Catholic belief details the existence of angels, as spirits without bodies, but created by God. The function of angels is in the praise of God, as messengers of God, and as guardians of individuals and groups. In St. Marie’s, angels are depicted as performing all of these roles.
St. Marie’s is primarily a place of worship. In the public worship of the Church, Catholics believe that they join in the worship of angels towards God himself. By no accident, the greatest concentration of angels is above the sanctuary of St. Marie’s. Angels carved into the ceiling carry symbols representing the progress of the mass. Adorning and surrounding the High Altar are angels carrying symbols to represent the four evangelists, and other symbols to represent essential truths of the faith.
In the great East Window, the upper section represents heaven. Naturally, numerous angels are depicted, and the window goes to lengths to depict the nine ranks of angels mentioned in the Bible, which have been established in Christian thought since the Fifth Century. These are Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Principalities, Powers, Virtues, Angels and Archangels.
Halfway down the North Aisle is the Angel Window. This depicts several Guardian Angels in their role. Specifically, angels are showed protecting children at prayer, guiding a Christian adult along the path of life, and being there for a child at Baptism. Also in the North Aisle, angels are depicted escorting the soul of a priest to heaven.
The most notable angel in St. Marie’s Cathedral is in the South Transept, next to St. Joseph’s chapel. This is constructed of alabaster and stands several feet high. Known as the Barnascone angel, it was dedicated by Mrs. Barnascone in memory of her late husband.