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Catholic Activity: Nameday Celebration Prayers and Ideas for St. Angela Merici

Helen McLoughlin shares ideas for St. Angela's feast day.



St. Angela Merici formed a congregation under the patronage of St. Ursula, the first teaching order of women to be established in the Church. The members are called Ursulines.

Father: Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear because the King greatly desires your beauty. All: My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the King. Father: Let us pray. O God, You instituted a new congregation of holy virgins in the Church through Angela Merici. May her intercession help us to practice the angelic virtues and renounce earthly things for the sake of everlasting happiness. Through Christ, our Lord. All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

1. Keep Thou Thine image, O Lord, in my heart. Let all mean naught to me, save that Thou art. Be Thou my thought thro' day and thro' night: Waking or sleeping, O be Thou my Light.

2. Mine be the wisdom to know Thy true Word. Be ever with me and I with Thee Lord; Be Thou my father, make me Thy son; Dwelling within me, and I in Thee, one.

3. Lord, God of heaven! when my life is done, Grant me the joy of a heaven full won; Joy of our hearts! whatever befall, Still keep me with Thee, O Maker of all.

Seven Books of Wisdom by Roland E. Murphy will provide background for understanding the prayers used for virgin-saints, for Our Lady, and other holy women.

Desserts and suggestions: Lilies, symbol of purity, or lilies of the valley in icing are used to top homemade or purchased cakes for virgin-saints. A white rose may be used on the rose cake. The rose may be purchased ready-made or it may be made of frosting, using tubes found in stores. Cake-Mate has frosting in various colors and easy tubes for decorating. It is found in most supermarkets. Decorating Cakes for Fun and Profit by Richard Snyder will help mother to turn out a beautifully decorated cake (from MS, see Abbreviations).

The symbols proper to each virgin-saint can be incorporated into your decorations. Roses are the attribute of Rose Venerini, the Franciscan Rose of Viterbo, Roseline, a Carthusian, and Rosalie, patron saint of Palermo. Keys are used for St. Sytha or Zita, as well as for St. Odile, a patron of Alsace. A heart depicts St. Hildegarde, "Sybil of the Rhine," the first illustrious German mystic, poet, physician, and political moralist; a $1.00 plaque is available from CCA, see Abbreviations. For the abbess Aurea the symbol is a millstone; for Hilda of Whitby and Edith of Wilton, a church; for Christina, a millstone and two arrows.

St. Angela's specific symbols are a ladder and cloak.

Activity Source: My Nameday — Come for Dessert by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1962

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