Every time you hear a bell ring, it means an angel’s got his wings? Uh, not exactly, says a top angelologist and demonologist for the Vatican.
Angels do exist, but don’t expect them to “have wings or look like cherubs,” Father Renzo Lavatori tells AFP.
“You do not see angels so much as feel their presence,” says Lavatori, who was taking part in a debate on angels in art in Rome. “They are a bit like sunlight that refracts on you through a crystal vase.”
The word “angelos” — messenger in ancient Greek — occurs in the Mycenaean civilization more than 3,000 years ago, says Valerio Massimo Manfredi, an art historian at the conference.
According to Monsignor Giovanni Tonucci, angels are “pure souls” without defined form, which let artists’ imaginations take flight.
No matter their form, angels are needed now more than ever, Lavatori says.
“There is a lot more interference from diabolical forces. That is why you see queues of people outside the exorcists’ offices in churches,” he says.