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Saint of the Day: St. Angela Merici

Foundress of the Ursuline Sisters

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Religious Sister (1470-1540)

Her life

+ Angela was born in the Lombardy region of Italy.

+ A member of the Third Order of St. Francis, Angela dedicated herself to the service of poor girls.

+ In 1535, Angela brought together a group of women dedicated to prayer and service under the patronage of the virgin and martyr Saint Ursula. The “Company of St. Ursula” was one of the first communities of teaching sisters in the Church.

+ In the papal bull establishing the Ursuline Sisters as a religious community, Pope Paul III praised Angela declaring, “With maternal love, she embraced all creatures… Her words were inflamed, powerful and sweet, and spoken with such an unheard-of effectiveness that everyone felt compelled to say, ‘Here is God.’”

+ Saint Angela Merici died on January 27, 1540, and was canonized in 1807; she is honored as a patron of those with physical disabilities.

For prayer and reflection

As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another
as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God;
whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies,
so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”—1 Peter 4:10-11

Vocations

– Ursuline Convent of the Sacred Heart (Toledo, OH): ursulinecenter.org

– Ursuline Sisters of St. Louis (Roman Union, U.S. Province): www.usaosu.org

– Ursuline Sisters of Louisville: www.ursulinesisterslouisville.org

– Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland: www.ursulinesisters.org

– Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph (Maple Mount, KY): www.ursulinesmsj.org

– Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk (Jamaica, NJ): www.tildonkursuline.org

– Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown: www.theursulines.org

Spiritual bonus

On January 27 we also remember Saint Maria di Gesù (Carolina) Santocanale. Having felt the call to religious life as a young woman in Palermo, Sicily, she struggled to discern if God were calling her to the contemplative life or to one committed to serving the sick and poor. On December 8, 1909, she brought these two charism together when she founded the Capuchin Sisters of the Immaculate of Lourdes. Saint Maria di Gesù died on January 27, 1923, and was canonized in 2022.

Prayer

May the Virgin Saint Angela never fail to commend us
to your compassion, O Lord, we pray,
that, following the lessons of her charity and prudence,
we may hold fast to your teaching
and express it in what we do.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here

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