Blessed Angela of Foligno
By Rev. Rebecca
"Humility exists only in those who are poor enough to see that they possess nothing of their own."
Blessed Angela of Foligno is another "real" saint who is more a person we can identify with than simply an other-worldly saint. Angela lived during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in Umbria, Italy. She was married at a young age to a wealthy man and she became a mother, but Angela loved the world and its delights and neglected her duties to her family. It is said that her life for thirty years was "scandalous" and one of "adultery" although it is difficult to know exactly what her life entailed...she simply referred to it as "mortally sinful." Apparently she was so embarrassed about her sins that she made a "bad confession" and took Communion anyway...something considered a serious sacrilege at the time. She felt tormented by this and prayed to St. Francis of Assisi who appeared to her in a vision and called her to honesty. The following day she was able to make a true confession and then began a life of penance and prayer, much to the annoyance of her husband.
Angela's husband, mother, and children all died eventually and Angela was left alone. She then became a member of the Franciscan Third Order and began living as a poor beggar and penitent while serving others. However, she suffered much ridicule for her piety and spirituality her whole life.
As Angela's spiritual life progressed, she became a person of deep prayer and eventually her spiritual director began recording the mystical visions she received during prayer. She also began to attain followers and together they formed a community dedicated to serving the poor. She is reported to have born the stigmata of Christ.
She has become known as the "Mistress of Theologians" for her many recorded writings and visions. Many miracles were worked at her grave site in the Church of St. Francis at Foligno. Her Feast Day is January 4 and she is the patron for those ridiculed for their piety, those who struggle with sexual temptation and temptation in general, widows, and those who have lost children. Her writings are contained in two books called, "The Book of Divine Consolations of the Blessed Angela of Foligno" and "The Book of Visions and Instructions."
Written May 21, 2002.