Religious Sister (1470-1540)
+ 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 and she is honored as a patron of those with physical disabilities.
On this day, the Church also remembers Blessed George Matulaitis. Born to a poor family in Lithuania (then under the control Czarist Russia), he was able to enter the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception and was ordained a priest in 1898. He worked to reform his religious community and later founded the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and the Handmaids of Jesus in the Eucharist. In 1918, he was named archbishop of Vilnius, Lithuania, and helped protect the rights of the Church during the aftermath of the First World War. Blessed George died in 1927 and was beatified in 1987.
“Try to be faithful to that to which God has called you.”—Saint Angela Merici
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,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.