As I said in an earlier post, my SFO fraternity observes the custom of Extraction of Saints for Epiphany. This is a practice done by our First Order Friars. This year, the saint I am to journey with is Saint Angela Merici. Her feast day is celebrated January 27th. I didn’t know anything about her which makes this practice a wonderful way to learn about a new Franciscan saint.
Angela was born in the Province of Brescia around 1470-75. She was orphaned at a very young age and had an independent spirit. She became a Franciscan Tertiary at the age of 15. She lived a life of mortification and was dedicated to the sacraments of Confession and Communion. On a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, she was struck blind. She recovered her sight while praying before a crucifix. She had a burden to teach young girls but women were not allowed to teach and unmarried women could not go out alone. Nuns were educated but cloistered. To get around these restrictions, she brought together other unmarried Franciscan Tertiary women. Together they would gather up young girls and teach them. This was around 1535 when Agela was in her 50’s. Angela founded the Company of St. Ursula and they were known as the Ursalines. Her body is incorrupt.
Information on the museum dedicated to her and her biography
Information on her at SQPN’s Saint web site
Information from Catholic Encyclopedia