The Saint of the Day
Blessed Angelina – July 14
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
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Angelina was born in 1377 in Montegiove, near Orvieto, Italy, descending from the Counts of Marsciano on her father's side and the Counts of Corbara on her mother's.
At age 12 she consecrated her virginity to God, but three years later her father arranged a marriage for her with the Count of Civitella del Tronto in the Abruzzo region in the Kingdom of Naples.
The girl implored her father to let her consecrate herself to God, but her pleas were made in vain. He even threatened his daughter with death if she would not consent to marry in eight days.
The Castle of Montegiove where Angelina grew up
Afflicted in spirit, Angelina had recourse to Our Lord, Who told her to observe the will of her father. Following this counsel, she agreed to marry the Count. The ceremony was performed with great pomp and the traditional feasting.
On the wedding night, the young lady fled to her room, filled with anguish, and knelt at the feet of a crucifix asking Our Lord to protect her. When the Count arrived, he asked the reason for her tears and she told him about her vow. Hearing this, he was touched by grace and desired to follow her example.
Therefore, he knelt beside his young spouse and promised to respect her vow and to live chastely with her as a sister. Both thanked God for the great grace they had received. Two years later, the Count died leaving Angelina free to manage her life.
Angelina begs Our Lord to keep her virginity
Angelina entered the Third Order of St. Francis and dedicated herself to works of charity and the conversion of sinners. The many miracles she worked made her famous, which caused her to move to Civitella. When many other young ladies from great families entered Angelina's convent, the nobles of the city became displeased and complained to the King that she was opposing the married vocation. In response to these complaints, the King expelled her from his Kingdom.
She and her companions went to Assisi and then Foligno, where her community of Third Order sisters received papal approval in 1397. She had soon established 15 similar communities of women who followed the Franciscan Rule in other Italian cities. She died on July 14, 1435, as a mother of a great religious family, and was beatified in 1825.
Comments of Prof. Plinio:
This is a very beautiful biography that presents us with the great trials through which Blessed Angelina passed and the great confidence in Divine Providence she showed.
She had made the vow of virginity. Her father determined that she should marry and threatened her with death if she did not obey his command. It is the eternal position of the liberal: When a person makes the vow of virginity, he will even threaten to kill him to prevent him from fulfilling it.
On the contrary, if the person were to choose to be bad and commit a sin, he would grant him full liberty to do so, alleging that every person is free to choose what he wants. Probably, if Angelina’s father would have had a licentious daughter, he would have closed his eyes to her wayward behavior; but since she was not, he became a veritable tyrant.
Someone could object: You are talking about liberalism, but at that time in the Middle Ages liberalism did not exist.
Her confidence won the achievement of her vocation
I respond: Liberalism did not exist as a clearly explained doctrine, but liberalism as an impulse, as a habitual state of contradiction and a constant hatred of those who are truly good has always existed since original sin. Hence, here we can properly speak of liberalism.
She turned to God to ask Him what to do; God revealed to her that she should marry. She was obedient, but conserved at the depth of her soul the hope that she would not be asked to lose her beloved virginity. Then, after a day of feasting – a tragic day for the poor young lady – she knelt before the Crucifix and asked Our Lord to come to her aid so that she might remain a virgin in the new state He had ordered her to enter.
Her spouse entered the room and found her weeping near the Crucifix. He asked the reason. She told him, and he made the decision to live with her as a brother. What a beautiful transformation! It is a true moral miracle!
This change in attitude of her spouse occurred to reward her confidence, because until the last minute she had continued to hope against all hope. Nothing indicated that she would escape the inevitable, but at the last moment there was a miracle and an escape appeared.
Two years later, the young man died and she was free. She had not lost her virginity and was in conditions to consecrate herself fully to her vocation.
She founded a convent that bloomed and attracted many young women. Again, we witness the bad attitude of the parents: They did not want their daughters to follow Angelina and called for her expulsion from the Kingdom of Naples.
Blessed the time when a Saint could found a convent without persecution and become its superior, attracting young noble women who could have a much more agreeable and easy life living in the world! Blessed the time when there was such receptivity for the vocations God gives!
She was expelled from the Kingdom of Naples, but she founded other convents wherever she went. Her work was completed: She had founded a religious congregation. From one failure to another, from trial after trial, she accomplished her whole mission. Many persons became furious with her, but they could not prevent her from fulfilling her vocation. Why?
Because Our Lady had her hand on St. Angelina and, as the hymn of the Marian Congregations records: “The swords of a thousand soldiers are not feared, By one who fights in the shadow of the Immaculate.” Our Lady resolved everything, she conquered everything.
We await the all powerful hand of Our Lord to strike and work His restoration
This life gives us a lesson for our apostolate. We must understand that at times we will face unexpected obstacles in the way of the higher, the more difficult, the nobler things that we desire to do, and that this is because Our Lady wants to resolve the case by herself. All human efforts are ineffective in face of the obstacles. But it does not matter. A moment will come when Our Lady intervenes and what was inspired by grace will be accomplished.
We must have confidence in the interior voice in our souls, in what God Our Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady, tells us in the interior of our soul because it will be accomplished.
The Book of Confidence starts with these words: “O Voice of Christ, mysterious voice of grace that resounds in the silence of our souls, Thou murmurs in the depths of our hearts words of sweetness and peace.” How many times indeed do we feel in our souls movements of grace filled with sweetness and peace, which lead us to ask things that seem to be impossible to obtain! But, as we continue to hope against all hope in that sweetness and peace, as we continue to pray and act, those promises end by being accomplished.
What is the great hope at the present moment? More than ever, we should hope that in the present tragic siege of the enemies against Our Lady and the Catholic Church, Our Lady will intercede with God to prompt Him to start to act and work His great restoration. We must hope that she wakes up Our Lord, Who seems to be sleeping in the Bark of Peter so that He will start to move and work His wonders. We see the Catholic Cause suffering so many persecutions everywhere, beset by so many trials… But when God will start to move, we will understand what the powerful arm of God is.
The Saint of the Day features highlights from the lives of saints based on comments made by the late Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Following the example of St. John Bosco who used to make similar talks for the boys of his College, each evening it was Prof. Plinio’s custom to make a short commentary on the lives of the next day’s saint in a meeting for youth in order to encourage them in the practice of virtue and love for the Catholic Church. TIA thought that its readers could profit from these valuable commentaries.
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira|
The texts of both the biographical data and the comments come from personal notes taken by Atila S. Guimarães from 1964 to 1995. Given the fact that the source is a personal notebook, it is possible that at times the biographic notes transcribed here will not rigorously follow the original text read by Prof. Plinio. The commentaries have also been adapted and translated for TIA’s site.
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