An episode in the life of Cardinal Carlos de Principi Odescalchi shows us the following truth: if the angels protect us from bodily dangers, they cannot fail to protect us from those of the soul and to deliver us from them.
Newsdesk (14/12/2022 9:14 PM , Gaudium Press) “More important than the body is the soul. More serious, therefore, are dangers to the soul. If angels deliver us from bodily dangers, they cannot fail to protect us against those of the soul and to deliver us from them. Now the evils of the soul, which are sins, depend in general on our will. For this reason, the work of the Holy Angel is entirely interior: they are motions and inspirations that speak to us from within. However, there are cases in which, through no fault of our own, we suddenly find ourselves in danger. In such cases, the Holy Angel infuses us with the courage and strength necessary to come out unharmed, or tries to keep us away from it in a more or less manifest way.
“In the life of Cardinal Carlos de Principi Odescalchi we find a fine example of this. Carlos Odescalchi was a Jesuit religious who was born in Rome on March 5th, 1785 and died in the middle of the 19th century in the city of Modena. He was a man of eminent virtue. Completely detached from the goods of this world, he renounced first the riches of his princely family to become an ecclesiastic, and then the splendour of the cardinal’s purple, and the high dignity of Vicar Pontifical, to become a poor and hidden religious of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
“On one occasion, when he was only seventeen years old, Carlos went to visit the principal landmarks of Vienna, which was then an imperial city. He would visit museums and art galleries in search of knowledge and the sense of elevation that great works of art give to us. In one of these art galleries, as he passed from one room of the building to another, a beautiful young man came up to him and stopped him, showing him another direction to take. Then he disappeared, as if he had vanished into thin air. Carlos stopped and returned, impressed by what had just happened. He then met one of the guards of the Pinacoteca and asked him what was exhibited in the room he had just avoided.
“Later he told his friends how horrified he had been by the [spiritual] danger he had risked, and how he had been filled with gratitude for the Holy Guardian Angel who had appeared to him in the form of that young man. From then on, his devotion to his heavenly protector grew even greater. He began to implore his help more often, and especially when travelling, he begged him to protect him and deliver him from every danger to soul and body“.
Extract from: FERRETTI, Augusto. Os Santos Anjos da Guarda. São Paulo: Cultor de Livros, 2021, p. 118-119.