Why are angels always young?

Angels, pure spirits created by God, are generally represented as young men or children. However, do angels have an age?

In various passages of the Bible, angels appear as young men. “Youth” is one of the titles the Scriptures give them. Thus, on the morning of the Resurrection, the women find a “young man dressed in white” in the tomb (Mk 16.5).

More recently, during certain apparitions, angels have been able to appear in the guise of children or young men: rue du Bac in 1830, the little angel dressed in white who prepared Catherine Labouré for her encounter with the Virgin Mary had about “4 or 5 years”. Less than a century later, the angel of Fatima who taught the three pastorals to pray and prepared them for the Marian vision, had youthful features, about “15 years old” according to Sister Lucia.

However, the angels only temporarily take on the appearance of young men. “It’s a way of showing the youth of God, but also the angelic purity, their strength”, explains Don Paul Denizot, rector of the sanctuary of Notre-Dame de Montligeon. It is in reality only a way of appearing which is not representative of their true nature: they are indeed luminous spiritual beings having no age because they find themselves, outside of human time, in the eternal infinity of God!

When did God create angels?

This is actually a question on which the Bible gives no precise indication. Indeed if we know, thanks to the story of Genesis, when God created the sky, the earth, the sea, the sun, the moon, the stars, the animals, and finally the man and the woman, the angels, pure spirits created by God, are not mentioned…or at least not explicitly.

Over the centuries, certain saints and fathers of the Church have advanced hypotheses and, among the most plausible theories, is that of Saint Augustine (354-430 AD). Thus, after studying the Creation account, this great doctor of the Church affirmed that the angels were probably created when God said: “‘Let there be light’ and there was light” (Gen 1.3), i.e. the first day.

In The city of God (Book XI, Chapter IX), Saint Augustine affirms that:

If it is reasonable to understand by this the creation of angels, they were certainly created partakers of the eternal light. […] and if they were illuminated by this light which had created them, it was to become themselves light and to be called day by the participation of this light.

If the angels did indeed know a beginning, since they are beings created by God, they are eternal beings who have no age. Indeed, the angels find themselves outside of human time, in an “eternal present” which does not know the succession of days, months and years. They are found in the immutable time of Heaven, beyond the kronos earth, human temporality and the evolution of time. “Angels do not live by growth”, explains to Aleteia Don Paul Denizot. “We are growing because we are also material beings. The angel is already created in his perfection. They are therefore unalterable beings, who do not know the progression and the witherings of age.


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Why are angels always young?

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