Friday, January 04, 2013

Blessed Angela of Foligno, Penitent

Pope Benedict XVI on:

"Today I would like to speak to you about Blessed Angela of Foligno, a great medieval mystic who lived in the 13th century. Usually, one is fascinated by the heights of the experience of union with God that she attained, but perhaps too little consideration is given to the first steps, her conversion, and the long path that led her from the beginning -- the "great fear of hell" -- to the goal: total union with the Trinity.
The first part of Angela's life is certainly not that of a fervent disciple of the Lord. Born around 1248 in a well-off family, she remained orphaned of her father and was educated by her mother in a rather superficial way. She was soon introduced to the worldly environments of the city of Foligno, where she met a man, whom she married at 20 and with whom she had children. Her life was carefree, so much so that she looked down on the so-called "penitents" -- very widespread at that time -- those, namely, who to follow Christ would sell their goods and live a life of prayer, fasting, the service of the Church and charity.
Some events, such as the violent earthquake of 1279, a hurricane, the age-old war against Perugia, and their harsh consequences affected Angela's life, who became progressively aware of her sins, until she took a decisive step: She invoked St. Francis, who appeared to her in a vision, to ask him for advice in view of undertaking a good general Confession. In 1285, Angela went to confession to a friar in San Feliciano. Three years later, her path of conversion took another turn: the dissolution of her familial ties. Within a few months, the death of her mother was followed by the deaths of her husband and all her children. She then sold all her goods, and in 1291, joined the Third Order of St. Francis. She died at Foligno on Jan. 4, 1309." - Finish here.

If you ever wonder what you can do in the 'New Evangelization' - try penitence - it worked for Angela.


  1. You know, I always wonder about the "worldliness" of people back then - how worldly could she have been, really, compared to most of us?

    I am by no means a rich man (by American standards), but I enjoy a very good standard of living compared to other people in the world. I never want for necessities, and I am constantly entertained. Tonight I spent much of the evening tweaking my phone and watching old SNL episodes on Netflix.

    I wasn't sinning per se, but it's pretty worldly. Sometimes I wonder if most of us even have a chance outside of a monastery or some drastic penitence.

  2. I think she used to go shopping a lot - in the town square, and she went without her veil and adorned her hair with flowers and wore eye liner - oh, oh, and she had the minstrels play their music really fast so she could dance provocatively - it was like pole dancing, but she used a column at the cistern, and then she drank a lot too. Sometimes she'd use bad language and gossiped - they didn't have blogs back then.

    I made that up.

  3. Terry, you crack me up :)

    Btw what I was watching was the best of SNL's fake commercials on Netflix. Hilarious.



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