Friday, January 27
FEAST OF ANGELA MERICI, VIRGIN
Step out and step up
Saint Angela Merici did two things that may seem small now but in her time (16th-century Italy) were huge: She organized a group of single laywomen to teach the uneducated girls of her town. In her time, very few women had any schooling, let alone became teachers, and the ones who did have some education were nuns, who, like other unmarried women, rarely went out on their own. Her community eventually became the Ursuline religious order. It’s easy to ignore the fact that things people now take for granted came about because of someone who had a daring idea and the courage to carry it out. Their example can also serve to inspire you as well to take a bold step to do good in the world.
TODAY’S READINGS: 2 Samuel 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17; Mark 4:26-34 (321)
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God? It is like a mustard seed that . . . is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants.”
Alice Camille, Daniel Grippo, Caroline Hopkinson, Father Larry Janowski, O.F.M., Ann O’Connor, Joel Schorn, Patrice J. Tuohy, and Sister Julie Vieira, I.H.M.
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St. Angela Merici
The saint was born in 1474 in the diocese of Verona. Early in life she dedicated herself to Christ as His bride. After the death of her parents, she desired to live solely for God in quiet and solitude, but her uncle insisted that she manage his household. She renounced her patrimony in order to observe most perfectly the rule for Franciscan Tertiaries.
During a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1524, she lost her eyesight temporarily. Pope Clement VII, whom she visited in Rome, desired her to remain in the Holy City. Later she founded a society for girls, under the protection of St. Ursula; this was the beginning of the Ursuline Order. St. Angela was almost seventy when she died; her body remained incorrupt for thirty days. Remarkable phenomena occurred at her burial in the Church of St. Afra.
— Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch