Bl Angeline of
Blessed Angeline founded the first community of Franciscan women other
than Poor Clares to receive papal approval.
Angeline was born to the Duke of Marsciano (near
Orvieto). She was 12 when her mother died. Three years later the young woman made a vow of perpetual
chastity. That same year, however, she yielded to her father´s decision that she marry the Duke of
Civitella. Her husband agreed to respect her previous vow.
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.
Other Saints of the day: