With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.
Source: Jerusalem Bible
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The signs of the kingdom of God
547 Jesus accompanies his words with many “mighty works and wonders and signs”, which manifest that the kingdom is present in him and attest that he was the promised Messiah.
548 The signs worked by Jesus attest that the Father has sent him. They invite belief in him. To those who turn to him in faith, he grants what they ask. So miracles strengthen faith in the One who does his Father’s works; they bear witness that he is the Son of God. But his miracles can also be occasions for “offence”; they are not intended to satisfy people’s curiosity or desire for magic Despite his evident miracles some people reject Jesus; he is even accused of acting by the power of demons.
549 By freeing some individuals from the earthly evils of hunger, injustice, illness and death, Jesus performed messianic signs. Nevertheless he did not come to abolish all evils here below, but to free men from the gravest slavery, sin, which thwarts them in their vocation as God’s sons and causes all forms of human bondage.
550 The coming of God’s kingdom means the defeat of Satan’s: “If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Jesus’ exorcisms free some individuals from the domination of demons. They anticipate Jesus’ great victory over “the ruler of this world”. The kingdom of God will be definitively established through Christ’s cross: “God reigned from the wood.”
A psalm of Asaph. 1 The LORD, the God of gods, has spoken and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
From Zion God shines forth. perfect in beauty.
Our God comes and will not be silent! Devouring fire precedes, storming fiercely round about.
God summons the heavens above and the earth to the judgment of his people:
“Gather my faithful ones before me, those who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
The heavens proclaim divine justice, for God alone is the judge. Selah
“Listen, my people, I will speak; Israel, I will testify against you; God, your God, am I.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, nor for your holocausts, set before me daily.
I need no bullock from your house, no goats from your fold.
For every animal of the forest is mine, beasts by the thousands on my mountains.
I know every bird of the heavens; the creatures of the field belong to me.
Were I hungry, I would not tell you, for mine is the world and all that fills it.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
Offer praise as your sacrifice to God; fulfill your vows to the Most High.
Then call on me in time of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall honor me.”
But to the wicked God says: “Why do you recite my commandments and profess my covenant with your lips?
You hate discipline; you cast my words behind you!
When you see thieves, you befriend them; with adulterers you throw in your lot.
You give your mouth free rein for evil; you harness your tongue to deceit.
You sit maligning your own kin, slandering the child of your own mother.
When you do these things should I be silent? Or do you think that I am like you? I accuse you, I lay the charge before you.
“Understand this, you who forget God, lest I attack you with no one to rescue.
Those who offer praise as a sacrifice honor me; to the obedient I will show the salvation of God.”
Angela Merici, or Angela de Merici (Italian: [ˈandʒela (de) meˈriːtʃi]; 21 March 1474 – 27 January 1540), was an Italian religious educator, who is honoured as a saint by the Catholic Church. She founded the Company of St. Ursula in 1535 in Brescia, in which women dedicated their lives to the service of the Church through the education of girls. From this organization later sprang the monastic Order of Ursulines, whose nuns established places of prayer and learning throughout Europe and, later, worldwide, most notably in North America.
Birth to Death
Merici was born in 1474 at Desenzano del Garda, a small town on the southwestern shore of Lake Garda in Lombardy. She and her older sister, Giana Maria, were left orphans when she was fifteen years old. They went to live with their uncle in the town of Salò. Young Angela was very distressed when her sister suddenly died without receiving the Last Rites of the Church and prayed that her sister’s soul rest in peace. It is said that in a vision she received a response that her sister was in heaven in the company of the saints. She joined the Third Order of St. Francis around that time. People began to notice Angela’s beauty and particularly to admire her hair. As she had promised herself to God, and wanted to avoid the worldly attention, she dyed her hair in soot.
Merici’s uncle died when she was twenty years old and she returned to her home in Desenzano, and lived with her brothers, on her own property, given to her in lieu of the dowry that would otherwise have been hers had she married. She later had another vision that revealed to her that she was to found an association of virgins who were to devote their lives to the religious training of young girls. This association was a success and she was invited to start another school in the neighboring city, Brescia.
According to legend, in 1524, while traveling to the Holy Land, Merici became suddenly blind when she was on the island of Crete. Despite this, she continued her journey to the Holy Land and was ostensibly cured of her blindness on her return, while praying before a crucifix, at the same place where she was struck with blindness a few weeks before. In 1525 she journeyed to Rome in order to gain the indulgences of the Jubilee Year then being celebrated. Pope Clement VII, who had heard of her virtue and success with her school, invited her to remain in Rome. Merici disliked notoriety, however, and soon returned to Brescia.
On 25 November 1535, Merici gathered with 12 young women who had joined in her work in a small house in Brescia near the Church of St Afra, where together they committed themselves in the founding of the Company of St Ursula, placed under the protection of the patroness of medieval universities. Her goal was to elevate family life through the Christian education of future wives and mothers. Four years later the group had grown to 28. Merici taught her companions to be consecrated to God and dedicated to the service of their neighbor, but to remain in the world, teaching the girls of their own neighborhood, and to practice a religious form of life in their own homes. The members wore no special habit and took no formal religious vows. Merici wrote a Rule of Life for the group, which specified the practice of celibacy, poverty and obedience in their own homes. The Ursulines opened orphanages and schools. On 18 March 1537, she was elected “Mother and Mistress” of the group. The Rule she had written was approved in 1544 by Pope Paul III.
When Merici died in Brescia on 27 January 1540, there were 24 communities of the Company of St. Ursula serving the Church through the region. Her body was clothed in the habit of a Franciscan tertiary and was interred in the Church of St. Afra.
The traditional view is that Merici believed that better Christian education was needed for girls and young women, to which end she dedicated her life. Querciolo Mazzonis argues that the Company of St. Ursula was not originally intended as a charitable group specifically focused on the education of poor girls, but that this direction developed after her death in 1540, sometime after it received formal recognition in 1546.
During her life, Merici had often prayed at the tombs of the Brescian martyrs at the Church of St. Afra in Brescia. She lived in small rooms attached to a priory of the Canons Regular of the Lateran. According to her wishes, after her death, she was interred in the Church of St Afra to be near the martyrs’ remains. There her body remained until the complete destruction of this church and its surrounding area by Allied bombing during the Second World War, on 2 March 1945, in which the parish priest and many townspeople died. The church and corresponding buildings were afterwards rebuilt, and reopened on 10 April 1954. The church was consecrated on January 27, 1956, with a new dedication to St. Angela Merici, while the Parish of St. Afra was transferred to the neighboring Church of St. Eufemia.
Merici was beatified in Rome on 30 April 1768, by Pope Clement XIII. She was later canonized on 24 May 1807 by Pope Pius VII.
Merici was not included in the 1570 Tridentine Calendar of Pope Pius V, because she was not canonized until 1807. In 1861 her feast day was included in the Roman Calendar – not on the day of her death, 27 January, since this date was occupied by the feast day of St. John Chrysostom, but instead on 31 May. In 1955 Pope Pius XII assigned this date to the new feast of the Queenship of Mary, and moved Merici’s feast to 1 June. The celebration was ranked as a Double until 1960, when Pope John XXIII gave it the equivalent rank of Third-Class Feast.
Lastly, in the major 1969 reform of the liturgy, Pope Paul VI moved the celebration, ranked as a Memorial, to the saint’s day of death, 27 January.
Parishes are dedicated to St. Angela Merici in Brea, California; Metairie, Louisiana; Fairview Park, Ohio and Youngstown, Ohio.
There is a St. Angela Merici Parish and School in Florissant, Missouri, and the Bronx, New York;as well as Houston, Texas.