Thursday, January 27, 2011

St. Angela di Merici

Continuing on our recent theme of living out the Gospel's call to service, we come today, in the Church's calendar, upon the memorial of St. Angela di Merici, the foundress of the Ursuline Sisters. Orphaned at age ten, Angela was inspired to seek a way to provide better religious education for young girls. She began simply, by teaching girls out of her home. She and her associates were soon asked to start girls' schools in other cities. In time, she founded a new religious order dedicated to the education of girls. She dedicated her new order to St. Ursula.

As a side note of interest to Catholicism in the American South, it was a group of Ursuline nuns who were responsible for bringing the now-famous statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor to the city of New Orleans in 1810. Ever since, the statue has been venerated in the Ursuline convent in the Crescent City - the first and most important Marian devotion to take root in the Catholic South.