Praying with the angels is a celestial blessing available to us. We have complete access to all the angels and saints—our family in heaven—to intercede and pray with us to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. We can even pray with the angel who ministered to him as he prayed for us in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Imagine the spiritual depth of such a connection!This idea only just presented itself to me while I was reading, , by Fr. John Horgan. He explains what is known about the angels with suggestions for how we can grow holy with them. There is a chapter on “Angels in the Life of Christ” where Father Horgan points out that from the time of the annunciation when Angel Gabriel announced the incarnation of Jesus, to his Ascension into Heaven, angels accompanied Jesus throughout his earthly life.
Tucked into the chapter on “Interacting with the Angels” is a devotion that I had never heard of before: “Prayer to the Angel of Gethsemane.”
“Our Lord Himself alludes to the great number of angels during His arrest when He tells Peter, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and He will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53). One of those angels had appeared moments before that.
Preparing for his passion, Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father to “Let this cup pass from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will” (Mt 26:39). The cup of suffering is not taken away from him, so he is obedient to the will of his Father to the point of death. An angel then appears to strengthen him during his time of unimaginable suffering, (Lk 22:43).
“Popular devotion has identified that angel as a special comforter of the sick and those who care for them,” Father Horgan wrote. “Catholic nurses, particularly after the 1940s, often recited prayers to the angel of the Garden of Gethsemane so that they could be strong in tending to the patients entrusted to their care, particularly during the long and lonely hours of the night.”
Praying to the Angel of Gethsemane can be a great source of comfort and grace for those suffering and also those caring for them. Through this devotion, we can call down the grace of God through the intercession of the very angel that God chose to comfort Jesus on the night of His Passion.
Prayer to the Angel of Gethsemane
O Angel of Gethsemane, chosen by the Father
to bring strength and consolation to Jesus during His agony,
I ask you to be with me now as I keep watch over my loved one who is sick and suffering.
Help me to offer my best care, love and protection to this child of God.
May my words and my touch be filled with gentleness, my presence bring comfort, and my prayers bring rest and healing sleep.
Do what I cannot do, O loving Angel, to bring healing and strength to soul and body, according to the Father’s will. Amen.