Monthly Devotion: The Holy Angels
Francesco Botticini's Assumption of the Virgin shows the three hierarchies and nine choirs of angels
More commonly known as the month devoted to Our Lady and the Most Holy Rosary, October is also devoted to the Holy Angels. We are blessed to be surrounded by angel guardians at all times, spirits who pray and intercede for us, who protect us and guide us throughout our lives.
The Sanctus that we pray at each and every Mass is the prayer of the angels, a prayer that we join with in profound adoration of Almighty God. Of this great prayer, the Benedictine Abbot Prosper Guerrenger writes,
"After confessing the holiness and Strength of God, the Church adds: Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua. There is no way, more magnificent than this, of expressing the Glory of God; verily there is no nook or corner of Creation where shines not forth the Glory of God; everything is produced by His Power, and everything gives Him Glory. Holy Church transported on beholding this, cries out aloud: Hosanna in excelsis. We read in the Sacred Scriptures that this cry was uttered by the Jews, when Jesus was entering into Jerusalem, on Palm Sunday, and the people shouted Hosanna filio David; yes, Hosanna,which means Salvation, a salutation of deep respect. Holy Church blends both of these together, making one of the Sanctus and of this solemn salutation: Hosanna in excelsis, Hosanna in the highest.... Just as at the commencement of Mass, she would have us unite with the Angels in chanting the Kyrie a very cry of distress, so now she bids us mingle our voices once again with their Angelic Choirs, but in a manner totally different to the former occasion; lo! now she has entered into the mysteries, - she is on the point of coming into complete possession thereof; - therefore is she seized with enthusiasm, and her one thought now is to sing to her God: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Hosanna in excelsis. Verily, the Jews did well to shout their Hosanna, as they went, wending in glad procession down the Mount of Olives, towards Jerusalem, entering by the Golden Gate; all was in harmony, and breathed triumph; but how far more fitting is it for us to sing it, at this portentous moment, when the Son of God is about to come down in the midst of us who truly know Him!"
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