Our Guardian Angels Assist
Us at the Hour of Death
Especially at the hour of death, when the wicked enemies redouble their assaults in order to win the decisive battle for eternity, our Guardian Angel will assist us if we have been faithful to him during life. We read in the lives of many Saints that their Guardian Angels were visibly present at their last hour, comforting them in their final struggle, strengthening them against the redoubled attacks of hell, announcing to them the hour of their death and giving them the assurance that they would be heirs of the kingdom of Heaven. Not a few of the Saints at their death were seen being carried by exultant Angels into the heavenly Paradise. Frequently, too, the holy Guardian Angels have procured for their protégés the grace of a happy death by calling a priest to administer the Last Sacraments.
In the acts of St. John of Avila of Spain, we find the following incident, the Saint himself vouching for its truth:
In the year 1585, the Rev. Father Centenares, a member of St. John's community, was awakened one stormy night and requested to take Holy Viaticum to a dying person. At first the priest hesitated and thought to wait until morning, as he did not know the way and the night was very dark. But the love of God triumphed over fear, and he started out, taking with him two consecrated Hosts. But scarcely had he left the church when two youths of heavenly appearance placed themselves at his right and left side. They held burning candles, which were not extinguished by the falling rain, and accompanied the priest to the sick person and back again to the church. When he had placed the Sacred Host in the tabernacle, they vanished as suddenly as they had appeared. While the good priest was wondering in astonishment at this occurrence, he received a message from St. John which contained the words: Do not be astonished at what has happened to you this night. It is quite certain that the two youths whom you saw were Angels sent by God to reward your zeal ...