Saint Angela Merici

The spirit that permeates our school is expressed in our Mission Statement. It is the spirit born of the vision of St. Angela Merici in the early 16th century and is alive today in all those who come under her influence through Ursuline education.

Angela was born 21 March 1474 at Desenzano, Lake Garda, Italy. She became a Franciscan tertiary at age 15. She received a vision telling her she would inspire devout women in their vocation.

In Crete, during a pilgrimage to Holy Land, she was struck blind. Her friends wanted to return home, but she insisted on going on, visiting the shrines with as much devotion and enthusiasm as if she had her sight. On the way home, while praying before a crucifix, her sight was restored at the same place where it had been lost.

In 1535 she gathered a group of girl students and began what would become the Institute of Saint Ursula (the Ursuline Sisters), founded to teach children, beginning with religion and later expanding into secular topics; her first schools were in Desenzano and Brescia.

Angela died 24 January 1540 at Brescia, Italy and her body lies there buried in the Church of Saint Afra. She was beatified in 1768, by Pope Clement XIII, and canonized in 1807, by Pope Pius VII.