Angela Merici

Angela Merici

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Angela Merici

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Angela Merici, or Angela de Merici, (21 March 1474 – 27 January 1540) was an Italian religious leader and saint. She founded the Order of Ursulines in 1535 in Brescia.

Life

Saint Angela Merici was born at Desenzano del Garda, a small town on the southwestern shore of Lake Garda in Lombardy. She and her older sister, who she dearly loved, Giana Maria , were left orphans when she was about ten years old. Together they came to live with their uncle in the town of Salo. Young Angela was very distressed when her sister suddenly died without receiving the last sacraments. She joined the Third Order of St Francis, and increased her prayers to God so her sister’s soul could rest in peace. Legend says that she was satisfied by a vision of her sister in the company of the saints in Heaven. People admired Saint Angela because of her hair, she promised herself to God and did not want to be admired so she dyed her hair in soot and water.

Angela's uncle died when she was twenty years old and she returned to her previous home in Desenzano. Angela believed that better Christian education was needed for young girls; she then dedicated her time teaching girls in her home, which she had converted into a school. She later allegedly had another vision that revealed to her that she was to found an association of virgins who were to devote their lives to the religious training of young girls. This was a success and she was invited to start another school in the neighboring city, Brescia. She...
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