Behold, your mother: Our Lady of the Angels
This is part of our 2023 “Behold, your mother” series, which will feature a different personage of Mary each month. Search the “Mary” filter on the blog to find the whole series.
The giant movie theater screen flashed in front of me as I sat in my red cushioned chair, feet dangling above the linoleum floor. I was so excited to be at the movies with my siblings, but a wave of panic engulfed my 8-year-old body at the onset of the film. I was having one of my first anxiety attacks.
To make things worse, my Mom was at home, which felt terribly far as the anxiety settled into my stomach. I started to feel nauseous and fearful and embarrassed all at once. My sister passed me some orange peels in hopes that the fresh smell of citrus would calm my nerves. I clutched the leathery skins with one hand and used the other to reach for the hand of my Heavenly Mother.
It was a desperate and innocent prayer of a daughter. I closed my eyes and squeezed my little fingers into a fist. I imagined that I was actually squeezing the hand of my Mother Mary, who always came to help me in moments of distress.
I don’t remember much else about this faded memory, but what remains with me twenty years later is that she was there when I needed her—Our Lady of the Angels.
She flew swiftly to my side, as she does. She came without delay, as all good mothers do when they hear the cries of their children. She wrapped her arms around me, sending comfort through my bones and into my heart. She has always been there, guiding me, protecting me, and slipping her hand gently into mine when I need a mother most.
Even as a grown woman, I still find myself reaching for Our Lady’s hand in my mind’s eye every time I pick up my rosary beads. As my husband and I continue to navigate the dark road of infertility, this has been an ever-present source of strength.
Some days I hold onto those beads under a tear soaked pillow as those familiar cramps brutally remind me of my lifeless womb. Some days I am holding her hand on a walk, asking her for the grace to accept God’s will for my family. Some mornings I just sit under her mantle, asking her to comfort me through a moment of grief.
It seems that no matter how old we are or what battle we are fighting, we never outgrow our need to be mothered, do we?
So when you think of Our Lady of the Angels, think of her desire to come to your aid as soon as she hears your voice. Think of her desire to protect you, guide you, and lead you gently to her son.
“Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided.” (From the Memorare Prayer)
Let yourself be a child, grasping for the hand of your mother. There is no need too small or insignificant for her merciful and tender love.
Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!
Our Lady of the Angels' feast day is August 2nd. To learn about devotion to Our Lady of the Angels, read more here.
Prayer for the intercession of Our Lady of the Angels
August Queen of Heaven, sovereign queen of Angels, you who at the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we beseech you humbly, send your holy legions so that, on your orders and by your power, they will track down demons, fight them everywhere, curb their audacity and plunge them into the abyss.
Who can be compared to God? Oh good and tender Mother, you will always be our love and our hope.
Oh divine Mother, send the Holy Angels and Archangels to defend me and to keep the cruel enemy far from me.
Holy Angels and Archangels defend us, protect us.