Angela Merici

1474-1540. Foundress of the Order of Ursulines.* A tertiary* of St. Francis, she began religious schools for girls in her native Desenzano and at Brescia. In 1524 she was a pilgrim to the Holy Land, becoming blind at Crete but cured there on her return. In 1525 Clement VII unsuccessfully invited her to establish her work in Rome. In 1535 she founded the Order of Ursulines at Brescia, having had a vision of such in 1506, and she was superior until her death. The order existed to combat immorality and to train wives and mothers in the faith. With no formal vows, the sisters lived outside to exercise their apostolate widely. Angela wrote a Testament, Counsels, and the order's Rule. She was canonized in 1807.