The guardian angel, the flower crowns and the two spouses

The Church celebrates the Guardian Angels on October 2. The chronicles abound with marvelous stories where these holy angels intervene in the name of God to save men from many perils. Thus, the coming of the angel who preserved the virginity of Saint Cecilia, on her wedding day, with flowers picked from Heaven…

“Guardian angels are the angels that God has destined to guard us and guide us in the way of salvation. They assist us with their good aspirations, and, reminding us of our duties, they guide us on the paths of Good. They offer our prayers to God and obtain his graces for us. We should be grateful to the divine goodness for giving them to us and to them for the care they take of us. This is the traditional teaching of the Church about blessed spirits charged, from birth, with watching over all human beings. While we do not sense their presence, or are unable to recognize them when they manifest themselves to us, many Saints throughout history have lived alongside them as their closest friend. Not smoothly! but also, sometimes, nice surprises…

We are undoubtedly in 176, in Rome, in the district of the Champs de Mars, a residential area which shelters many of the beautiful residences of the patriciate. Where today stands the church of Santa Maria del divin’amore, Our Lady of Divine Love, once stood the palace of one of the oldest Roman families, the Caecilii Metelli. This illustrious line, which gave the Republic and the Empire a number of great men, consuls and generals who covered it with glory, is still unaware of it but then grows under its roof a teenager who will surpass in fame all her ancestors. . Her name is Caecilia, Cécile; that is to say, she simply bears the surname in the feminine, the girls not having, in Latin, proper first names. When there are several, it is specified that it is the eldest, Majoror the youngest, Minorand if there are several sisters in between, they are numbered, that’s all: Secunda, Tertia, Quarta…

The visit of the angel

Cécile is about sixteen years old, which means that she has largely reached the age of marriage, which the law sets at twelve. Such is the normal fate of all young Roman women in a society where celibacy, especially female, is inconceivable. And that’s the whole drama… Cécile, in fact, is going to marry in a few days a young man from her background, who is moreover charming, lovable, handsome and wealthy, Caius Valerius, the eldest of a family as famous as hers. . An ideal union which delighted her parents but which plunged the young girl, moreover the last informed, into consternation. Converted, in poorly understood conditions, perhaps by her nanny, Cécile is a Christian, the only one in her family circle. No one among his relatives knows, and that is better because the Emperor Marcus Aurelius hates the supporters of this faith which he considers an absurd superstition and represses with cruelty.

Cécile is therefore a Christian, which contravenes the law. Something else worries her much more: she has vowed her virginity to God, which forbids her ever to have a husband other than the one she has chosen, Christ. And it is obviously impossible for her to explain it to her parents… Dismayed, trapped, she struggles alone in this impossible dilemma: should she confess everything, at the risk of martyrdom, that, moreover, she is not afraid ? Should she be silent? She doesn’t know. However, on the eve of her wedding, which frightens her so much, Cécile, praying in her room, begging Heaven to tell her what to do, sees her guardian angel appear to her. He gives her unexpected advice: that she obey her parents and marry Valerius. For the rest, let her have confidence: her husband will not touch her.

“Show Me That Angel”

Even if she does not understand how this promise could come true, Cécile obeys and, the next evening, finds herself alone in the bridal chamber with her young and attractive husband, who fell in love with her at first sight. Nice boy, incapable of brutality, in love with this very young girl who is obviously very afraid to find himself in his company, Caius does not want to rush her but his patience is put to the test when, very calmly, his wife declares to him: “Listen, very gentle and very loving husband: I have as my protector an angel of my God who watches over me with solicitude. If he sees that you yield with me to the sway of sensual passions, his anger will inflame against you and, under the blows of his revenge, you will immediately succumb in the brilliant flower of your fresh youth. »

Yes, Cécile loves another, but the one she loves and to whom she has devoted her faith is not a man like the others and Caius has no reason to be jealous of him.

It is at least in these flowery terms that the author of The Passion of Saint Cecilia reports his words. As the text is late, the original having disappeared in the persecutions of Diocletian, like many other irreplaceable documents, it is impossible to guarantee that Cécile kept them well in this form, but, what is certain, it is that she refuses conjugal duty and that Valerius takes it rather badly… His first reaction, understandable, is to imagine a rival: “Do you love another? he asks, suppressing his anger. Yes, Cécile loves another, but the one she loves and to whom she has devoted her faith is not a man like the others and Caius has no reason to be jealous of him. Startled, the poor boy finally understands that his wife is a Christian, a disaster he hadn’t expected, but, showing commendable good will, he demands explanations, and above all proof: “If it’s true, show me that angel of your god who watches over you. »

Two crowns of flowers from Heaven

According to her passion, Cécile then sends her husband to be “purified”, in other words baptized, by the priest Urbain, making him the pope of the same name, and, on the return from this visit with miraculous effects, since the young man converts immediately, the angel appears to him, holding in his hands two crowns of magnificent flowers, with enchanting perfumes, such as it is customary to place on the forehead of newlyweds. Giving them to them, he declares: “I bring them to you from Paradise. They will never fade but no one will see them if he does not love chastity as you loved it. »

These miraculous crowns, only one will see them: Tiburce, the young brother of Valerius, whose conversion he asked and who, shortly, will share his martyrdom. Too good to be true, this story? Perhaps, but it will have taken at least one angelic intervention, and a lot of love, on both sides, for a young pagan to respect his wife’s vow of virginity and convert to her contact… And then , flowers from Heaven brought by angels, we will see more in the future! But this is another story that I may tell you!


We would love to thank the writer of this article for this incredible material

The guardian angel, the flower crowns and the two spouses

Find here our social media profiles and other pages related to it.