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God created angels as pure spiritual beings. These creatures are both personal and immortal, surpassing all visible beings in perfection. Angels have no physical bodies and are purely spiritual in nature. With their intellect and will, they can understand and love God in a manner that surpasses human understanding. Although they don’t have a physical presence, they can still interact with the physical world and fulfill God’s will through different means.

According to Scripture and Church Fathers, angels existed prior to the material world. According to Catholic doctrine, angels were created by God at the very beginning of time. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of faith” (CCC 328).

God created angels to serve Him and play a role in His divine plan. They continuously glorify God and fulfill His desires. They have diverse roles, such as being messengers (the term “angel” in Greek means “messenger”), protectors, and servants of God. Angels, for instance, declared significant events in salvation history, such as the Annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26-38) and the birth of Jesus to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-14). Guardian angels, according to Catholic belief, are assigned to safeguard and guide individuals.

Catholic doctrine states that there were angels who disobeyed God, led by Lucifer (Satan), and as a result, they were expelled from Heaven. Demons, also referred to as fallen angels, deliberately rejected God’s authority and have been in opposition to His will ever since. The rebellion is mentioned in different sections of Scripture, such as Revelation 12:7-9, where it describes a celestial battle between Michael, his angels, the dragon (Satan), and his angels.


According to the Church, angels are organized in a hierarchical structure with distinct ranks and roles. In this hierarchy, the nine choirs of angels are typically grouped into three triads.

1. First Triad
Seraphim are the highest order, revered for their fiery devotion and direct worship of God.
Cherubim are recognized for their deep understanding and wisdom regarding divine secrets.
Thrones represent both divine justice and authority.

2. Second Triad
Dominions govern lower angels and ensure that God’s will is carried out.
Virtues are connected to miracles and the management of the cosmos.
Powers defeat malevolent forces and preserve universal harmony.

3. Third Triad
Principalities provide guidance to nations and groups of people.
Archangels guide the lower angels and deliver crucial messages.
Angels, the choir closest to humanity, often act as guardians.


The Angel of the Lord is commonly seen in the Old Testament as a means for God to communicate with humans, either as His representative or as God Himself. Some examples of the Angel of the Lord’s appearance are to Hagar (Gen 16:7-14), to Abraham and Sarah at Mamre (Gen 18:1), to Abraham on Mount Moriah (Gen 22:11-12; 22:15), to Jacob (Gen 31:11; 32:25), to Moses (Ex 3:2), to Joshua (Josh 5:13-15), to Gideon (Judg 6:22), Samson’s parents (Judg 13:21-22), to Joseph (Mt 1:20), and to the shepherds (Lk 2:9).

“The angel of the Lord” differs from the regular angels. His presence manifests a divine presence along with the glory of the Lord. Seeing the glory of the Lord in this world is terrifying because it is incomparable with anything on earth. The vision of God’s glory or the Angel of the Lord frightened the visionaries at first. Some Fathers believe this angel was Gabriel, who appeared to Zechariah, Mary, and shepherds in Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus.


There are three angels that the Bible specially mentions by name:

(1) Michael in Hebrew means “Who is like God.” Michael presides over the prayers and offerings of the faithful.

(2) Raphael means “The Medicine of God.” Raphael presides over the healing of human bodies. He restored sight to Tobit when he was blind (Tob 11: 7-15).

(3) Gabriel means “The Power of God.” Gabriel presides over the conflicts and wars of the faithful as in Daniel 12. Additionally, he serves as a divine messenger. God sent the Angel Gabriel to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus, who would wage war against Lucifer (Gen 3:15). Angel Gabriel appeared four times in the Bible communicating God’s message to His faithful servants: to Prophet Daniel (Ch 10), to John the Baptists’ father Zachariah (Lk 1:5-20), to mother of Jesus, Mary (Lk 1:26-38) and to Evangelist John (Rev 1:1-2). Out of these, only Zechariah’s vision happened in the Temple. In Jewish tradition, Gabriel is considered one of the seven archangels, even though the Bible does not specifically state this.


Gabriel – means “The Power of God”. Gabriel presides over the conflicts and wars of the faithful, as in Daniel chapter 12. This angel is also a messenger of God. God sent the Angel Gabriel to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus, who would wage war against Lucifer (Gen 3:15).

The Angel Gabriel appears four times in the Bible communicating God’s message to His faithful servants: The first was to Daniel (Dan 8:16) to interpret his dream, the second was to Zechariah (Lk 1:19), and the third was to Mary (Lk 1:26). Out of these, only Zechariah’s vision happened in the Temple and to the Evangelist John in Patmos (Rev 1:1-2). Though not specified in the Holy Bible, according to the Jewish tradition, Gabriel is one of the seven archangels.


The Bible documents the ministry of the angel of the Lord or angels in the life of Jesus on earth. The angel appeared to Zechariah (Lk 1:11-20), Mary (Lk 1:26-38), and to Joseph in a dream (Mt 1:20-24) to prepare for the birth of Jesus. After his birth, the angel(s) appeared to the shepherds (Lk 2:9-14), and the Magi (Mt 2:12) and to Joseph in dreams (Mt 2:13,19). During the public ministry of Jesus, the angels came to minister to him after having overcome temptations in the desert (Mt 4:11) and at Gethsemane during his agony (Lk 22:43). After his resurrection, the angel rolled back the stone at the tomb of Jesus (Mt 28:2). Two angels were present at the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:9-11).


There are differences between humans and angels. Though God created both angels (Col 1:16) and humans, only humans are recorded as created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26). Humans and a group of angels sinned. Jesus died for the salvation of humans. So, only they can receive forgiveness and not the fallen angels (2 Pet 2:4). Only humans marry and generate children. The angles have “superior strength and power” (2 Pet 2:11). They exist in heaven, which is a higher level of existence than the physical universe (Mt 18:10; Rev 5:11-12).

Angels primarily interact with humanity by acting as messengers and protectors. The Church teaches that each person has a guardian angel assigned to them, reflecting God’s personal care and providence. This belief is supported by Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:10: ” See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”

Angels are not worshipped, but they are highly respected and honored for their role in God’s plan. The Church celebrates the Feast of the Archangels (Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael) on September 29 and the Feast of the Guardian Angels on October 2. People are encouraged to pray and show devotion to angels, especially guardian angels, to seek their guidance and protection.


According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), “the angels are servants and messengers of God” (CCC-329). They “always look upon the face of my heavenly Father” (Mt 18:10). They are “mighty in strength, acting at his behest, obedient to his command” and they carry out His will (Ps 103:20-21). They are purely spiritual and immortal creatures with intelligence and will, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures (CCC- 330).

“Christ is the centre of the angelic world” (CCC-331). At his second coming in glory, all the angels will appear with him (Mt 25:31). “For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him” (Col 1:16). The angels have been at the service of God and ministered his chosen ones throughout the history of salvation (CCC-332).

The Catholic belief about angels includes their spiritual nature, creation by God, hierarchical structure, and relationship with humanity. Angels serve as messengers, protectors, and participants in God’s divine plan, exemplifying the abundance of the spiritual realm and God’s loving care for all of creation.


Although humans were created as lesser beings than angels, God demonstrated mercy by sending his Son to redeem them. The fallen angels have no chance of returning to their former graceful state. We should express gratitude to the Lord for redeeming us and heed our guardian angels’ guidance to protect us from temptation.

Reflecting on the nature and roles of angels reminds us of God’s immense love and care for His creation. Angels serve as messengers and protectors, demonstrating God’s continued involvement in the world. By acknowledging their existence and seeking their guidance, we can deepen our trust and belief in God’s providential care.

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