Quotes about angels

A collection of quotes on the topic of angels.

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Fabio Lanzoni photo
Louis Sachar photo
Ali photo
Chris Cornell photo
Gustave Courbet photo

„I have never seen an angel. Show me an angel, and I'll paint one.“

—  Gustave Courbet French painter 1819 - 1877

Courbet, c 1860's, later quoted by Vincent van Gogh in a letter to brother Theo (July, 1885); in The letters of Vincent van Gogh, ed. Ronal de Leeuw - Penguin, New York, 1996, p. 302

Kurt Cobain photo
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Athanasius of Alexandria photo
Tennessee Williams photo

„If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.“

—  Tennessee Williams American playwright 1911 - 1983

Source: Conversations with Tennessee Williams

Lawrence Ferlinghetti photo
Anna Laetitia Barbauld photo
Hildegard of Bingen photo
Fyodor Dostoyevsky photo

„Love children especially, for like the angels they too are sinless, and they live to soften and purify our hearts, and, as it were, to guide us. Woe to him who offends a child.“

—  Fyodor Dostoyevsky Russian author 1821 - 1881

Book VI, chapter 3: "Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zossima; Of Prayer, of Love, and of Contact with other Worlds" (translated by Constance Garnett)
The Brothers Karamazov (1879–1880)
Context: Brothers, have no fear of men's sin. Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all God's creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you have perceived it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day, and you will come at last to love the world with an all-embracing love. Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and untroubled joy. So do not trouble it, do not harass them, do not deprive them of their joy, do not go against God's intent. Man, do not exhale yourself above the animals: they are without sin, while you in your majesty defile the earth by your appearance on it, and you leave the traces of your defilement behind you — alas, this is true of almost every one of us! Love children especially, for like the angels they too are sinless, and they live to soften and purify our hearts, and, as it were, to guide us. Woe to him who offends a child.
My young brother asked even the birds to forgive him. It may sound absurd, but it is right none the less, for everything, like the ocean, flows and enters into contact with everything else: touch one place, and you set up a movement at the other end of the world. It may be senseless to beg forgiveness of the birds, but, then, it would be easier for the birds, and for the child, and for every animal if you were yourself more pleasant than you are now. Everything is like an ocean, I tell you. Then you would pray to the birds, too, consumed by a universal love, as though in ecstasy, and ask that they, too, should forgive your sin. Treasure this ecstasy, however absurd people may think it.

William Shakespeare photo
James Madison photo

„If men were angels, no government would be necessary.“

—  James Madison 4th president of the United States (1809 to 1817) 1751 - 1836

Federalist No. 51 (6 February 1788)
1780s, Federalist Papers (1787–1788)
Context: If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

Nikos Kazantzakis photo
Thomas Traherne photo

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