It is well known that Padre Pio had encounters with angels throughout his life. Through these encounters he came to know a great deal about their powers and their role in our lives: “to light, to guard, to rule, to guide.”
In a letter he wrote on July 15, 1913, to Anita, one of his spiritual daughters, he gives her valuable advice regarding how to act in relation to her guardian angel, locutions, and prayer.
As each and every one of us has a Guardian Angel, it would do us well to take Padre Pio’s advice to heart.
Dear daughter of Jesus,
May your heart always be a temple of the Holy Spirit. May Jesus increase the fire of his love in your soul and may he always smile upon you, as he does on all the souls that he loves. May Mary Most Holy smile upon you during all the events of your life, and abundantly make up for the absence of your earthly mother.
May your good guardian angel always watch over you, and be your guide on the rough path of life. May he always keep you in the grace of Jesus and hold you up with his hands so that you may not hurt your foot on a stone. May he protect you under his wings from all the deceits of the world, the devil and the flesh.
Have great devotion, Anita, to this beneficent angel. How consoling it is to know that we have a spirit who, from the womb to the tomb, never leaves us even for an instant, not even when we dare to sin. And this heavenly spirit guides and protects us like a friend, a brother.
But it is very consoling to know that this angel prays unceasingly for us, and offers God all of our good actions, our thoughts, and our desires, if they are pure.
Oh! For goodness’ sake, don’t forget this invisible companion, ever present, ever disposed to listen to us and even more ready to console us. Oh, wonderful intimacy! Oh, blessed companionship! If only we could understand it! Keep him always before your mind’s eye. Remember this angel’s presence often, thank him, pray to him, always keep up a good relationship. Open yourself up to him and confide your suffering to him. Be always afraid of offending the purity of his gaze. Know this, and keep it well present in your mind. He is easily offended, very sensitive. Turn to him in moments of supreme anguish and you will experience his beneficent help.
Never say that you are alone in the battle against your enemies; never say that you have no one to whom you can open your heart and confide. It would be a grave injustice to this heavenly messenger.
Humble yourself before the Lord and trust in him; spend your energy, with the help of divine grace, in the practice of the virtues, and then let grace work in you as God desires. The virtues are what sanctify the soul and not supernatural phenomena.
Pray out loud as well; the time has not yet come to abandon these prayers. Support the difficulties you experience when doing this with patience and humility. Also be ready to suffer distractions and dryness, and you must not, under any circumstances, abandon prayer and meditation. It is the Lord who wants to treat you this way for your spiritual advantage.
Forgive me if I end here. Only God knows how difficult it has been for me to write this letter. I am very sick. Pray much that the Lord may desire to free me from this body soon.
I bless you, together with the excellent Francesca. May you live and die in the arms of Jesus.