When he died two years later, Angeline joined the Secular Franciscans and with several other women dedicated herself to caring for the sick, the poor, widows and orphans. When many other young women were attracted to Angeline's community, some people accused her of condemning the married vocation. Legend has it that when she came before the King of Naples to answer these charges, she had burning coals hidden in the folds of her cloak. When she proclaimed her innocence and showed the king that these coals had not harmed her, he dropped the case. Angeline and her companions later went to Foligno, where her community of Third Order sisters received papal approval in 1397. She soon established 15 similar communities of women in other Italian cities. Angeline died on July 14, 1435, and was beatified in 1825.
When he died two years later, Angeline joined the Secular Franciscans and with several other women dedicated herself to caring for the sick, the poor, widows and orphans. When many other young women were attracted to Angeline's community, some people accused her of condemning the married vocation. Legend has it that when she came before the King of Naples to answer these charges, she had burning coals hidden in the folds of her cloak. When she proclaimed her innocence and showed the king that these coals had not harmed her, he dropped the case.
Angeline and her companions later went to Foligno, where her community of Third Order sisters received papal approval in 1397. She soon established 15 similar communities of women in other Italian cities.
Angeline died on July 14, 1435, and was beatified in 1825.
Priests, sisters and brothers cannot be signs of God's love for the human family if they belittle the vocation of marriage. Angeline respected marriage but felt called to another way of living out the gospel. Her choice was life-giving in its own way.
Pope Paul VI wrote in 1971: "Without in any way undervaluing human love and marriage— is not the latter, according to faith, the image and sharing of the union of love joining Christ and the Church?— consecrated chastity evokes this union in a more immediate way and brings that surpassing excellence to which all human love should tend" (Apostolic Exhortation on the Renewal of Religious Life, #13).
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other.
Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I can afford to be honest about how I am. How has the last day been, and how do I feel now? I share my feelings openly with the Lord.
The Word of God
Reading 1 acts 20:28-38
At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:
"Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.
I have never wanted anyone's silver or gold or clothing.
You know well that these very hands
have served my needs and my companions.
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort
we must help the weak,
and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,
'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly
as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said
that they would never see his face again.
Then they escorted him to the ship.
R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
Show forth, O God, your power,
the power, O God, with which you took our part;
For your temple in Jerusalem
let the kings bring you gifts.
R. Sing to God, O Kingdoms of the earth.
You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God,
chant praise to the Lord
who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens.
Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power:
"Confess the power of God!"
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
Over Israel is his majesty;
his power is in the skies.
Awesome in his sanctuary is God, the God of Israel;
he gives power and strength to his people.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
Gospel jn 17:11b-19
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:
"Holy Father, keep them in your name
that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth."
How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way? I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me, I turn and share my feelings with him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Meditation: John 17:11-19
7th Week of Easter
I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth. (John 17:19)
Did you hear that? Take a moment right now to set aside all your other thoughts and concerns, and focus on this amazing truth. Jesus has consecrated himself for us! He, the holy, pure, righteous Son of God, has chosen to devote his entire life to you. Who could imagine such incredible love?
We think about consecration in terms of being set apart—separated from common use and reserved for a sacred purpose. We think of a church as a consecrated building or a chalice as a consecrated cup. Or we think about a person who is dedicated solely to the service and worship of God—a priest or a religious brother or sister. We may occasionally think of ourselves as consecrated, too, as we try to separate ourselves from the world and serve God. In other words, we think of people or things that aren't God being dedicated to God.
But in today's Gospel, Jesus turns the tables. He makes it clear that he considers each one of us to be completely worth his devotion and dedication. He willingly sets himself apart for us!
Benjamin Franklin, the noted American thinker, once said, "God helps those who help themselves." While the sentiment may be inspiring, this passage paints a different picture. Jesus didn't wait for us to begin "helping ourselves" before he consecrated himself to us. Just as he loved us before we loved him, so too did he consecrate himself to us before we consecrated ourselves to anything.
Of course, Jesus wants us to consecrate ourselves to him. But he wants us to do it out of love and gratitude, not because we are afraid of his retribution or rejection. Jesus already belongs to us. Now he wants us to belong to him.
Today, take a good long look at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself, "I am highly valued. Jesus Christ, the Lord of all creation, considered me worth dying for. He treasures me so deeply that he is now consecrated to me for all eternity. He will never abandon me. He will never leave me. He will never forget me."
"Jesus, I am humbled by your commitment to me. Come, Lord, and fill my heart. Help me to consecrate my life to you."
Acts 20:28-38; Psalm 68:29-30, 33-36