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Ordinary Time: January 27th

Optional Memorial of St. Angela Merici, virgin

MASS READINGS

January 27, 2004 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Lord, may Saint Angela commend us to your mercy; may her charity and wisdom help us to be faithful to your teaching and to follow it in our lives. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Today the Church celebrates the optional memorial of St. Angela Merici, virgin. St. Angela was born in northern Italy. In 1516, she founded the Order of Ursulines, the first teaching order for women approved by the Church. Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar this was the feast of St. John Chrysostom. His feast is now celebrated on September 13. St. Angela Merici's feast was celebrated on June 1, except in the convents of her order where it was also celebrated today.


St. Angela Merici
The saint was born in 1474 in the diocese of Verona. Early in life she dedicated herself to Christ as His bride. After the death of her parents, she desired to live solely for God in quiet and solitude, but her uncle insisted that she manage his household. She renounced her patrimony in order to observe most perfectly the rule for Franciscan Tertiaries.

During a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1524, she lost her eyesight temporarily. Pope Clement VII, whom she visited in Rome, desired her to remain in the Holy City. Later she founded a society for girls, under the protection of St. Ursula; this was the beginning of the Ursuline Order. St. Angela was almost seventy when she died; her body remained incorrupt for thirty days. Remarkable phenomena occurred at her burial in the Church of St. Afra.

—Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Bodily ills; disabled people; handicapped people; illness; loss of parents; physically challenged people; sick people; sickness.

Symbols: Cloak; ladder.

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