Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life, Dating, and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Raphael Swanson wrote:

Hi, guys —

A halo physically may very well be a ring reflecting light from an otherwise glowing source, be this ring made out of say, ice crystals in the atmosphere.

  • Be this beneath saints, why would there be such a ring giving light apparently directly above the crown of the head of the figure?
  • What does this mean?

On the nature of angels.

  • Why would angels be depicted to have wings, and even more, depicted having wings of bronze, silver or gold?
  • What is meant specifically by the rosy glow in the face?
  • Given that angels might be depicted with two or five sets of wings, could the image somehow tie the shimmer of a star by the raw radiance of the heart?
  • How would someone know if an angel manifested themselves to them?
    • Perhaps something of love, a warming, heartfelt presence?
    • Maybe a shedding of something coming to light is felt?
  • Do angels have physical bodies as people do?
  • Do they have Minds?
  • Are they beings of sheer light as the glow coming from a lit torch?

I am open to in a depth explanation.


  { What do halos signify and can you answer some questions on the nature of angels? }

Eric replied:

Dear Raphael,

Sorry for the delay in responding!

The halo of a saint signifies the radiance of holiness. We can compare it to:

  1. Moses in Exodus 34:30, when his face shone when he came off of Mt. Horeb, and
  2. Jesus during the Transfiguration in Matthew 17:2, where His face "shone like the sun".

Some Saints have radiated this glow in their lives as well. 

Angels are depicted with wings to signify that they can move instantaneously and appear anywhere they wish at any time. Effectively, they are not subject to the normal constraints of space.

As for rosy glows, these are artistic license; I assume you are speaking of little infant-like cherubs. These are not biblical portrayals of angels and are merely part of secular culture.

I am not sure I understand your point about the number of wings vis-a-vis the "raw radiance" of the heart, but Scripture does seem to use star imagery to describe or identify angels in some contexts. But this would be the star itself, not the "shimmer" of a star.

Angels manifest in various ways. In Scripture, they typically manifest as men. The New Testament says "many have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:2) so we may not even know they are manifesting. Some people are more sensitive to angelic presence than others and may perceive them interiorly. I'm not sure a feeling of a presence of love or warming is a good sign, but I can't rule it out.

Angels are pure spirit, pure intellect and do not have physical bodies at all. They can assume a body when they need to interact with men, but they do not have their own bodies. They do have minds (intellects), and they are more intelligent and more powerful than we are. For more information, you may want to read the books


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.