Angels are spiritual beings found in many religious traditions. They are broadly viewed as messengers of God, sent to do God's tasks. Traditions vary as to the precise nature and role of these messages and tasks. Notions regarding the appearance of angels also vary, they are often perceived to have a human-like appearance and are usually depicted with wings.
The Bible uses the terms (mal'akh Elohim; messenger of God), (mal'akh Adonai; messenger of the Lord), Elohim; sons of God) and הקדושים (ha-qodeshim; the holy ones) to refer to beings traditionally interpreted as angels. Other terms are used in later texts, such as (ha'elyoneem; the upper ones). Daniel is the first biblical figure to refer to individual angels by name.
In post-Biblical Judaism, certain angels came to take on a particular significance and developed unique personalities and roles. Though these archangels were believed to have rank amongst the heavenly host, no systematic hierarchy ever developed. Metatron is considered one of the highest of the angels in Merkabah and Kabbalist mysticism and often serves as a scribe. He is briefly mentioned in the Talmud, and figures prominently in Merkabah mystical texts. Michael, who serves as a warrior and advocate for Israel (Daniel 10:13) is looked upon particularly fondly. Gabriel is mentioned in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 8:15-17) and briefly in the Talmud, as well as many Merkabah mystical texts.
Early Christians took over Jewish ideas of angels. In the early stage, the Christian concept of an angel shifted between the angel as a messenger of God and a manifestation of God himself. Later came identification of individual angelic messengers: Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel. Then, in the space of little more than two centuries (from the third to the fifth) the image of angels took on definite characteristics both in theology and in art.
By the late fourth century, the Church Fathers agreed that there were different categories of angels, with appropriate missions and activities assigned to them. Some theologians had proposed that Jesus was not divine but on the level of immaterial beings subordinate to the Trinity. The resolution of this Trinitarian dispute included the development of doctrine about angels.
The angels are represented throughout the Christian Bible as a body of spiritual beings intermediate between God and men: "You have made him (man) a little less than the angels..." (Psalms 8:4,5). They, equally with man, are created beings; "praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts... for He spoke and they were made. He commanded and they were created..." (Psalms 148:2-5; Colossians 1:16). The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) declared that the angels were created beings. The Council's decree Firmiter credimus (issued against the Albigenses) declared both that angels were created and that men were created after them. The First Vatican Council (1869) repeated this declaration in Dei Filius, the "Dogmatic constitution on the Catholic faith".
In traditional Christianity angels are regarded as asexual and not belonging to either gender. And although angels have greater knowledge than men, they are not omniscient, as Matthew 24:36 points out.
Coat of arms of Sant'Angelo (rione of Rome)
A 2002 study based on interviews with 350 people, mainly in the UK, who said they have had an experience of an angel, describes several types of such experiences: visions, sometimes with multiple witnesses present; auditions, e.g. to convey a warning; a sense of being touched, pushed, or lifted, typically to avert a dangerous situation; and pleasant fragrance, generally in the context of somebody's death. In the visual experiences, the angels described appear in various forms, either the "classical" one (human countenance with wings), in the form of extraordinarily beautiful or radiant human beings, or as beings of light.
In the US, a 2008 survey by Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion , which polled 1,700 respondents, found that 55 percent of Americans, including one in five of those who say they are not religious, believe that they have been protected by a guardian angel during their life. An August 2007 Pew poll found that 68 percent of Americans believe that "angels and demons are active in the world". 
In Canada, a 2008 survey of over 1000 Canadians found 67 percent believe in angels. 
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