St Angela Merici was an Italian saint who founded the Ursulines and dedicated her life to educating girls. The monastic Order of Saint Ursula came from the Ursulines.
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What is Angela Merici the Patron Saint Of?
St Angela Merici was an Italian saint who founded the Ursulines and dedicated her life to educating girls. The monastic Order of Saint Ursula came from the Ursulines. Pray this novena for sickness, handicapped people, loss of parents, courage, strength, and determination.
Angela Merici was born on March 21st, 1474, in Desenzano, Lombardy, Italy near Lake Garda.
Angela became an orphan at ten years of age, and she and her sister went to Salo, where they were taken in by their uncle.
Their household was devout, but tragically Angela’s older sister died, causing great grief to Angela, since she died without Last Rites, but in a vision God granted her the knowledge that her sister was indeed in Heaven.
Angela became a Third Order Franciscan and consecrated her virginity to God.
Angela returned to her hometown of Desenzano after the death of her uncle, when she was twenty years old.
What Did St Angela Merici Do?
Many Catholic girls in her town were ignorant of their faith and basic learning, and the Holy Ghost led Angela to teach them.
She taught out of her home and focused first on the spiritual formation of the girls: prayer and the sacraments.
Angela expanded her teaching and invited other women to help her. The town of Brescia asked her to help them, and so she established a school there as well.
During a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1524, she was struck blind. But she prayed before the Crucifix on her way home, and God granted her sight back to her.
Our Lord made Angela to understand that she must never be blind to the needs of those around her, especially girls in need of schooling.
In 1535, St Angela started the Order of tHe Ursulines with twelve young women who also had consecrated their virginity to God and His Church.
Angela taught the girls to help them in their vocations to marriage and to religious life, and she taught them in their own homes so that the family would be the foundational place for their education.
Her Order remained in their own homes and so were not in a convent, a first for the Church, and it was the first teaching Order made up of women.
St Angela became the Mother of the Order, and the Rule that she made for her sisters was approved by Pope Paul III in 1544.
St Angela Merici died on January 27th, 1540.
Since her Ursuline Order had no formal religious habit, St Angela died wearing the habit of a Franciscan tertiary
St Angela was buried in St Afra Church in Brescia.
St Angela Merici was beatified on April 30th, 1768 by Pope Clement XIII. St Angela Merici was canonized on May 24th, 1807 by Pope Pius VII.