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Why St. Angela Merici is the patron saint of all who are ill

SICKNESS

fizkes/Shutterstock | Benoit Lhoest/CC BY-SA 3.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 01/27/22

St. Angela was devoted to caring for the sick and would rise from what she was doing to attend to those in need.

Among the many saints invoked in times of sickness, St. Angela Merici remains one of the most powerful intercessors. Many call upon her in their time of need and ask for her help in their illness.

While St. Angela is most widely known as the founder of the teaching order known as the Ursulines, she was also devoted to the sick in her lifetime.

A 19th-century biography by Bernard O’Reilly highlights this side of her life.

[Angela] gave herself up to the numerous works of charity which awaited her on every side. When not in the hospitals or visiting the sick, poor, or preparing for death some poor needy soul, she was sure to be found before some favorite shrine or altar in the Cathedral or St. Afra, rapt in prayer and lost to all sense of what was passing around her. It sufficed, however, to say one word to her about some urgent errand of mercy or neighborly kindness to see her rise from her knees and set out with face all aglow, with the divine fire within to perform what was asked of her.

Furthermore, she also experienced poor health and was even blind before being fully cured by God, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia.

In 1524, while making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, she became suddenly blind when she was on the island of Crete, but continued her journey to the Holy Places and was cured on her return while praying before a crucifix at the same place where she was struck with blindness a few weeks before.

After her death, St. Angela became a favored intercessor of many sick people and eventually gained the reputation of being the “patron saint of the sick.”

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