The following is my personal account of what my daughter (about 8 yrs old at the time) relayed to me at Mass one Sunday evening, at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Guildford.
We frequently attended this church in approx 2002-03. We lived much closer to another church, but travelled the extra distance to this little old church on most Sundays, as the priest and congregation seemed to me, on a whole, fervent and reverent. The Parish priest was Fr. Lou Breslan; a lovely, old priest with thick white hair, an often reddish face and a slight Irish accent. He always chose traditional hymns and, although lacking a formal choir, there were plenty of people who sang them beautifully. Although they cannot be seen in the photo, there were also traditional statues and Stations of the Cross in the church and an old choir loft up some steep steps, where my daughter and I chose to sit. Both levels were crowded, although the choir loft was not uncomfortably so, and we had a good view of the altar and sanctuary from up there.
Just after Holy Communion, my daughter pulled my sleeve and wanted to tell me something but I motioned to her to remain quiet while I finished my prayers of Thanksgiving after Holy Communion. She was really patient and waited without further interruption until I sat down again. Then she whispered to me that she wanted to tell me something but I was not allowed to tell ‘anyone’! She said that during the Consecration on the altar, she had seen lots and lots of angels! I guess you could describe it as a ‘multitude of angels’! They were all around the priest and the Eucharist; on the altar, all around the altar and above it, seemingly intent on the Eucharist. I’m sure they were adoring Our Beloved Saviour, maybe assisting the priest at the Consecration.
I was amazed and awe-struck, but we didn’t converse further in Church, waiting until we got into the car to go home. I had immediately known that she wasn’t making this up; at least partly by her quiet, serious and almost ‘dutiful’ attitude. Also she had never spoken of seeing anything ‘holy’, or like this, before and has also not experienced any visions like it, in the 15 yrs since.
I couldn’t contain my awe and soon shared this with my mum who also told her brother, my uncle. (They are both believers) My uncle, who was an acolyte, asked her a few theoretical questions, wanting to know what the angels looked like; in particular I recall him asking her whether they had wings or not. She answered that some did and some did not. Her description was somewhat difficult to imagine for someone who has not seen them; she couldn’t really describe the colour of their robes; she said that they appeared to be made of ‘light’.
Anyway, she was very upset with me, unfortunately, for ‘telling nanna and uncle’- although I really didn’t think she would mind me telling nanna and strictly speaking I didn’t actually tell uncle; my mum did! Because she was mad at me for betraying her confidence, I wasn’t supposed to bring it up and mainly just kept the account and pondered it in my heart. I was dismayed to find out that recently, when I brought it up, that she had completely forgotten the experience and can’t remember it at all! She certainly did remember it for a few years, as I did occasionally refer to it, especially when seeking to emphasize the importance of reverence at Mass, but sadly, she seems to have lost the memory sometime, in her teenage years.
Angels at our Grandmother’s House.
I admit that I faintly remember that, as a young child myself (under age 5), I also saw angels, as did my younger sister, at my grandmother’s house, on a regular basis. We took the fact for granted and never spoke of it: the silence was an unwritten rule. I think this was because we knew, instinctively, that adults wouldn’t believe us anyway, that they couldn’t see them and that we’d probably get spanked for making up stories. We didn’t pay much attention to the angels; we just played in their presence. My grandmother did pray a lot, including the Holy Rosary, and I’m sure her simple but devout faith, and her constant prayers, are the reason that most of her family have Faith today.
Thank You, our Good Lord God for these wonderful creatures that were created to serve You and Your Will (as were we). Holy guardian angels, Holy Arch-angels and Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us and for our children!