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5 Reasons to never name or try to find out your Guardian Angel’s name

There is a somewhat prevalent error among many Catholics to try to discover the name of their guardian Angels. On the surface, it seems like this is a good idea; after all, this usually comes from wanting to know and have a personal relationship with an Angel. The first step, they think, is to know their name. Some even go ahead and assign a name to their Angels so they can have something to call. 

Why God gave us Guardian Angels

The key reason God has given us these beautiful spirits is to lead us on the path to salvation. They stand with us to protect and shepherd us and lead us to life.

Angels are pure spirits. They do not have physical bodies, have an intellect and will, and operate in specific ways to guide, protect, and even to influence us for good in accordance with our free will. They respect us and never force us to do anything.

St. Basil the Great

Never name your Angel:

While it is a beautiful practice to invoke the aid of our Guardian angels, it is essential to realize that we may never have any supernatural experience of them in this life. And this is very okay; that is what God wants. God does not ordinarily want anyone to know the names of their guardian Angels. We are not even sure if they each have a name or not. Since humans use names to distinguish one thing or person from another for the sake of our limited language, angels have a purer way to communicate with each other and might not use words or anything. There were many experiences of Angels in the Bible whose names were never revealed; this is what God wants. So let us not push it.

In the Book of Genesis, Jacob asked and failed to obtain the name of an Angel he had just wrested:

“Please tell me your name.” The Angel answered, “Why do you ask for my name?” (Genesis 32:24-29). 

Samson’s mother, in the book of Judges, says:

 “A man of God came to me; he had the appearance of an angel of God, fearsome indeed. I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will conceive and bear a son…'”

Later Samson’s father asked: “What is your name, that we may honor you when your words come true?” But the Angel would not tell him:

And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?”

Judges 13:18

Naming things signify dominion/authority over them.

Giving a name to things was one of God’s gifts to Adam in Eden to show his authority over everything. Remember that God brought to him creatures of lower nature (and Eve who was equal). God never gave Adam the job of naming Angels because the latter is of a higher order than men. 

Demons are too mischievous; they interfere:

Fallen angels can interfere with our attempt to learn the names of our Guardian Angels. The truth is, the risk is too high for such an insignificant goal. Knowing the name of an Angel will not make us holier, help us hear their prompting better, or open us up to God’s spirit more. 

The Church told us not to:

According to the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy from the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:

“The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.”

This prohibition is for our protection. Like we have said, it is too much of a spiritual risk. We can have a good relationship with our Guardian Angels without knowing their names. The only thing God and your own Angel want you to call him, for now, is “My Guardian Angel.” That’s it. Maybe someday we will learn the name and see our Angels, but that will be when we have left this world. 

Someday, in heaven, you will know your Angel’s most holy name. It’s just one more thing to look forward to!

St. John Vianney

5 Reasons to never name or try to find out your Guardian Angel’s name

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