downloadable PDF: Women of Faith Resources January 2020
January Quotes by Amy Welborn in 2020: A Book of Grace-filled Days
“Mary reflected … she prayed about her child – this gift, this mystery.” (p. 32)
“Belief is believing in God; faith is believing that God believes in you.” ~ Andre Dubus (p. 38)
“Euthus, Mark’s Greek word, means “at once”. Contemplating euthus adds to my own life a kind of amazed joy. Jesus approaches; Jesus beckons. What am I waiting for?” (p. 44)
Featured Day: January 27 – St. Angela Merici
St. Angela Merici was born on March 21st, 1474, at Desenzano, a small town in Lombardy. She died January 27th , 1540, at Brescia.
Her parents died when she was only 10 years old. She and her older sister went to live with their uncle. Her sister died suddenly and was unable to receive the last sacraments. This greatly distressed Angela. She entered the Third Order of St. Francis and prayed intensely for the repose of her sister’s soul. In her anguish and simplicity, she asked God to reveal to her if her sister was in Heaven. It is said that she saw in a vision that her sister was with all the saints in heaven, so this comforted her.
In 1524, while making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, she became suddenly blind when she was on the island of Crete, but continued her journey to the Holy Places and was cured on her return while praying before a crucifix at the same place where she was struck with blindness a few weeks before. In the 1525 jubilee year, Angela traveled to Rome. Pope Clement VII had heard of her holiness and of her extraordinary success as a religious teacher of young girls. He invited her to remain in Rome; at first, Angela, did not act on this request and returned to Brescia. Later, on the 25th of November, 1535, Angela invited twelve women to join her in the foundation of the order under the patronage of St. Ursula. Her community became known as the Ursulines. She died just five years after founding the community.
Her body is buried in the Church of St. Afra at Brescia. She was beatified in 1768 by Pope Clement XIII and was canonized in 1807 by Pope Pius VII. Saint Angela Merici is Patron Saint of sickness, the handicapped, and orphans.
Ursulines, from several different branches, are well-known educators whose gifts in teaching are proclaimed throughout the world. They also commit themselves to ministries centered on peace, justice, and creation.
For additional information about Ursulines visit the following links:
Prayers for the Intercession of St. Angela Merici
May the Virgin Saint Angela never fail to commend us
to your compassion, O Lord, we pray,
that, following the lessons of her charity and prudence,
we may hold fast to your teaching
and express it in what we do.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Saint Angela Merici,
You were generous and joyful in answering God’s call,
and you happily shared the gifts you had been given.
When you recognized the need for education,
you overcame obstacles and prejudice
by your prayer and your commitment to those living in poverty.
Open our eyes to the needs of others;
remind us that Jesus calls us to serve our sisters and brothers,
and to bring joy to those around us. Amen.
Lectio Divina: Scripture and prayer for meditating
Read the following selections a first time. What word or words call out to you? Read the selection a second time. Ask the words or words calling to you: “What is it you want to say to me today?” Notice which quote(s) make your heart skip a beat.
- 1 Peter 4:7b-11
- Psalm 148:1bc-2, 11-13a, 13c-14
- Mark 9:34b-37
For Spiritual Reading
Audio Divina: Music accompanied by images
These selections draw us into visioning St. Angela Merici in a variety ways. They can touch our hearts.
Prayer of St Angela was posted on YouTube Aug 30, 2010, by Daria Klich and made by Sister Carla Tamborini, osu in 2000. There are two selections: “Sweet Hour of Prayer” by artist Carol McClure in the album Lover of My Soul and “Song In the Garden” in the album My Father’s World.
Above All – an arrangement by Llloyd Larson and the CovenantCHOIRS: This song is from a mix of chorus music. The mix, included here for your enjoyment, is surely in the spirit of Saint Angela of Merici.
Visio Divina: Art for Prayer and Meditation
“Visual images are another doorway to sacred awareness. They can touch into our desire to grow in intimacy with God. So, we encourage one another to let ourselves be touched by the colors, shapes, figures and symbols that capture our attention most as we are praying. While gazing at an image ~ a painting, a photo, an icon, a sculpture, a piece of pottery … something may leap out at us, calling our attention to something of God just waiting to reveal itself to us.”
(Ideas inspired by Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman in their book, Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction. See also Abbey of the Arts.)
Several artists have sculpted images of St. Angela Merici. Here are two for us to contemplate and be touched by them.
Consider the words of the author of this sculpture, Bob Lockhart. He cast “a very, very strong Italian woman, a woman of the fields.” Rather than picture her as a young girl, he said, “I wanted to portray this woman who had the strength and the backbone to found this Order and have this kind of fervent ability to lead a group of women … a woman who would have been mature enough to face what she needed to face.” But he also wanted this strong woman to be “a welcoming, inviting presence,” so he gave her the outstretched hand. Strength, backbone, fervor, leader, welcoming, inviting presence: who in your lifetime has brought these qualities to you? How do you offer these qualities to others?
Statue designed and made for St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove, February 2012 by E. Piccolruaz.
This sculpture offers different qualities than the first. What does this sculpture say to you about Saint Angela Merici?
Introduction to the Life of Saint Angela: Ursuline Sisters June 25, 2015.
St. Angela Merici HD: Jan 26, 2017