There is a persistent error among many Catholics when it comes to their guardian angels: trying to discover their name or identity, or assigning a name to them.
This is a bad idea for four big reasons.
1. Angels in the Bible declined to give their names when asked.
God created a multitude of angels—more than we can count—yet He has given mankind the names of only three angels in Sacred Scripture: St. Gabriel, St. Michael, and St. Raphael.
Since this is all that God has chosen to reveal, we have no reason to insist on knowing the names of our guardian angels.
In fact, Sacred Scripture—for example, in Jacob’s wrestling match with the angel in Genesis—offers accounts of human beings trying to learn the names of angels to no avail. In the case of Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael, God chose to reveal their names—they were not requested by human beings
2. To name something is to claim authority over it—and we have no authority over angels.
The act of naming carries great significance. To name something is to claim authority over it.
In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam dominion over the animals. As an exercise of Adam’s authority, God brought the animals to Adam so that he could give them a suitable name.
However, God only brought Adam the creatures that were of a lower nature than humans (or of the same nature, as in the case of Eve). God did not bring Adam creatures that were of a higher nature than humans, that is, the bodiless spirits.
Therefore, it is not within our authority to give names to, or find out the names of, creatures that are of a higher created order than us.
3. Fallen angels can interfere in our attempt to learn the names of guardian angels.
When we attempt to discover the name of our guardian angel, we immediately start looking for signals that our angel is trying to answer us with a specific name.
Or we say, “The name ‘Fred’ popped into my head, so I knew it was my angel’s name!”
Both of these examples are unwise.
We can mistake many things for “signals” that are nothing of the sort, and in the end, we are only deluding ourselves.
In the same way, just because a name pops into our head doesn’t mean it belongs to our angel. Our brains are active and full of imagination and stream of consciousness. There is no guarantee that an idea is inspired by your guardian angel.
4. The Church told us not to.
There is one final reason why we should not name our angels: the Church warns against this practice for our own protection.
If a demon sees that we are trying to discover the name of our guardian angel, and knows the kinds of things we will mistake as signs (they are brilliant deceivers), they can send us false signals. If they observe that we are following their deception, they can lead us far astray.
Though we shouldn’t name our guardian angels, we should become acquainted with them! Seek the guidance of your guardian angel daily through prayer, learn how to love him and follow his lead!
Invoking your guardian angel often is a great way to build your friendship with him. Small reminders of his presence can help you remember to talk to him frequently! This lovely Guardian Angel Porcelain Night Lamp—with its warm light and beautiful traditional imagery—will fit well in any room and is the perfect reminder of your guardian angel’s companionship and protection. Get yours today at The Catholic Company!