Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Our catechesis today recalls the medieval mystic Blessed Angela of Foligno, born in 1248. A carefree wife and mother, Angela at one time looked down on the mendicants and observers of strict poverty in religious life. However, tragic events and suffering in her personal life gave her cause to become aware of her own sins, leading her to a decisive moment of conversion in the year 1285. Invoking the aid of Saint Francis, who appeared to her in a vision, she made her confession at San Feliciano. Upon the death of her mother, husband and children, she sold all she had and joined the Third Order of Saint Francis. She died in 1309.
The Book of Blessed Angela of Foligno recounts her conversion, and indicates for us the necessary means of our own turning to the Lord: penance, humility and tribulations. This same book describes the numerous mystical experiences of Blessed Angela, ecstasies which she had great difficulty putting into words because of the intensity of her spiritual union with God. Her fear of sin and punishment was overcome by her growth in love for God, drawing her along the “way of the Cross” to “the way of love”. My dear brothers and sisters, may we share her prayer to the Father: “My God, make me worthy to know the most high Mystery, which is your strong and ineffable love… the greatest love possible!”.