365 Days of Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality for Oct 2nd – Guardian Angel’s Day

October 2nd

Guardian Angel’s Day

This pre-Christian Roman holiday is still celebrated in Spain and Europe. In early Rome, every man led his Genius and every woman her Iuno. When the church writers had a dispute over which angels guarded a person, the day became linked with the feast of St. Michael (Sept. 29). However, in 1670, the two days became separate and Guardian Angels’ Day was moved to October 2.

Genius meaning “begetter,” was a man’s guardian spirit that also enabled him to beget children. For women the spirit was called Iuno (Juno). Each household also had a genius that was worshiped by the family members whose birthday coincided with that of the male head of the household. The genius was usually honored along with the household Lar, at the Lararium. So popular was the concept that it even extended to groups of people. Even the city itself had its own guardian genius.