story here.  


Her doctor told her she had miscarried After giving her the bad news that she had suffered a miscarriage, the doctor told her she needed a medical procedure. The woman did not feel right going through with the procedure. Just then, “I felt the presence of an angel with my son and I had instantly the knowledge that he was in a better place now.” She also understood she should undergo the procedure since nothing could hurt her baby now  (Source: scroll to Rafaela).



Book on angels: Angels (and Demons): What Do We Really Know About Them? by Peter Kreeft


Angel sightings in the Bible

               1)  An angel appeared to Zecharias and told him that his elderly wife would conceive a son who would be called John. Zecharias did not believe and was punished by not being able to speak until Baby John the Baptist was born.

              2)  The Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and told her she would conceive  a Son and that the Holy Spirit would come upon her.

              3)  The angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him it was okay to marry Mary. (The chaste and holy Joseph was going to back out because she was pregnant)

             4)  An angel appeared and pointed out a source of water to Hagar

             5)  Tobias met an angel who was in human form. The angel told him what to do with the big fish he caught.

              6) An angel let St. Peter out of jail.

Saint Michael the Archangel
Saint Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel saves American soldier 


During the Korean War, an American soldier named Michael faced sure death as he marched towards the waiting enemy. Fortunately, the solider had been praying the St. Michael prayer each day.


An unknown soldier who claimed his name was Michael (and who turned out to be the archangel Michael) began marching beside the human Michael. The angel pulled out a sword that "shined with a million lights." Although the angel was sprayed by bullets, he did not flinch. The angel set the soldier down gently on the ground. There's much more to the story so read it here.


The incredible story was publicly told by a military priest who spoke to both Michael and his mother, and interviewed his military sergeant in charge of the patrol to confirm the details.


The priest was Navy Captain Fr. Walter Muldy who revealed the story in the form of a letter from Michael to his mother. He read the letter in 1955 to an audience of 5,000 Marines in San Diego at the Marine Corps recruit depot at which time it was recorded by radio personality Ed Harding. The recording of Fr. Muldy was also aired on several radio stations. One radio show, which aired in 1964, can be heard here.  The text of the letter can be read here or here. The story is also mentioned in the book Weapons Training for Spiritual Warfare and Frontline Ministry.


The prayer that the soldier prayed each morning was:  “Michael, Michael, of the morning,Fresh chord of Heaven adorning, keep me safe today, and in time of temptation, drive the devil away.”


Text of letter       Lee Allan Radio Show (aired 12/23/64, recording of Fr. Muldy)    Radio Show       Letter performed by radio personality Lee Allan