11th century prayer to one’s guardian angel

From a prayer book belonging to an Abbot Aelfwine.  Translation in progress.

Oratio ad angelum custodem

Credo quod sis angelus sanctus, a Deo omnipotente ad custodiam mei deputatus. Propterea peto, et per illum qui te ad hoc ordinavit, humiliter imploro, ut me miseram fragilem atque indignam semper et ubique in hac vita custodias, protegas a malis omnibus atque defendas, et cum Deus hinc animam meam migrare iusserit, nullam in eam potestatem daemonibus habere permittas, sed tu eam leniter a corpore suscipias, et in sinu Habrae suaviter usque perducas iubente ac iuvante creatore ac salvatore Deo nostro, qui est benedictus in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Prayer to the Guardian Angel

I believe that you are the holy angel, appointed to watch over me by almight God.  So I beg you, through him who ordained you to this duty, and I implore you humbly, that you will always and everywhere guard me, wretched, weak, and unworthy, in this life, and when God commands my soul to leave this world, do not permit the devil to have power over it, but rather softly take it up from my body and into the bosom of Abraham gently lead it, with the bidding and aid of our savior and creator God who is blessed for the age of ages (ie, for eternity). Amen.

Reprinted in Andre Wilmart, Auteurs spirituel et textes devotes du moyen age latin (Paris, 1971, repr. of 1932 ed.)

A photo of a fully-armored St. Michael statue in Salisbury that I took in summer of 2010 (not public domain – image is my property and you may not reuse it without my permission).

2 thoughts on “11th century prayer to one’s guardian angel

  1. I hate to comment on a post that’s so old, but I love the photograph and wanted to know if you have any plans to sell a print of it? If so please email me, I would love to have it on my wall.


    1. Hi Wendy,

      I sure don’t have any plans to make a print – I am really not sure the image is of high enough quality to make the transfer to paper vs digital very well (I didn’t take it with the world’s best digital camera). And in fact, given that the statue is very new if I recall correctly, its creator may still be living and/or the Cathedral may have a say in the matter of reproductions, so that isn’t a business I’d be wanting to get into anyway, re copyright. (I believe that statue dates from the 20th century iirc.) However, I’d be surprised if there doesn’t exist a poster or print of it, of better quality, somewhere already; perhaps the Cathedral has some, or at least has a better quality image online? They have a gallery here http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/gallery.php


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