Blessed Angela of Foligno (1248-1309). Blessed Angela was born into a wealthy Italian family. In her own words, she lived a “mortally sinful” life for her first 40 years, proud and comfortable in her wealth and privilege. Angela was reportedly so embarrassed of her life, she made “false confessions” during the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that she could publicly receive the Eucharist and avoid the scrutiny of others. Following one such occasion, overcome with shame, she prayed in earnest for forgiveness and was visited by a vision of St. Francis of Assisi who offered help.
For Angela “the whole world was filled with God,” and she was in almost constant communion with Him. Angela herself tells us that at times she was overcome with grief because she could see nothing but the extraordinary goodness of God and, in contrast, the vanity of earthly things and the ingratitude of creatures. The sight of a crucifix produced in Saint Angela torrents of tears.
Today we look to Saint Angela’s life, inspiring us to sincerely and contritely ask the Lord for forgiveness for our worldly “mortally sinful” lives. We pray for all of us, struggling with temptations that distract our hearts and minds from the goodness of the Lord. We pray for those who are afraid to ask for forgiveness.
You caused blessed Angela to excel
in contemplating the mysteries of Your Son.
Through he merits and prayers
may we share in the same mysteries on earth
and rejoice exultantly in the revelation of Your glory.
Quotations of Blessed Angela of Foligno:
"Humility exists only in those who are poor enough to see that they possess nothing of their own."
"O my soul, how can you refrain from plunging yourself ever deeper and deeper into the love of Christ, who did not forget you in life or in death, but who willed to give Himself wholly to you, and to unite you to Himself forever?"
"It is the Sacrament of Love that excites the soul to ardent prayer. It stirs up the virtue of impetration and, as it were, forces God to grant our petition. It deepens the abyss of humility, above all it enkindles the flame of love in the heart; hence the Sacrament is the Gift of gifts, and the Grace of graces."
“Our condition is most noble, being so beloved of the Most High God that He was willing to die for our sake- which He would not have done if man had not been a most noble creature and of great worth.”
“Our perfection certainly consists in knowing God and ourselves.”
“By virtue of love is the lover transformed in the beloved and the beloved transformed in the lover.”
“No one can be saved without divine light. Divine light causes us to begin and to make progress, and it leads us to the summit of perfection. Therefore if you want to begin and to receive this divine light, pray. If you have begun to make progress and want this light to be intensified within you, pray. And if you have reached the summit of perfection, and want to be super-illumined so as to remain in that state, pray.”
”This embrace of God sets ablaze a fire within the soul with which the whole soul burns for Christ. It also produces a light so great that the soul understands the fullness of God's goodness, which it experiences in itself, and which is, moreover, much greater than the soul's experience of it. The effect then of this fire within the soul is to render it certain and secure that Christ is within it. And yet, what we have said is nothing in comparison to what this experience really is.”