Saints and Theology of the Heart - St. Angela Merici

Foundress of the Ursulines, Dedicated to Teaching

Feast: January 27

"If anyone, by their state in life, can not live without riches and position, may they at least keep their heart free from love of these things."
-St. Angela Merici

Saint Angela was born on March 21st, 1474 in a small town called Desenzano. At 10, she became an orphan with her older sister and went to live with their uncle in Salo. Her sister died soon later and was unable to receive the sacraments, which left Angela very distressed. At the time, she began praying for the repose of her sister’s soul. She prayed to God to ask what the condition of her sister was. She was relieved to know that her sister was with the saints in Heaven.

When Angela was twenty, she went to back to live in Desenzano because her uncle had died. She made her home into a school in which she gathered all the young girls in town together for a class on the elements of Christianity daily. From this school, came many fruits and she was invited to the city of Brescia to form a school similar to it.

In 1524, Angela made a pilgrimage to the Holy Lady. While she was in Crete, she became blind, but continued on her journey. She was cured while she was praying in front of a crucifix in Crete at the end of her journey. In 1525, Angela traveled to Rome for the jubilee year. Pope Clement VII had heard about Angela and her holiness and her success at teaching religion to young girls and invited her to stay in Rome. Angela did not enjoy publicity so she decided not to stay.

In 1535, Angela chose 12 virgins and began the foundation of the Ursulines order in Brescia. Five years after founding the order, she died. In 1768, she was beatified by Pope Clement XIII and in 1807, she was canonized by Pius VII.


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