Teaching Children about the Angels

Teaching Children about the Angels

Teaching Children about the Angels

EDITED (7/31/2016) in response to the discussion in the comments below.

October is here and my mind turns to the angels.  As the fall leaves drop and remind us of our earthly transience, our thoughts settle on the spiritual world which is usually hidden from our senses, the world of Heaven, in which dwell the saints and angels.  And so, we celebrate the feasts of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael on September 29, followed soon after by the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels on October 2nd.   I try to focus on deepening my relationship with my guardian angel each October.  I invite you to join me in this and in the process, we can help our children to do so as well.

Children love the angels:  the beauty, the imagery, the mystery, the safety and protection.  Honestly, we don’t know and understand a lot about the angels who lead an existence so different from us.  But, let us ensure that our children know and understand the truth about who the angels are and what they do, so they are not misinformed by the popular culture.

Teaching Children about the Angels

Without getting into detail about the Heavenly hierarchy, here are some important points and misconceptions to discuss with your children:

  1. Guardian angels are chosen for us by God, Himself, and remain with us constantly.  They are powerful enough to protect us from all spiritual and physical harm, although God may allow us to experience some harm or temptations caused by the evil of this world for His glory and our ultimate spiritual good.
  2. Angels are NOT deceased human beings.  We can have relationships with our deceased loved ones who are SAINTS in Heaven.  They continue to love us, pray for us, and even help us.  Saints have been known to appear to us, but that does not make them ANGELS.  An angel is created as an angel.  When people refer to deceased humans as angels, they really mean that they are LIKE the angels now in the sense that they live as spirits with God in Heaven.
  3. Angels are pure spirit.  They have no body.  When angels appear to human beings they appear in ways that serve the purpose for which they are sent, often in human form.  Physical depictions of angels in art are usually meant to be symbolic.  Wings indicate speed as angels are not limited by time and space and so they appear to move very quickly.  It also depicts that they have come to us from Heaven, high above.  Scripture often describes the angels as being bright or white, referring to the power and purity of Heaven.
  4. Angels do not sin.  Angels don’t live in time and space as we do.  Their life is not a process.  They see good and evil clearly and choose or reject God outright.  Angels choose good.  The ones who reject God are devils.
  5. Angels live in Heaven with God but can also be present to us when God commands.  Angels will never sway from God’s will, but when we pray to them for help, God will answer our faithful prayers.  God is very generous to us.  He allows us to help the angels protect and guide us.  All we have to do is ask and listen.
  6. Angels are much more powerful, smart, and beautiful than we are.  They are innately greater beings than we.  But in God’s wisdom, by becoming one of us through the Incarnation, He has made us greater than these superior beings and through the Coronation of Mary has made a human being Queen of the Angels.  Once again, the last shall be first in the Kingdom of Heaven.
  7. Angels do not experience gender the way we do.  They do not fall in love and marry the way we do.  When Jesus explained that there is no marriage in Heaven, he explained that we would be “like the angels”.  It is of interest that the angels described in Scripture are all male in nature.
  8.  Angels are people.  They are individual creatures of God with a mind and a will.  They love us and want to be our friends in the Communion of Saints.

Teaching Children about the Angels

What can you do to increase your family’s devotion to the angels?

  1. Reach out to the angels in your prayers.  Pray the Guardian Angel prayer and Prayer to St. Michael with your children daily.  Pray to your angel and to their angels, regularly.
  2. When you are struggling with your child, ask your Guardian Angel to work with his Guardian Angel.  Pope Pius XI recommended this strategy when dealing with others.
  3. Be open to the knowledge and possibility that angels interact with our world in supernatural and miraculous ways.
  4. Encourage your child to draw pictures of their angel. We can’t know what an angel truly looks like as they have no body and have historically appeared to humans in different forms, but angels in art are not meant to be literal. What it can do is help a child who struggles to understand something as abstract as “pure spirit” to understand that he or she has a real person sent from God guarding them from evil and guiding them in God’s Will.
  5. Talk freely and aloud to your Guardian Angel and encourage little ones to do the same. “Teach the children that they are never alone, that an angel is at their side. Show them how to have a trusting conversation with the angel, who is a good advisor and intercedes for you and helps you in your needs.” – Pope John Paul II
  6. Keep images and books about the angels around the house. When our boys earned their Tae Kwon Do belts, we gave them Christmas presents of belt displays with an icon of St. Michael to accompany the display.



Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.  Amen.


Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits me here;
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Angel Books for Catholics Big and Small
(Listed oldest to youngest)

All About the Angels by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan

Under Angel Wings by Sr. Maria Antonia

A Book Of Angels: Stories Of Angels In The Bible by Marigold Hunt

Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman

Angels All Around Us (Puzzle Book) from Catholic Book Publishing Co

Angels Surround Us (St. Joseph Rattle Board Books) from Catholic Book Publishing Co

Additionally, there is good Science Fiction/Fantasy with great angel characters.  L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time Series, CS Lewis’ Space Trilogy, and Tolkien’s Silmarillion are some classic examples.

Angel Coloring Pages



What are your favorite angel resources?

Copyright 2012 Kate Daneluk


About Author

Kate Daneluk is a wife, mother of six, and co-founder of Making Music Praying Twice. With a background in music, theology and education, she contributes articles and resources to various publications.


  1. Monica @ Equipping Catholic Families on

    Angels are awesome. Have you read “Send me your Guardian Angel” by Fr. Alessio Parente? This is a wonderful book about Padre Pio and his relationship with Guardian Angels …this book rocks the world of anyone who reads it…and they will have a whole new respect for their Guardian Angel!
    I’m not sure that it’s available (new) at amazon, but it is available at EWTN.

    • Thanks Monica! There aren’t that many good books on the angels. Partially because we don’t know or understand a lot about them, so great resources are hard to find.

      Plus, a great opportunity to support the work of EWTN!

  2. Theresa Ceniccola on

    This is a wonderful post, Kate! And its timing is divine. I have been talking to my children about their guardian angels but I was not clear on some of the church’s teaching on them. AND I never thought to give them a name – which certainly does make them real and deepens the relationship. Thank you for your wisdom and encouragement!

  3. Hi Barbara,

    Jesus doesn’t teach much of the angels in the Gospels, but He does refer to them, usually in a way that reflected the Jewish understanding of angels as seen throughout the Old Testament. Matthew’s Gospel would be the most helpful for this question, as Matthew wrote to a Jewish audience who would understand and appreciate these references.

    As mentioned in the blog, Jesus explains that there is no marriage or sexual procreation in Heaven by saying we will be “like the angels” (Mt 22:30) He also references the eternal nature of the angels who will “never die” in Luke 20:35-36 when teaching about Heaven. He does speak of the angels with a matter-of-fact familiarity and intimate knowlege as if He is in relationship with them.

    Jesus interacts with angels in His earthly life, as they continue to serve Him and minister to Him in this world as is their nature in Heaven. Both in His temptation in the desert and at the Agony in the Garden, angels came to minister to Him through His trials.

    Jesus confirms that the Devil and his demons are indeed fallen angels in Mt. 25:41. Throughout the Gospels these demons are blamed for various natural evils of our world. CS Lewis and St. Augustine embrace this explanation in their theodicies (the study of resolving evil in the world with an all-good God).

    Jesus refers to guardian angels in Mt 18:10. In His parables, He refers to the angels carrying the righteous man to Heaven. (Lk 16:22) and rejoicing over the salvation of sinners. (lk 15:10)

    Finally, He makes several references to the role and presence of the angels at the Final Judgement and reveals that legions of angels are continually waiting to serve Him. (Mt 26:53)

    Additionally, Scripture is filled with stories of specific angels appearing to people, to assist or deliver messages surrounding Jesus’ life and throughout all of Salvation History.

    I hope this gives you lots to talk about with your daughter!

  4. Enjoyed what you say about angels and agree with most everything.
    One thing was confusing. In #8 you say angels are “people.” Yet elsewhere you describe them (correctly) as spirits that have no bodies (although they may assume a body while visting on earth), and do not die. You say “they are pure spirit.” I therefore, find it confusing when you refer to them as “people.” I consider people (persons) to be “human beings.” who die, have bodies etc.
    You refer to “Olivia” as a “person.”– I’d be more comfortable teaching about her as a “being” (not a human being).
    Please clarify. Thank you.

    • Kate Daneluk on

      Hi Pat,

      You are correct in not wanting to imply that angels are the same as human beings, so I appreciate this comment.

      People is not the same as human beings. Human beings are people, but not all people are human beings. A person need not have a body to be a person. Consider that there are 3 persons in the Blessed Trinity but only one of these Divine Persons (Jesus) has a body and the Son of God’s pershonhood supercedes His taking on humanity in the Incarnation.

      Being is not an incorrect term, but may fail in truly imparting the personal nature of an angel, defined in the Catechism as “A spiritual, personal, and immortal creature, with intelligence and free will, who glorifies God without ceasing and who serves God as a messenger of his saving plan.” (#329-331).

      Hope this is helpful!

      God bless,
      Kate Daneluk

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  7. I really enjoy this information on Angels, Do you have any ideas on what projects I can work with my kids so they can feel more open to praying with their angel?

  8. Popular devotion to the holy angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations … [such as the] practice of assigning names to the holy angels [which] should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy 217).

    I really enjoyed this information about angels. The only issue is that we are NOT to name our guardian angels.

  9. In your commentary you encourage naming your gardian angel, I’m not sure where I read this as I have been looking for information regarding angels for some time, but I did read that the Church discourages this. (Naming our Gardian Angels). From what I got from the article it is a new age thing.

    I did enjoy reading your commentary, and the books you have recommended I will be purchasing. Thanks a bunch.

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  11. Hi Kate

    As Catholics, we are NOT ALLOWED TO name Our Guardian Angels.
    Here is just one excerpt regarding this from an authentic CATHOLIC website…..

    There are unfortunately some Catholics who practice a devotion of giving personal names to their guardian angels. However, the HOLY SEE does not allow this practice and formally discourages it.

    Why are we not allowed to name Our Guardian Angel???

    We cannot name Our Guardian Angel because naming another implies authority over the other.
    I name my children and I name my pets. I have authority over them.

    However, my Guardian Angel is OVER me in authority:

    Angel of God my Guardian Dear
    to whom God’s love commits me here
    Ever this day be at my side
    To light, to guard, to *RULE,* to guide.

    Therefore, I do not have the authority to name my angel. My angel is not my dog, He is my instructor.

    I would be grateful if you could inform everyone about this, please. Thank you

    • Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention. I am so sorry it has taken me so long to respond, but this is an older article and I wasn’t aware of additional comments until I stumbled back upon this.

      It is not unheard of for saints to have known names for guardian angels, but it is very possible that the angels revealed these names to the holy saints. More recently, Mother Angelica is an example of a holy woman who used a name for relating to her guardian angel. In rereading the text of this article, I see that the language used was not careful enough and does promote the errors you described. Indeed, the Vatican does clearly discourage naming angels and recommends simply using the words, “Angel” or “Guardian” for our angels. Pet names which imply intimacy and relationship such as Mother Angelica used for her Guardian Angel, whom she addressed as “Fidelis”, is different from naming an angel as if you have authority. I do not have authority to name my friend, teacher, or parent, but may still have a pet name for them because of our relationship. Indeed, angels do have names of their own and it is rare for these names to be shared with people. Perhaps God is protecting us from the danger of worshiping angels or perhaps the reality of an angel name is beyond our language and comprehension. Dr. David Anders on EWTN’s Call to Communion has affirmed that using a pet name for one’s guardian angel is not specifically forbidden. However, there is clear teaching from the Vatican that discourages using names for angels and certainly explains that we can’t actually NAME an angel. So, if there is any question in this matter, I would err on the side of caution and NOT practice using names for our angels and certainly, if I address this topic again, I will be more clear in this matter. I will see if I can edit the original post to prevent error for any who stumble upon this older article in the future. Thanks and God bless your work,


  12. Hi Kate! I just ran across this article on angels and couldn’t agree more. In fact my first children’s book, We ALL HAVE Guardian Angels was just published in June 2016 and is currently available on all of the book sites like amazon, Barnes and Noble etc. As well as my own site AngelArmyDecor.com. my divine mission is to share your same truth about the angels with children everywhere. I would love to talk more with you if you have time. Gina Burns

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