Saint Angela of Foligno
(1248 – 4 January 1309)
St. Angela of Foligno was a Christian mystic who wrote extensively about her mystical revelations.
She was a Franciscan tertiary and was known as “Mistress of Theologians”.
She was noted not only for her spiritual writings, but also for founding a religious community which refused to accept becoming an enclosed religious order that it might continue her vision of caring for those in need.
Pope Francis declared her a saint on 9 October 2013,
Some saints show marks of holiness very early.
Born of a leading family in Foligno, Italy, she became immersed in the quest for wealth and social position.
As a wife and mother, she continued this life of distraction.
Around the age of 40 she recognized the emptiness of her life and sought God’s help in the Sacrament of Penance.
Her Franciscan confessor helped Angela to seek God’s pardon for her previous life and to dedicate herself to prayer and the works of charity.
Shortly after her conversion, her husband and children died. Selling most of her possessions, she entered the Secular Franciscan Order.
She was alternately absorbed by meditating on the crucified Christ and by serving the poor of Foligno as a nurse and beggar for their needs.
Other women joined her in a religious community.
At her confessor’s advice, Angela wrote her Book of Visions and Instructions.
In it she recalls some of the temptations she suffered after her conversion; she also expresses her thanks to God for the Incarnation of Jesus.
This book and her life earned for Angela the title “Teacher of Theologians.”
She was beatified in 1693, and canonized in 2013.