January 27, 2011
Feast of Saint Angela Merici
During this final week of January, the Church invites us to honor two teachers-saints. Today, it is Saint Angela Merici; tomorrow, we will honor Saint Thomas Aquinas.
As a young woman living in the 15th century Italy, Angela opened a school for young women in Brescia, in the Lombard Province.
Later, after training 25 young women as teachers, Angela founded a teaching order of Religious, known today as the “Ursuline Sisters.”
The Gospel text read at Mass this morning (Mark 9: 34-37) was a passage quite familiar to Saint Angela and one which describes her apostolic work with young people:
Jesus sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around him, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name,
receives me; and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”
These words of Christ help us to understand and to appreciate the importance of teachers and their dedication to the truth and their generosity in dedicating their lives to young people.
May this feast of Saint Angela Merici offer us the opportunity o pray for and to express gratitude to all of our teachers, past and present.
May their witness to the Truth, in and outside the classroom, continue to inspire us to follow their example and to live according to what we have heard and seen.