The Writings of St Angela Merici are as fresh and motivating today as when Angela formed her new and visionary Company in 1535. There are probably two reasons for this. Firstly, Angela had a deep understanding of human nature, perhaps flowing from her perceptive observation of life and reflection on what she saw. Secondly, this perception was matched by her profound knowledge of the ways of God, no doubt a gift of her open stance before him.
The Writings, of which there are three, were dictated by Angela to her secretary Gabriel Cozzano so they have characteristics of the spoken word, repetitions for emphasis and lists in order of importance, usually ending with an, ‘Above all!’. There is a directness and charm about the Rule, the most significant of the documents, as it outlines this new way for consecrated women to live in the world.
The Counsels are a handbook for formation and were addressed to the small group of the virgins who were the leaders, guiding the young followers of Angela into this ‘new and astonishing’ way.
As Angela had an eye for the practical welfare and protection of the virgins, the Testament or Legacies are addressed to a group of wealthy widows who could represent and see to the needs of the virgins.
Each of these documents continue to inspire and motivate us today as their timeless wisdom shines through.
A PDF version of these documents is available to download by clicking on each heading.
Counsels"May the strength and true consolation of the Holy Spirit be in you all, so that you can sustain and carry out vigorously and faithfully the charge laid upon you." #11
Rule"Be determined with all your power to remain faithful in so far as God has called you, and see and desire all the necessary ways and means to persevere and prosper right to the end." #9
Testament"Willingly strive to lead your daughters with love and with a mild and kindly hand, and not imperiously, not harshly, but in everything, willingly be gentle." 3rd Legacy #1-3
St Angela Merici Icon
St Angela Statue, St Ursula's College Kingsgove
Artist: E. Piccolruaz 2017