Angels for the unborn?


Greetings everyone

As I understand it, while a child is in his or her mother’s womb he or she is protected by the guardian angel of the mother.

However if a baby is given a soul at the begining of her or his life and life begins at the moment of conception, why does the baby not receive her or his guardian angel at the moment of his or her conception?

Since angels are created outside of time do they “wait” in the eternal moment until their charge is born?

thanks for you responses


Where do you get the idea that a child doesn’t receive its guardian angel at the moment of conception and is only protected by the mother’s guardian angel? I know of no official church teaching saying such, rather the teaching is as the Catechism states:

"336 From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.202 "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life."203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God. "

From which I would infer that each believer gets their own unique guardian angel - at the moment of conception. Mother + baby in womb = 2 believers, therefore 2 angels.


Like LilyM I’m curious where you get your source of such information.


Hi LilyM and Thistle,

I too thought that we would get our guardian angel at our conception…in fact I even prayed to the guardian angels of my children (I have only 5 so far) before they were born. However according to the summa theologica (I recently discovered) we actually get our guardian angel at our birth!

Specifically Summa Question 113 Article 5, reply to objection 3.

thanks for your insights


Neither the Summa nor St. Thomas are infallible.


I see it says a “believer”. A baby in the womb is not a believer yet, nor is it baptised, so does it have a gaurdian angel?


“neither the Summa nor St. Thomas is infalliable”

Fair enough, however the Church constantly refers to the Summa in many of her writings, in fact I have yet to see where the Church has indicated that St. Thomas was incorrect in his reasoning. In fact he is listed as one of the “Great” Doctors of the church under the title “Angelicus Doctor”


St. Thomas erred in part regarding Mary’s Immaculate Conception in the Summa.

The doctrine was not fully developed in his day.

That in no way detracts from his status as a Doctor of the Church. Certainly he was a genius and a scholar. But, the charism of infallibility does not extend to him, nor any other Doctor of the Church. We may profit from their writings, but we should look to the Church for what has been officially defined.

In the case of guardian angels, I would say it’s not clear. The Church doesn’t teach *definitively *on **exactly **when one acquires a guardian angel.


“In the case of guardian angels, I would say it’s not clear. The Church doesn’t teach *definitively *on **exactly **when one acquires a guardian angel.”

I guess its just one of those things we know we dont know :shrug:


Of course babes in the womb know and believe in the God who creates them. Even animals know their Creator - St Anthony proved the Real Presence by showing a donkey the Eucharist before which it instinctively went on its knees in adoration.

Remember Jesus talking about the knowledge that God has hidden from the wise and revealed to babes? One doesn’t need intellectual capacity to know or believe in God.


It is my understanding (which may be wrong) that St. Thomas, due to scientific limitations of the time, didn’t fully understand early fetal development, which contributed to his faulty understanding of the Immaculate Conception (wasn’t the theory of a soul passing from “vegetable” to “animal” form still current then?) Operating as he did, under the constraints of scientific discovery of the time, it makes sense he would extend this misunderstanding to the moment we receive our angels.

As for angels “waiting” for their charge to be born, I’ve read on AAA here that theories exist, which do not contradict Church teachings, that angels aren’t limited to one human charge. The theory is that once the human’s soul has been judged, the angel is assigned a new charge. The Church hasn’t commented on such theories, but they don’t go against anything that has been said.


Certainly a developing foetus is under the dominion of his biological Mother’s Guardian Angel, but from the moment of conception he/she would have too their own God Providenced Guardian Angel as a Patron, Protector, Guardian, Advocate, Mediator, Co-Redeemer, and Intercessor. More importantly, Archangel Saint Gabriel, co-operating with our hereditary Maternal Guardian Angel and our Guardian Angel, is the initial Patron, Protector, and Intercessor for our immortal souls once on Earth. It is He Whom tends to us in the womb, and oversees our foetal progress and development. It is from this article and truth of Faith that our Christian tradition descends to us that states that the physical impression below our nose above our upper lip is imprinted by the Finger of Saint Gabriel to hush us while in utero.:slight_smile:


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