Blue Flower

St Ursulas College Statute 2017Angela was born in Desenzano and grew up on a farm in the Le Grezze district of Desenzano. In her teenage years, both her parents and her sister died. Angela then went to live with relatives at Salo. It was at Salo that she met the Franciscans and became a Franciscan tertiary. Franciscan spirituality had a strong formative influence on her. Having convinced her aunt and uncle that she did not intend to marry, but rather wished to dedicate her life to God, she returned to Desenzano to her own vineyard. This she maintained for many years, until the Franciscans asked her to accompany a widow back to Brescia to give the widow support in her grief. Thus began her life in Brescia and the movement towards forming the Company of St Ursula, a dream she had had since a young woman.

Living on the main route between Milan and Venice she was well aware of contemporary events. St Angela was a contemporary of Christopher Columbus, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Martin Luther, to name but a few. It was in 1517 that Marin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenburg. Monasteries were in need of reform. The Catholic Church was in serious need of reform. The Council of Trent to reform the Church commenced in 1545, just five years after the death of St Angela. In this climate, it was the laity who maintained spiritual leadership in the Church. With the development of the printing press in the 15th century, access to the Bible kindled a desire to return to the beginnings, to the Gospel. And so St Angela could say to her new Company:

"Keep to the ancient way and custom of the Church, established and confirmed by so many Saints under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And live a new life. As for the other opinions that are arising now, and will arise, leave them aside...but pray, and get others to pray, that God not abandon his Church, but reform it as he pleases." (Seventh Counsel)

St Angela's new life, yet ancient way, was akin to  the life of the consecrated virgins of the early Church. These women consecrated the entirety of their lives to Christ, but remained in their families, workplaces, evangelising from within the world by the witness of their lives, being as it were like yeast, salt of the earth, light of the world.