Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 8 June

detail of a statue of Saint Angela Merici; by Pietro Galli, 1866; Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, ItalySaint Angela of Merici, Virgin

Whilst still a child Saint Angela had the courage to disfigure her features and spoil her beautiful hair in order that she might thenceforth please God alone. Her life was spent in giving to the poor the alms she had herself begged, serving the sick, obtaining pardon for the condemned, reconciling enemies, converting persons of dissolute life, and this especially after she had entered the Third Order of Saint Francis of Assisi. After having made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and also to Rome, to which she came for the jubilee and received marks of esteem from, Clement VII, she founded a society of ladies living in the world who devoted themselves to visiting prisoners, attending the sick and above all to instructing children. This was the beginning of the Order of Ursulines, the chief work of her life, and which, under various forms has done so much good in the Church. “O Divine Saviour,” Saint Angela cried out in her agony, “break open this prison of my earthly body and receive this soul which longs for Thee.” (1540)

Prayer

Saint Angela, obtain for the young a contempt of earthly vanities, especially in the matter of dressing the hair.

Practice

Consider how “the father of a family gives most attention to that part of his dwelling which is ruinous and likely to fall; so must the compassionate man act in regard to the assistance of his neighbor. Not to devote himself to them is to be wanting in mercy, to have no inclination to do so is worse still, but to blame and hinder those who devote themselves to such a good work is the worst of all” – Blessed Humbert, O.P.