The concept of guardian angels being assigned to guard people, countries and more has clear roots in the Old Testament. Psalm 90, for example, said daily in the Benedictine Office at Compline, says: "No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent, for to His Angels God has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone."
But there are three key New Testament texts that provide the basis for much of the Catholic teaching on the subject, namely:
- Matthew 18:10, Jesus says of children: "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven"
- Hebrews 1:14 when speaking of angels, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
- Acts 12:12-15, in reference to St Peter being escorted out of prison by his angel.