Following immediately after the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (September 29) is a feast, in my opinion, not often recognized but of extraordinary importance and beauty: The Feast of Guardian Angels, observed annually on October 2nd. This feast day honors the heavenly beings created by God and entrusted with the care of souls for their entire pilgrimage on the earth.
One of the most moving of the chants for this feast is the hymn for Vespers, “Custodes hominum” – Caretakers of men. The following text is taken from a program note found in “The Chants of Angels” sung by the Gloriæ Dei Cantores Schola:
“On earth and in heaven, in life and in death, Guardian Angels watch over their charges, body and soul. The poet of this hymn (St. Robert Bellarmine, 1642-1621) illustrates the dangers that can be faced with courage, thanks to guardian Angels.”
We sing the Guardian Angels of men whom the heavenly father added to their fragile nature as friends, so that it might not succumb to enemy snares.
For the traitor angel, whom He had overcome, rightly stripped of the honors granted him, burning with jealousy, struggles to rout those whom God is calling to heaven.
So then, fly here, always watchful guardian, averting from the land entrusted to you both diseases of the soul and whatever does not allow its inhabitants to come to rest.
To the holy Trinity be loving praise always, whose triple plan is guided by His perpetual divine power, whose glory reigns through all the ages.