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If we are given a guardian angel at baptism, does that mean non-Christians don’t have guardian angels?

Full Question

I heard that we get our guardian angels at baptism. Is this true, and does it mean that the babies of non-Christians do not have guardian angels?

Answer

The idea that we get our guardian angels at baptism is a speculation, not a teaching of the Church. The common opinion among Catholic theologians is that all people, regardless of whether they are baptized, have guardian angels at least from the time of their birth (see Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma [Rockford: TAN, 1974], 120); some have suggested that prior to birth babies are taken care of by their mothers’ guardian angels.

The view that everyone has a guardian angel seems well founded in Scripture. In Matthew 18:10 Jesus states, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” He said this before the Crucifixion and was speaking about Jewish children. It would therefore seem that non-Christian, not just Christian (baptized) children have guardian angels.

Notice that Jesus says their angels always behold the face of his Father. This is not merely a declaration that they continually stand in the presence of God, but an affirmation that they have continual access to the Father. If one of their wards is in trouble, they can serve as the child’s advocate before God.

The view that all people have guardian angels is found in the Church Fathers, notably in Basil and Jerome, and it is also the view of Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologiae I:113:4).

By Catholic Answers Staff













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2 comments

  1. thomraff Reply

    Anyone wish to provide evidence for this “top 5” silliest Dogma?

    1. Surge Reply

      Thom, you and Patrick need to stop this nonsense. What’s the point if you guys don’t believe?

      It will likely be a waste of time me sharing these verses because you’re waiting for an amputee to have his limb restored, but here:

      Matthew 12:38-39
      38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.

      John 20:24-29
      24 Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

      2 Corinthians 6:14-16
      14 Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers. For what partnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Beliar? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said:

      “I will live with them and move among them,
      and I will be their God
      and they shall be my people.

      Proverbs 4:19
      19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
      they do not know on what they stumble.

      Hebrews 4:2
      2 For in fact we have received the good news just as they did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened.

      2 Corinthians 4:1-6
      1 Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged. 2 Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things; not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God, but by the open declaration of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even though our gospel is veiled, it is veiled for those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus. 6 For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of [Jesus] Christ.

      John 9:39-41
      39 Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”
      40 Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

      1 Timothy 1:12-15
      12 I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry. 13 I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief. 14 Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost.

      Mark 9:21-23
      21 Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “Since childhood. 22 It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”

      1 Corinthians 14:22-25
      22 Thus, tongues are a sign not for those who believe but for unbelievers, whereas prophecy is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.
      23 So if the whole church meets in one place and everyone speaks in tongues, and then uninstructed people or unbelievers should come in, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24 But if everyone is prophesying, and an unbeliever or uninstructed person should come in, he will be convinced by everyone and judged by everyone, 25 and the secrets of his heart will be disclosed, and so he will fall down and worship God, declaring, “God is really in your midst.”

      1 Corinthians 7:12-16
      12 To the rest I say (not the Lord): if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she is willing to go on living with him, he should not divorce her; 13 and if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to go on living with her, she should not divorce her husband. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through the brother. Otherwise your children would be unclean, whereas in fact they are holy.
      15 If the unbeliever separates, however, let him separate. The brother or sister is not bound in such cases; God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband; or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

      John 3:18
      18 Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

      John 8:21-25
      21 He said to them again, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. 24 That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.

      John 12:48-50
      48 Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, 49 because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”

      Mark 8:11-12
      11 The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

      1 John 5:10
      10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son.

      Psalm 78:30-34
      30 But while they still wanted more,
      and the food was still in their mouths,
      31 God’s anger flared up against them,
      and he made a slaughter of their strongest,
      laying low the youth of Israel.
      32 In spite of all this they went on sinning,
      they did not believe in his wonders.
      33 God ended their days abruptly,
      their years in sudden death.
      34 When he slew them, they began to seek him;
      they again looked for God.

      Numbers 14:11
      11 And the Lord said to Moses: How long will this people spurn me? How long will they not trust me, despite all the signs I have performed among them?

      John 5:37-38
      37 Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.

      Acts 14:1-2
      1 In Iconium they entered the Jewish synagogue together and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks came to believe, 2 although the disbelieving Jews stirred up and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against the brothers.

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