Sunday, 11 June 2017

Saint Colum Cille's Angel

We begin the series of vignettes from the hagiography of Saint Colum Cille with a story of his boyhood and the angel 'Auxil' sent to protect him:


 St. Columcille was so holy God took special care of him, and sent a particular Angel to guard and assist him. Auxil (which means “help”) was the Angel’s name. 

 On a certain night this Angel, clothed in shining raiment, came, and thus addressed the holy boy : “God be with you! Do manfully, and prepare your soul. God has placed you under my care in order that I may guide and protect you in all things, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” 

 “Who are you, and whence are you?” asked the young boy. The Angel answered: “My name is Auxil on account of the care I must take of you. I must guard you against the deceits of the devil, the world, and the flesh.” Columcille then inquired of him: “Do all the Angels appear as bright, as young, and as beautiful as you do?” The Angel made answer: “My garments and the garments and glory of the Angels are so beautiful, so noble, so splendid, that you could not behold them in this life ; and you should die if you were to behold the glory of the Angels as they are in heaven. If you wish, however, to wear my shining garments, and to share my glory, lead a holy life and practise virtue.” 

 “That I will do,” said Columcille; “and now sign my heart and my whole body with the sign of the Holy Cross.” The Angel did so, and disappeared from the boy’s sight. A great change came over Columcille from that time forward, and he became more faithful and diligent in the service of God.

The Life of Saint Columcille in In Irish and English by a Redemptorist Father (Dublin, 1907)

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