Guardian angels watch over us

By Linda Andrade Rodrigues, Anchor Correspondent

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Guardian angels are the servants and messengers of God.

“How great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it,” St. Jerome said.

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” teaches that as purely Spiritual creatures, angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.

“The Holy Spirit advises me,” and “there’s the angel who advises me,” said Pope Francis. “Nobody walks alone, and none of us can believe we are alone.” 

Nine years ago I interviewed a devout Catholic who believes she had an encounter with an angel. She works in marketing and lives in Rhode Island. She shared her story on the condition of anonymity.

Sitting in the front passenger seat of her boyfriend’s car, the woman, along with her two girlfriends, was riding around town late one night. 

Out of the blue, a car cut them off running them off the road. Spinning out of control, they crashed into a telephone pole. 

“I remember the point of impact,” she said. “I was holding onto the door with a death grip to brace myself as we hit the pole.”

Her boyfriend and friends managed to crawl out of the crushed car, but she was trapped inside.

“I remember not being able to feel my legs,” she said. “I panicked because I couldn’t catch my breath.”

The telephone pole was inside the car; her feet were in the engine compartment.

“I actually saw my life flash before my eyes at the moment of impact,” she said. “I remember seeing family members who had passed on.”

She heard their voices calling to her.

Then she saw a hand coming through the twisted metal. She reached for it.

“I’m a nurse,” the person said.

She told the nurse about the voices.

“Don’t listen to them,” the nurse said. “You’re going to be fine. It’s not your time yet.”

It would take more than an hour for emergency personnel to cut her out of the car with the Jaws of Life. All the while, she kept asking for the nurse who had promised not to leave her. 

But the paramedics told her, “There’s nobody here. We’re going to take care of you.”

Her injuries were grave. Her legs and pelvis were shattered, she had massive internal injuries and bleeding, as well as a blood clot. She received Last Rites. 

She spent three months in the hospital’s trauma unit, and it would take a year of intensive physical therapy for her to walk again.

A short time after her discharge from the hospital, she arranged to meet the paramedics who had saved her life.

“They couldn’t believe I was there,” she said. “They assumed I wasn’t going to make it.”

Once again, she asked them about the nurse. They told her there was a witness walking his dog in the woods, but there was no nurse.

“It may have been your mind playing games with you,” the paramedic said. “Your body was in shock.”

Today she bears few scars from the accident that nearly took her life. She is married to her boyfriend, the driver of the car, and is convinced a guardian angel came to her on the night of the accident.

“I still feel she’s watching over me,” she said. “I always feel protected.”  

A resident of Mine Hill, N.J., Loci Lenar reports news of Christian signs and wonders on his blog and website — “Angels, Wonders and Miracles of Faith” (http://lenarpoetry.blogspot.com) and “Signs, Wonders and Miracles” (www.Christian-Miracles.com) — which have recorded over a million page views.


Lenar also documents his own spiritual encounters, following instructions from his spiritual advisor, Father Richard Tartaglia of St. Mary’s Church in Denville, N.J.

Sharing his experiences, he has been interviewed several times for the program “Sacred Treasures” on the international Catholic station Radio Maria, which is broadcast locally by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate of Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford at 88.5 FM (WPMW). 

Lenar often visits churches to photograph stained glass windows and statues to use on his website and blog.

Five years ago he stopped to pray at The Church of St. Michael in Netcong, N.J., and photographed a statue of St. Michael the Archangel.

“Without the flash, you see the striking rainbow beyond the statue and around the arms,” he told me. “I gave the small memory card to Father Richard.”

Catholics invoke St. Michael the Archangel in prayer for physical protection.

Lenar said that Jesus is calling people to pray for divine protection, not just for their families but for the world.

“We are living in difficult times, but through prayer we could change things,” he said. “The message is now more important than ever before to invoke the powerful name of Jesus and to pray for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel to protect our families and nation, especially in light of the violence surrounding our world and the Middle East.”

Two years ago thieves broke into the basement of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Assonet, causing massive damage to the property, pilfering church offerings and leaving behind a feeling of unease that this sacred ground had been violated.

Consequently, Father Michael Racine inserted the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel in the front cover of church missals. 

Just before the closing rites at every Mass, the congregation invokes the saint’s protection:

“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”

© 2014 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing, Fall River, Mass.