Angels and Babies

3:25:00 PM

I never used to believe in angels.  I thought they were like fairies: fanciful, imaginary creatures. I went to classes about the Faith before I became a Catholic but I don’t remember angels being mentioned. 

One day I realised Catholics believe in angels. “No!” I thought. “That’s too weird!” Could I be a non-angel-believing Catholic? I decided to put angels into the back-burner of my mind and let the idea simmer away for a time. I was sure that eventually I’d come to accept that angels really do exist. I’d already come to accept so many other ‘unbelievable beliefs’ of the Catholic Church. And that is exactly what happened. One day I woke up thinking, “Yes! Angels exist. I have a guardian angel!”

I really think angels must be patient beings. It was 30 years before I directed a single thought towards mine. My angel can’t be the only ignored angel. Sadly, there must be millions of angels in the world praying away, waiting to be acknowledged.

I don’t know the exact moment when an angel is assigned to a person. Is it at conception? Or is it at the moment of birth? I didn’t think about this until Thomas was born. There is no doubt that Thomas had a guardian angel. But did that angel pray by his side for the entire nine months of his life, or did the angel appear at the moment of his birth?

Thomas only lived for one day. During this 28 hours of life, doctors and nurses were in and out of the NICU, checking his condition. My husband Andy and I were also there as much as possible. But there were times when Thomas was alone. It was quite safe. The many monitors attached to his life support system constantly beeped and flashed, relaying every vital piece of information about Thomas’ condition to the nursing station. A doctor would have been by his side instantly if needed.

I think about Thomas being alone in the NICU, and despite the constant monitoring, I feel guilty. Our baby only lived for such a short time. Couldn’t I have foregone my own needs and stayed by his side for those hours? Did Thomas know there were times when he was all alone? I should have been there with him. I am his mother. Could I not have stayed awake and kept watch?

But I now realise that Thomas was never alone. The NICU might have appeared empty, but it wasn’t. Invisible spiritual beings were by each baby’s side. Even when Andy and I couldn’t be with Thomas in the NICU, his guardian angel was watching over him, keeping prayerful vigil, while he suffered. That angel never left his side.

Thomas died and his soul instantly left his body. His angel took it straight to God in Heaven. And so Thomas was gone from us, and so was his angel.

I never really thought about Thomas’ guardian angel while we were in the hospital. I was too wrapped up in my own pain to think clearly about the situation. It is strange how when we look back at past events, God reveals to us details we missed at the time. It's like finding another of the tiny pieces of the intricate puzzle. Instead of our memories fading, we are given more to think about and more to treasure.

Like angels, I find this gift of God truly amazing.

Image: "Fairy Girl" courtesy of

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  1. Sue, when I read your post, I immediately thought of this true story, which I am linking to. If you haven't yet read it, I think you will be greatly comforted by it. It's so beautiful. Here is the link:

    Also, I don't think there is a dogmatic teaching in the Church on when God assigns a guardian angel to a baby, but the predominant thinking by great theologians and Saints, as well as though who study angels is that the guardian angel is assigned as soon as a child is conceived. Love you..and all of your grief beautiful, like your heart.

    1. Patricia,

      Thank you for the link. Yes, the story was so beautiful. I'm sure there is so much going on we are unaware of. The world stretches beyond our senses. Won't it be glorious when we see everything that has been going on 'behind the scenes', when we no longer have to live by faith?

      I think I like the idea of Thomas' guardian angel being with us for 9 months, the entire time of his life on earth with us. When Thomas died I imagined his angel departing with him. That was a comforting thought.

      I love you too, Patricia. Your love and encouragement mean so much to me.

      God bless!

    2. Sue, I love to think that perhaps babies are allowed to see Jesus and Mary and angels while they are very young...before they would be able to talk about it. Sometimes I think animals may at least see angels. Like you, I can't wait to find out all of these wonders. I'm sure there is so much more going on around us than we could ever dream. When we feel comforted by Our Lord, I'm' sure He is right there, with His arm around us....not comforting us from afar. He lives in us and so Heaven does. Thomas is so close to you, but then you already know that. I think it makes sense that an angel is given when a child is conceived, otherwise miscarried babies would spend eternity without a guardian angel. I've read that each of us has an angel, uniquely matched to us, and with whom we will have a special relationship in Heaven. I love that! Imagine...they know every single thing we ever did! I think I'll have to swear my angel to secrecy :) Hugs, dear Sue!



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