The Practice of Homosexuality is An Offence To God


A reader requested a post that clarifies the position of the church towards homosexuality and this is an attempt to do so. Much has been written, as of late, of the crisis within the church and I am reminded of what St. Paul said in the letter to the Philippians in the third chapter and first verse: “As to the rest, my breathren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not wearisome, but to you it is necessary.”

Thus has always been the practice of our Holy Mother, the Church, to always bring to remembrance the faith that has been delivered.  This is necessary due to our flesh, the world in which we live, and the the simple fact that we are forgetful and “ye of little faith.”

In the Divine Office, in the Sacraments, in the Deposit of Faith we find daily reminders of what this glorious faith is and how it (through the Spirit Of God) is to shape us, renew us, and conform us to the image of Christ.

With this in mind, let’s look at what the church has always taught about the Sin of Sodom.

We first find the instances of sodomy (homosexual practices) in the book of Genensis Chapter 18.  The Lord said in verse 20,

“The cry of Sodom and Gomorrha is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous.” We find in the next chapter what the sins are that are “exceedingly Grievous and it sodomy and the angels of God tell Lot he needs to leave the city because “19 For we will destroy this place, because their cry is grown loud before the Lord, who hath sent us to destroy them.”

As we know, God did destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha and we know for what reason.

I pass over another example in the book of Judges to bring the reader to understand what God wanted done to sodomites in the Old Testament.  We find in the book of Leviticus chapter 18 verses 22,

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination”

and in chapter 20 verse 13,

“If any one lie with a man as with a woman, both have committed an abomination, let them be put to death: their blood be upon them.”

In short, God destroyed entire cities for this sin and he commanded that those who do so be put to death.

This suffices as to represent the whole of the teaching of the Old Testament concerning Sodomy. There are more examples we pass over for brevity sake.

Let us now examine the New Testament and see what we find.

In First Corinthians chapter 6 verses 9 and 10 St. Paul says,

“Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, [10] Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.”

St. Paul also said in Romans chapter 1 verses 26 – 32,

“For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. [27] And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. [28] And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; [29] Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, [30] Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, [31] Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. [32] Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.”

And in First Timothy Chapter 1 verses 9 and 10,

Knowing this, that the law is not made for the just man, but for the unjust and disobedient, for the ungodly, and for sinners, for the wicked and defiled, for murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, [10] For fornicators, for them who defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and whatever other thing is contrary to sound doctrine,”

And finally, in Jude verse 7 we find,

“As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.”

We can then conclude that both the Old Testament and the New Testament say that the Sin of Sodom is heinous in the eyes of God, they God will punish them, and they will suffer the punishment of Eternal Fire.

Let us go now to find out what the church fathers have taught concerning the sin of Sodomy.

Eusebius of Caesarea (260-341)

“[God in the Law given to Moses] having forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men.”

Tertullian (160-225)

“But all the other frenzies of passions–impious both toward the bodies and toward the sexes–beyond the laws of nature, we banish not only from the threshold, but from all shelter of the Church, because they are not sins, but monstrosities.”

Saint Jerome (340-420)

“And Sodom and Gomorrah might have appeased it [God’s wrath], had they been willing to repent, and through the aid of fasting gain for themselves tears of repentance.”

Saint John Chrysostom (347-407)

“But if thou scoffest at hearing of hell and believest not that fire, remember Sodom. For we have seen, surely we have seen, even in this present life, a semblance of hell. For since many would utterly disbelieve the things to come after the resurrection, hearing now of an unquenchable fire, God brings them to a right mind by things present. For such is the burning of Sodom, and that conflagration!…

“Consider how great is that sin, to have forced hell to appear even before its time!… For that rain was unwonted, for the intercourse was contrary to nature, and it deluged the land, since lust had done so with their souls. Wherefore also the rain was the opposite of the customary rain. Now not only did it fail to stir up the womb of the earth to the production of fruits, but made it even useless for the reception of seed. For such was also the intercourse of the men, making a body of this sort more worthless than the very land of Sodom. And what is there more detestable than a man who hath pandered himself, or what more execrable?

Saint Augustine (354-430)

“Those offences which be contrary to nature are everywhere and at all times to be held in detestation and punished; such were those of the Sodomites, which should all nations commit, they should all be held guilty of the same crime by the divine law, which hath not so made men that they should in that way abuse one another. For even that fellowship which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature of which He is author is polluted by the perversity of lust.”

Saint Gregory the Great (540-604)

“Sacred Scripture itself confirms that sulfur evokes the stench of the flesh, as it speaks of the rain of fire and sulfur poured upon Sodom by the Lord. He had decided to punish Sodom for the crimes of the flesh, and the very type of punishment he chose emphasized the shame of that crime. For sulfur stinks, and fire burns. So it was just that Sodomites, burning with perverse desires arising from the flesh like stench, should perish by fire and sulfur so that through this just punishment they would realize the evil they had committed, led by a perverse desire.”

Saint Peter Damian (1007-1072)

“Truly, this vice is never to be compared with any other vice because it surpasses the enormity of all vices.… It defiles everything, stains everything, pollutes everything. And as for itself, it permits nothing pure, nothing clean, nothing other than filth.…

“The miserable flesh burns with the heat of lust; the cold mind trembles with the rancor of suspicion; and in the heart of the miserable man chaos boils like Tartarus [Hell]…. In fact, after this most poisonous serpent once sinks its fangs into the unhappy soul, sense is snatched away, memory is borne off, the sharpness of the mind is obscured. It becomes unmindful of God and even forgetful of itself. This plague undermines the foundation of faith, weakens the strength of hope, destroys the bond of charity; it takes away justice, subverts fortitude, banishes temperance, blunts the keenness of prudence.

“And what more should I say since it expels the whole host of the virtues from the chamber of the human heart and introduces every barbarous vice as if the bolts of the doors were pulled out.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

Commenting upon Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (1:26-27), Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, explains why the sin of homosexuality is so grave:

“Given the sin of impiety through which they [the Romans] sinned against the divine nature [by idolatry], the punishment that led them to sin against their own nature followed…. I say, therefore, that since they changed into lies [by idolatry] the truth about God, He brought them to ignominious passions, that is, to sins against nature; not that God led them to evil, but only that he abandoned them to evil….

“If all the sins of the flesh are worthy of condemnation because by them man allows himself to be dominated by that which he has of the animal nature, much more deserving of condemnation are the sins against nature by which man degrades his own animal nature….

“Man can sin against nature in two ways. First, when he sins against his specific rational nature, acting contrary to reason. In this sense, we can say that every sin is a sin against man’s nature, because it is against man’s right reason….

“Secondly, man sins against nature when he goes against his generic nature, that is to say, his animal nature. Now, it is evident that, in accord with natural order, the union of the sexes among animals is ordered towards conception. From this it follows that every sexual intercourse that cannot lead to conception is opposed to man’s animal nature.”

Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

“But they act in a contrary way, for they come full of impurity to this mystery, and not only of that impurity to which, through the fragility of your weak nature, you are all naturally inclined (although reason, when free will permits, can quiet the rebellion of nature), but these wretches not only do not bridle this fragility, but do worse, committing that accursed sin against nature, and as blind and fools, with the light of their intellect darkened, they do not know the stench and misery in which they are. It is not only that this sin stinks before me, who am the Supreme and Eternal Truth, it does indeed displease me so much and I hold it in such abomination that for it alone I buried five cities by a divine judgment, my divine justice being no longer able to endure it. This sin not only displeases me as I have said, but also the devils whom these wretches have made their masters. Not that the evil displeases them because they like anything good, but because their nature was originally angelic, and their angelic nature causes them to loathe the sight of the actual commission of this enormous sin.

Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)

“No sin in the world grips the soul as the accursed sodomy; this sin has always been detested by all those who live according to God.… Deviant passion is close to madness; this vice disturbs the intellect, destroys elevation and generosity of soul, brings the mind down from great thoughts to the lowliest, makes the person slothful, irascible, obstinate and obdurate, servile and soft and incapable of anything; furthermore, agitated by an insatiable craving for pleasure, the person follows not reason but frenzy.… They become blind and, when their thoughts should soar to high and great things, they are broken down and reduced to vile and useless and putrid things, which could never make them happy…. Just as people participate in the glory of God in different degrees, so also in hell some suffer more than others. He who lived with this vice of sodomy suffers more than another, for this is the greatest sin.”

Saint Peter Canisius (1521-1597)

“As the Sacred Scripture says, the Sodomites were wicked and exceedingly sinful. Saint Peter and Saint Paul condemn this nefarious and depraved sin. In fact, the Scripture denounces this enormous indecency thus: ‘The scandal of Sodomites and Gomorrhans has multiplied and their sins have become grave beyond measure.’ So the angels said to just Lot, who totally abhorred the depravity of the Sodomites: ‘Let us leave this city….’ Holy Scripture does not fail to mention the causes that led the Sodomites, and can also lead others, to this most grievous sin. In fact, in Ezechiel we read: ‘Behold this was the iniquity of Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and abundance, and the idleness of her, and of her daughters: and they did not put forth their hand to the needy, and the poor. And they were lifted up, and committed abominations before me; and I took them away as thou hast seen’ (Ezech. 16: 49-50). Those unashamed of violating divine and natural law are slaves of this never sufficiently execrated depravity.”

And there are many, many more examples of the clear, concise teachings of the church fathers concerning Sodomy.

Now, lets examine the Catechism of the Council of Trent on the 6th Commandment says,

In the Gospel, too, Christ the Lord says: From the heart come forth adulteries and fornications, which defile a man. The Apostle Paul expresses his detestation of this crime frequently, and in the strongest terms: This is the will of God, your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication; Fly fornication; Keep not company with fornicators; Fornication, and an uncleanness and covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you; ” Neither fornicators nor adulterers, nor the effeminate nor sodomites shall possess the kingdom of God.

We find in the catechism of Saint Pius X the following,

“Q: Which are the sins that are said to cry to God for vengeance?
A: The sins that are said to cry to God for vengeance are these four: (1) Willful murder; (2) The sin of sodomy; (3) Oppression of the poor; (4) Defrauding laborers of their wages.” The Catechism of Saint Pius X, The Vices and Other Very Grievous Sins

The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1917 says this concerning sodomy even within the marriage bed,

It must be added, however, that St. Alphonsus Liguori, with most theologians, declares that even between lawful man and wife adultery is committed when their intercourse takes the form of sodomy (S. Liguori L. III, n. 446). 

Now, lets examine the catechism of 1983,

refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual acts to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” [C.C.C. # 2357]

And to wrap all of this up, let us remember the admonition of St. Paul in his letter to the Galations chapter 1 verses 6 – 10,

[6] I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. [7] Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. [9] As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. [10] For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.


The clear teaching of the Bible, of the church fathers, and the deposit of faith which is handed to us through our tradition, is that Sodomy in all its forms is an abomination to God.  It is a Sin that cries out to God for vengeance and all who live in such a manner will suffer the eternal hell fire.

In closing, we are living in times where people are desirous of having their ears tickled so that they can indulge in their wickedness. Their darkened minds twist everything that is Holy so that many people will go to Hell because they are of their father, the Devil.

Thanks be to God that we have His words of Life, we have The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Churchand we have His Blessed Mother who will stomp out all heresies.

We have the truth that has been delivered.  Cling to this truth as we can’t come to the Father but in Truth and that Truth is Christ.



“Have You Religion In Your Heart?” – Sermon From The Cure of Ars

Alas, my dear brethren, what have we become even since our conversion?
Instead of going always forward and increasing in holiness, what laziness and
what indifference we display! God cannot endure this perpetual inconstancy
with which we pass from virtue to vice and from vice to virtue. Tell me, my
children, is not this the very pattern of the way you live? Are your poor lives
anything other than a succession of good deeds and bad deeds? Is it not true
that you go to Confession and the very next day you fall again — or perhaps
the very same day? ….

How can this be, unless the religion you have is
unreal, a religion of habit, a religion of long-standing custom, and not a
religion rooted in the heart? Carry on, my friend; you are only a waverer!
Carry on, my poor man; in everything you do, you are just a hypocrite and
nothing else! God has not the first place in your heart; that is reserved for the
world and the devil. How many people there are, my dear children, who seem
to love God in real earnest for a little while and then abandon Him! What do
you find, then, so hard and so unpleasant in the service of God that it has
repelled you so strangely and caused you to change over to the side of the
world? Yet at the time when God showed you the state of your soul, you
actually wept for it and realised how much you had been mistaken in your
lives. If you have persevered so little, the reason for this misfortune is that
the devil must have been greatly grieved to have lost you because he has
done so much to get you back. He hopes now to keep you altogether. How
many apostates there are, indeed, who have renounced their religion and who
are Christians in name only!
But, you will say to me, how can we know that we have religion in our hearts,
this religion which is consistent?
My dear brethren, this is how: listen well and you will understand if you have
religion as God wants you to have it in order to lead you to Heaven. If a
person has true virtue, nothing whatever can change him; he is like a rock in
the midst of a tempestuous sea. If anyone scorns you, or calumniates you, if
someone mocks at you or calls you a hypocrite or a sanctimonious fraud, none
of this will have the least effect upon your peace of soul. You will love him just
as much as you loved him when he was saying good things about you. You
will not fail to do him a good turn and to help him, even if he speaks badly of
your assistance. You will say your prayers, go to Confession, to Holy
Communion, you will go to Mass, all according to your general custom.
To help you to understand this better, I will give you an example. It is related
that in a certain parish there was a young man who was a model of virtue. He
went to Mass almost every day and to Holy Communion often. It happened
that another was jealous of the esteem in which this young man was held, and
one day, when they were both in the company of a neighbour, who possessed
a lovely gold snuffbox, the jealous one took it from its owner’s pocket and
placed it, unobserved, in the pocket of the young man. After he had done this,
without pretending anything, he asked to see the snuffbox. The owner
expected to find it in his pocket and was astonished when he discovered that
it was missing. No one was allowed to leave the room until everyone had been
searched, and the snuffbox was found, of course, on the young man who was
a model of goodness. Naturally, everyone immediately called him a thief and
attacked his religious professions, denouncing him as a hypocrite and a
sanctimonious fraud. He could not defend himself, since the box had been
found in his pocket. He said nothing. He suffered it all as something which had
come from the hand of God. When he was walking along the street, when he
was coming from the church, or from Mass or Holy Communion, everyone who
saw him jeered at him and called him a hypocrite, a fraud, a thief. This went
on for quite a long time, but in spite of it, he continued with all of his religious
exercises, his Confessions, his Communions, and all of his prayers, just as if
everyone were treating him with the utmost respect. After some years, the
man who had been the cause of it all fell ill. To those who were with him he
confessed that he had been the origin of all the evil things which had been
said about this young man, who was a saint, and that through jealousy of
him, so that he might destroy his good name, he himself had put the snuffbox
in the young man’s pocket.
There, my brethren, is a religion which is true, which has taken root in the
soul. Tell me, if all of those poor Christians who make profession of religion
were subjected to such trials, would they imitate this young man? Ah, my
dear brethren, what murmurings there would be, what bitternesses, what
thoughts of revenge, of slander, of calumny, even perhaps of going to law….
They would storm against religion; they would scorn and jeer at it and say
nothing but ill of it; they would not be able to say their prayers any more;
they would not be able to go to Mass; they would not know what more to do
or to say to justify themselves; they would collect every item of harm that this
or that person had done, tell it to others, repeat it to everyone who knew
them in order to make them out as liars and calumniators. What is the reason
for this conduct, my dear brethren? Surely it is that our religion is only one of
whim, of long-standing habit and routine, and, if we were to put it more
forcefully, because we are hypocrites who serve God just as long as
everything is going according to our wishes. Alas, my dear brethren, all of
these virtues which we observe in a great many apparent Christians are but
like the flowers of spring, which one gust of hot wind can wither.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux – October 3rd

thereseCarmelite of Lisieux, better known as the Little Flower of Jesus, born at Alençon, France, 2 January, 1873; died at Lisieux 30 September, 1897.

She was the ninth child of saintly parents, Louis and Zélie Martin, both of whom had wished toconsecrate their lives to God in the cloister. The vocation denied them was given to their children, five of whom became religious, one to the Visitation Order and four in the Carmelite Convent of Lisieux. Brought up in an atmosphere of faith where every virtue and aspiration were carefully nurtured and developed, her vocation manifested itself when she was still only a child. Educatedby the Benedictines, when she was fifteen she applied for permission to enter the CarmeliteConvent, and being refused by the superior, went to Rome with her father, as eager to give her to God as she was to give herself, to seek the consent of the Holy Father, Leo XIII, then celebrating his jubilee. He preferred to leave the decision in the hands of the superior, who finally consented and on 9 April, 1888, at the unusual age of fifteen, Thérèse Martin entered the conventof Lisieux where two of her sisters had preceded her.

The account of the eleven years of her religious life, marked by signal graces and constant growth in holiness, is given by Soeur Thérèse in her autobiography, written in obedience to her superior and published two years after her death. In 1901 it was translated into English, and in 1912 another translation, the first complete edition of the life of the Servant of God, containing the autobiography, “Letters and Spiritual Counsels”, was published. Its success was immediate and it has passed into many editions, spreading far and wide the devotion to this “little” saint of simplicity, and abandonment in God’s service, of the perfect accomplishment of small duties.

The fame of her sanctity and the many miracles performed through her intercession caused the introduction of her cause of canonization only seventeen years after her death, 10 Jun, 1914.

Catholic Encyclopedia 

And a here is a good book by here that you might learn from:  Counsels and Reminiscences.

Humility Of Heart Part 11

47. Who knows if the one I judge and speak ill of may not be dearer to God than I am? Whether another whom I esteem but little and despise for his physical or moral defects be not destined to be very happy with God for all eternity? Who knows whether I may not be condemned to the pains of Hell for all eternity? With this uncertainty how can I then presume to consider myself better than any other?

No one is worth more than what he is worth in the eyes of God, and how can 1 know whether I am an object of hatred or of love to God? “And yet man knoweth not whether he be worthy of love or hatred.” [Ecclus ix, 1] How do I know if God will fashion a vessel of honor or of dishonor from the clay of which I am made? “For who distinguisheth thee?” [1 Cor. iv, 7] “But what is the use of these vessels? the Potter is the judge.” [Wisd. xv, 7]

When I read of St. Paul, the herald of the Holy Ghost and great doctor of the Gentiles, who said of himself that he lived in fear of falling into sin and becoming a castaway after having converted so many thousands of souls to God: “Lest perhaps when I have preached to others I myself may become a castaway;” [1 Cor. ix, 27] ah, if St. Paul himself, who was rapt unto the third heaven and could say that “Christ lived in him,” “and I live now, not I, but Christ liveth in me,” [Gal. ii, 20] should thus fear, what shall I say of myself, who am so contemptible? At the day of judgment how many shall we see on the right hand of God whom we looked upon as castaways! and how many shall we see on His left whom we believed to be amongst His elect!

It would be well for us, however, when we make comparisons between ourselves and others, to say what Juda said of Thamar, “She is juster than I,” and in some circumstance or other this will always prove to be true. St. Thomas taught that a man may truthfully say and believe that he is worse than others, partly on account of the hidden defects which he knows that he possesses, and partly on account of the gifts of God that are hidden in others. [xxii, qu. 161, art. 6 ad 2]

48. Who can assure me that before long I shall not fall into some mortal sin? And having once fallen, who can assure me that I may not die in sin, and thus be condemned to eternal punishment? As long as I live in this world I cannot be sure of anything. I must hope to save my soul, but I must also fear to lose it. O my soul, I do not in tend to depress thee; no, nor do I wish to fill thee with pusillanimous despair by these thoughts. I only desire thee to be humble. And how much reason hast thou to humble thyself in this uncertainty, not knowing what manner of death shall be thine, nor what shall be thy lot for all eternity? It is only by the measure of thy humility that thou canst hope to please God and save thyself, because it is certain that God will “save the humble people,” [Ps. xvii, 28] “and He will save the humble of spirit.” [Ps. xxxiii, 19]

There are some who think that to meditate on the mystery of predestination is likely to fill us with despair; but it appears to me, as it also did to St. Augustine, that this thought is a most efficacious means of practicing humility, [Lib. de Praedest. et Grat.] because when I meditate upon my eternal salvation I see that it does not depend upon the power of my own free-will, but only upon the Divine mercy. Not trusting to myself, but placing all my hope in God, I must say with the wise Judith: “And therefore let us humble our souls before Him, and continuing in a humble spirit in His service, ask the Lord that He would show His mercy to us.” [Jud. viii, 16, 17]

49. It is a special gift of God to know how to govern the tongue, as the preacher says in his Proverbs: “It is the Lord who governs the tongue”; [Prov. xvi, 1] and when God wishes to confer this gift of His upon anyone, He does so by means of humility. And the Savior teaches us in St. Matthew xii, 34: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Therefore, if the heart is well-regulated by humility, the tongue will be well-regulated also.

He who is humble of heart has but a poor opinion of himself and a good opinion of others; hence it is that he never praises himself or blames others. The humble man speaks but little, and weighs and measures his words so as not to say more than truth and modesty require, and, as his heart is free from vanity, so is his speech. We argue therefore that there can be little or no humility in our hearts when there is little or no circumspection in our speech. “Their heart is vain,” says the prophet, and this is the reason why he also adds: “Their throat is an open sepulcher.” [Ps. v, 10, 11] We speak of those things that fill the heart, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,” [Luke vi, 45] and our speech will determine whether truth or vanity predominates in our hearts. It is well to ask God to curb our tongue, but let us also ask Him to give humility to our heart, for this alone will be a most powerful curb.

Holy Guardian Angels – October 2nd

Guardian AngelThis feast, like many others, was local before it was placed in the Roman calendar. It was not one of the feasts retained in the Pian breviary, published in 1568; but among the earliest petitions from particular churches to be allowed, as a supplement to this breviary, the canonical celebration of local feasts, was a request from Cordova in 1579 for permission to have a feast in honour of the guardian angels. (Bäumer, “Histoire du Breviaire”, II, 233.)

Bäumer, who makes this statement on the authority of original documents published by Dr. Schmid (in the “Tübinger Quartalschrift”, 1884), adds on the same authority that “Toledo sent to Rome a rich proprium and received the desired authorization for all the Offices contained in it, Valencia also obtained the approbation in February, 1582, for special Offices of the Blood of Christ and the Guardian Angels.”

So far the feast of Guardian Angels remained local. Paul V placed it (27 September, 1608) among the feasts of the general calendar as a double “ad libitum” (Bäumer, op. cit., II, 277). Nilles gives us more details about this step. “Paul V”, he writes, “gave an impetus to the veneration of Guardian Angels (long known in the East and West) by the authorization of a feast and proper office in their honour. At the request of Ferdinand of Austria, afterwards emperor, he made them obligatory in all regions subject to the Imperial power; to all other places he conceded them ad libitum, to be celebrated on the first available day after the Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel. It is believed that the new feast was intended to be a kind of supplement to the Feast of St. Michael, since the Church honoured on that day (29 September) the memory of all the angels as well as the memory of St. Michael (Nilles, “Kalendarium”, II, 502). Among the numerous changes made in the calendar by Clement X was the elevation of the Feast of Guardian Angels to the rank of an obligatory double for the whole Church to be kept on 2 October, this being the first unoccupied day after the feast of St. Michael (Nilles, op. cit., II, 503). Finally Leo XIII (5 April, 1883) favoured this feast to the extent of raising it to the rank of a double major.

Such in brief is the history of a feast which, though of comparatively recent introduction, gives the sanction of the Church’s authority to an ancient and cherished belief. The multiplicity of feasts is in fact quite a modern development, and that the guardian angels were not honoured with a special feast in the early Church is no evidence that they were not prayed to and reverenced. There is positive testimony to the contrary (see Bareille in Dict. de Theol. Cath., s.v. Ange, col. 1220). It is to be noted that the Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael is amongst the oldest feasts in the Calendar. There are five proper collects and prefaces assigned to this feast in the Leonine Sacramentary (seventh century) under the title “Natalis Basilicae Angeli in Salaria” and a glance at them will show that this feast included a commemoration of the angels in general, and also recognition of their protective office and intercessory power. In one collect God is asked to sustain those who are labouring in this world by the protecting power of his heavenly ministers (supernorum . . . . praesidiis . . . . ministrorum). In one of the prefaces, God is praised and thanked for the favour of angelic patronage (patrociniis . . . . angelorum). In the collect of the third Mass the intercessory power of saints and angels is alike appealed to (quae [oblatio] angelis tuis sanctisque precantibus et indulgentiam nobis referat et remedia procuret aeterna” (Sacramentarium Leonianum, ed. Feltoe, 107-8). These extracts make it plain that the substantial idea which underlies the modern feast of Guardian Angels was officially expressed in the early liturgies. In the “Horologium magnum” of the Greeks there is a proper Office of Guardian Angels (Roman edition, 329-334) entitled “A supplicatory canon to man’s Guardian Angel composed by John the Monk” (Nilles, II, 503), which contains a clear expression of belief in the doctrine that a guardian angel is assigned to each individual. This angel is thus addressed “Since thou the power (ischyn) receivest my soul to guard, cease never to cover it with thy wings” (Nilles, II, 506).

For 2 October there is a proper Office in the Roman Breviary and a proper Mass in the Roman Missal, which contains all the choice extracts from Sacred Scripture bearing on the three-fold office of the angels, to praise God, to act as His messengers, and to watch over mortal men. “Let us praise the Lord whom the Angels praise, whom the Cherubim and Seraphim proclaim Holy, Holy, Holy” (second antiphon of Lauds). “Behold I will send my angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. Take notice of him, and hear his voice” (Exodus 23; capitulum ad Laudes). The Gospel of the Mass includes that pointed text from St. Matthew 28:10: “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.” Although 2 October has been fixed for this feast in the Roman calendar, it is kept, by papal privilege, in Germany and many other places on the first Sunday (computed ecclesiastically) of September, and is celebrated with special solemnity and generally with an octave (Nilles, II, 503). (See ANGEL; INTERCESSION.)

From the Catholic Encyclopedia