St Angela Merici – Foundress of the Ursuline Order

With deep faith, a profound vision, determination and inspiration, Angela established a Company, that would support an active apostolate, while its members were engaged in the mystical state. Wendy Brennan (2003, p.8) quotes Henri Bergson that “perfect mysticism is action.” Angela’s awareness of self and others, and her concept of the Sacred within a transcendent reality, gave her the wisdom, courage and strength to engage in active discipleship, while maintaining her independence and Christ-centred approach to life. Angela translated her personal experience into a lived reality, whereby, she chose to remain in the world, and fulfil her mission of service towards others. She offered a third option to lay single women, to follow her example. For previously the only two options available to young women in the late Middle Ages, were to be married or to enter a monastery. The idea of a virginal life consecrated to God but living at home, appealed to Angela, for it was a life lived in the world but not of the world. Angela’s legacy has inspired and continues to inspire generations of independent women, determined to lead and live active lives in service to others, while developing their interior lives in contemplation of the sacredness of their union with their Divine Spouse.