Saint Angela Merici
About Saint Angela
Did you know that Saint Angela Merici found the Order of the Ursulines? Well, she most certainly did! She did this while in Brescia around the year 1535. At the time Angela was working as an official for Christianity in Italy.
Angela was born and brought up in an extraordinarily small town close to Lake Garda in Lombardy. St. Angela and her younger sister were left to fend for themselves when both their parents passed away while they were still very young. The two girls were left homeless with nothing, and were taken in by their uncle who found out about their parents' deaths and came to see if the girls were okay. Their uncle would bring them to another close by, small village to live with him. However, within weeks of their arrival Angela's sister would pass away too. Angela was very upset over her sister's death, and seemed very concerned that she had never gotten her last rights before dying. Angela felt as though she had to do something to make sure her sister was sent safely to heaven. So she joined the Third Order of Saint Francis. Angela's deep prayers and good life would lead to her seeing a vision of her sister. Her sister appeared to her to let her know that she was fine and resting peacefully.
Angela continued her religious lifestyle even after her vision though, she had grown to love it and accept it. She remained in her uncle's house for many years until he too passed away. This was tough on Angela because he was her only family left. After he died Angela went back to her place of birth. She founded a school for girls there in her family's old house. She was determined to educated girls properly, even though nobody else was in her times. Angela's school was a great success and she was offered a chance to make another, similar school in a nearby town.
Angela made a pilgrimmage to the Holy Land in the year 1524. While in the desert traveling there, she was struck blind. She remained blind until reaching her destination and praying deeply to God. God cured Angela of her ailment miraculously.
In 1535 Angela and a handful of other women would create the Company of Saint Ursula. Angela was the leader of the group, as chosen by the other members. This is what Saint Angela is best known for, and the group would continue to grow in size long after her death in 1540. Pope Pius VII made Angela a saint in the year 1807, and declared her the patron saint of the handicapped and children who have lost a parent.