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Angelina di Marsciano

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Angelina di Marsciano
Angelina corbara marsciano.JPG
Foundress, Abbess
Born 1377, Montegiove, Italy
Died 14 July 1435, Foligno, Italy
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 8 March 1825 (cultus confirmed) by Pope Leo XII
Feast 14 July

Blessed Angelina di Marsciano (1377 – 1435) was an Italian nun and foundress, and is a beata of the Roman Catholic Church. She founded a congregation of Third Order Religious Sisters, known today as the Franciscan Sisters of Blessed Angelina. Some credit her with the founding of the Franciscan Third Order Regular, as her order marked the establishment of the first Franciscan monastery of enclosed tertiary nuns.[1]

Biography

In 1377, Angelina was born into a noble family in Montegiove, near Orvieto. She was the daughter of Giacopo Angioballi, Count of Marsciano, and Anna, the daughter of the count of Corbara. This is why sometimes she is referred to as Angelina of Corbara.[2]

Angelina got married, at the age of 15, to the count of Civitella, Giovanni da Terni. However, he died only two years later, leaving Angelina in charge of the estate of Civitella del Tronto.[2][3]

It was then that Angelina made the decision to dedicate her life to God (it would appear that she had considered being a nun before she was married). She was clothed as a Franciscan tertiary and, with several companions, began an apostolic mission around the country, preaching the values of repentance and virginity, as well as service to those in need.[2]

Her progress was arrested by the disturbance she caused in the communities where she called for young women to adopt religious life. She was doubly charged with sorcery, the imagined origin of her sway over women, and heresy, because of her allegedly Manichean opposition to marriage. Angelina defended herself before Ladislas, the king of Naples, who dismissed the charges, but exiled her and her companions to avoid further complaints.[2]

She continued on to Assisi, and stopped to rest at Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. There, she experienced a vision, wherein God instructed her to found a cloistered monastery under the Rule of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Foligno. The local bishop approved the plans with little hesitation, as they meant an end to her troublesome active ministry.[2]

It was 1397 when the convent was opened,[3] whereupon it was dedicated to Saint Anne. Angelina was Superior of the twelve founding members. This endeavor was so successful, monasteries soon opened in Florence, Spoleto, Assisi, and Viterbo, along with eleven others before Blessed Angelina's death in 1436.[2]

Veneration and cultus

Blessed Angelina was interred in a Franciscan church in Foligno upon her death. Her remains were removed to a grander shrine in 1492.[2] Her cultus was finally approved in 1825.[3]

Her communities gained greatest popularity in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1428, Pope Martin V had put them under the jurisdiction of the Friars Minor, with a specific mandate for the education and instruction of young girls. Even so, their work was fairly apostolic until it became an enclosed religious order in 1617, having taken solemn vows with a strict separation from the affairs of the external world.. With a 1903 lift of papal enclosure, a wider apostolate was permitted, and the order became known again as the Franciscan Sisters of Blessed Angelina. As of 1750, they consisted of 11 houses and 80 members.[2]

References

  1. Wikisource-logo "Franciscan Order" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia..
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Butler, Alban; Peter Doyle (1999). Butler's Lives of the Saints. Liturgical Press. pp. 163. http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA163&dq=angelina+marsciano&sig=QWLbZhOWuEhcBtFE8lfrvoGlutA&id=umn3JEADSTQC&ots=cgvimpqk50&output=html. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jones, Terry. "Angelina di Marsciano". Patron Saints Index. http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintaio.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 

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