There is a rich tradition in the Church surrounding guardian angels that goes far beyond the image of a tiny angel perched on one shoulder, opposing the devil perched on the other. Though guardian angels were not given an official feast day until Pope Paul V declared it one in the early 1600s, the Church’s teaching on guardian angels is rooted deeply in both Scripture and Tradition.
Our newborn son cried out with terror in the hospital. In order to run a test, they needed to obtain a vial of blood. They couldn’t find a vein. So, they continued to poke him here and there and, at least to his limited experience of the world, everywhere.
Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Stephen, King of Hungary. History remembers him for his unification and establishment of Hungary around the year 1000, but the Church venerates him because of his dedication to God and the welfare of his people.
2019 marks the fifteenth anniversary of Sufjan Stevens’ remarkable album Seven Swans. Apart from his Christmas albums, the twelve songs on Seven Swans are by far the most overtly Christian in Stevens’ catalog: track one, “All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands,” takes its title from Isaiah 55:12; track two, “Abraham,” meditates on the patriarch’s near-sacrifice of his only beloved son, Isaac. These sometimes scriptural, sometimes literary (“A Good Man is Hard to Find”), always spiritual musical meditations culminate in the final track of the album, “The Transfiguration.”