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Angela of Foligno

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Blessed Angela of Foligno
A holy card depicting Angela
Mistress of Theologians
Born 1248, Foligno
Died January 4, 1309
Venerated in Roman Catholicism
Beatified 1693 by Pope Innocent XII
Feast January 7
Patronage those afflicted by sexual temptation, widows

Angela of Foligno (c. 1248 – 4 January 1309) was a Christian author, Franciscan tertiary, and mystic. She was noted not only for her spiritual writings, but also for founding a religious order.

Early life and conversion

Angela was born into a wealthy family in the city of Foligno, Italy (near Assisi). She married at an early age, and traditional accounts state that she lived "wildly, adulterously, and sacrilegiously" in her early years.[1] However, Angela's lifestyle abruptly changed following the deaths of her family and an unknown shameful sin. In 1285, she prayed to Saint Francis of Assisi, who then appeared to her in a dream and offered to help.

Some time after her conversion Angela had placed herself under the direction of a Franciscan friar named Arnoldo, who would serve as her confessor. It was to Arnoldo that Angela dictated the account of her conversion, a work that has come to us as the Book of Visions and Instructions. Further, it was under Arnoldo's instruction that Angela joined the Third Order of St. Francis.

In the course of time, the fame of her sanctity gathered around her a number of other tertiaries, both men and women, who strove under her direction to advance in holiness. Later she established at Foligno a community of Sisters, who added to the Rule of the Third Order a commitment to a common life without, however, binding themselves to enclosure, so that they might devote their time to works of charity.


Angela of Foligno, fresco by Francesco Mancini
Dome of the Cathedral of San Feliciano, Foligno, Italy

Angela died surrounded by her community of disciples. Her remains repose uncorrupted (her corpse has never deteriorated) in the church of St. Francis at Foligno. Many people attributed miracles to her, which were accomplished at her tomb. Pope Innocent XII approved the veneration paid to her in her beatification. Her feast day is celebrated by the Order on January 7th.

Blessed Angela's authority as a spiritual teacher may be gathered from the fact that Bollandus, among other testimonials, quotes Maximilian Sandaeus, of the Society of Jesus, as calling her the "'Mistress of Theologians', whose whole doctrine has been drawn out of the Book of Life, Jesus Christ, Our Lord."


  1. Blessed Angela of Foligno in the Patron Saints Index

"Bl. Angela of Foligno". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 

External links

This article incorporates text from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

sw:Anjela wa Foligno hu:Folignói Boldog Angélapt:Ângela de Foligno ro:Angela de Foligno ru:Анджела из Фолиньо sv:Angela av Foligno

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