Saint Angela Merici
Angela Merici is recognized as the founder of the Ursulines. Born in 1474 near Brescia, Italy, she and her sister were orphaned as teens. When Angela’s sister, Giana Maria, died suddenly, Angela became a Franciscan tertiary, praying fervently for the repose of her sister’s soul. When Angela became aware of the need for education for girls, she and several friends began to teach girls in their homes in the hope of improving social conditions. Angela inspired others in the work of education. Together they formed a religious association. Most of the consecrated women continued to live with their families, with no solemn vows, habit, enclosure or community life, although they did meet for instruction and worship. Angela died in 1540. In 1544, the Company of
Saint Ursula was officially recognized by Pope Paul III. She is a patron saint of those who have lost parents, who are sick, and who are physically challenged.
REFLECTION FOR THE DAY
Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Mark 4:7
It’s a good thing the disciples asked Jesus to explain this parable because now we have his explanation to help us when we, like them, cannot seem to get it. Reflecting with it, I notice I have in myself all the different kinds of places the seed (God’s Word) lands: rocky, thorny and even fertile. I can imagine what it was like for the seed among the thorns; I know the choking feeling of so much to be anxious about, so many needs and cares, pleasures and comforts. How can we not be overwhelmed and choked by them? They will grab us by the throat till we can’t breathe the fresh air of the Spirit, can’t swallow the nourishment of Christ. I don’t think Jesus is blaming us for this—it’s the world we live in—so much as warning us to pay attention. How? We can start by taking time for prayer, silence and stillness. Like a child, let me still and quiet my soul, my God.