Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yesterday's National Days of Australia & India - St. Angela Merici

Today's blog is a little later than usual due to the need to resolve computer hookup issues. Vito, the IT technician, took one look at the problems in my room and announced that the residue of a summer paint job had contaminated the internet access and that took him until my meeting time to repair the connection and give me a new cable.

Meantime, there were lots of emails to answer and not much time to blog. After a full day of work and a lunchtime visit to the Conventual Franciscans and Fr. Livio Poloniato at Convento San Giacomo, I am ready to upload a few pictures (including a couple added to yesterday's blog entry).

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January 26 is the national day of both India and Australia. At our noon-time Mass, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of the Bombay (Mumbai) Archdiocese presided and gave the homily. At the close of Mass some visitors from Oz took a picture of our Vox Clara group:

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The Church allows an optional memorial of St. Angela Merici, foundress of the UrsUlines. Here is some information on her life and foundation. Best wishes to Sr. Eileen Schuller, OSU, a biblical specialist at McMaster University in Hamilton who researches and writes on the Dead Sea Scrolls on her community's feast day. Here is some information on her congregation's origins.

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. (excerpt from Pius Parsch, The Church's Year of Grace)

Patron: Bodily ills; disabled, handicapped, physically-challenged people; illness; loss of parents; people.

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