Angela Merici lived in Renaissance Italy, a turbulent time of civil wars and widespread corruption in social, political and religious institutions. The role of women was subordinate; their choice was either marriage or the cloister, controlled by “a husband or a wall.” Angela sought neither. She envisioned a new, independent expression of religious commitment for women. Her Company of Saint Ursula granted women the freedom to live consecrated lives while living in the world, bound only by the love of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Essay and prayer by Dorothy Janusko Valerian