Pope Francis has recognized the sainthood of Medieval mystic Blessed Angela da Foligno and “enrolled her” on the Church’s official “catalogue of saints”.
At St Peter's Square, in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus addressed the audience on her life. There is a chapter about her in his book "Holy Men and Women from the Middle Ages and Beyond". He wrote that she was released from all emotional attachments when her husband and all of her children died. This was a time of great violence and illness in many parts of Europe. She then entered the Franciscans as a Tertiary Hermit and remained committed until her death.
She had difficulty expressing her mystical experiences. When trying to explain her mystical union she told, "My son, if you were to see my heart, you would absolutely be obliged to do everything God wants, my heart is the heart of God and God's heart is mine". At first she believed that she could love God with a human heart however, this, she found, was fruitless in many ways. She explained "No particle of worldly love can be mingled with God's love". When she talks about the abyss of God's love I am reminded of another great saint, Catherine of Siena
Her primary work is "The book of divine consolation of the Blessed Angela of Foligno".
In it we are told of her conversion and later mystical union. The introduction alone explains much and is worth a perusal.
"Saint Angela's authority as a spiritual teacher may be gathered from the fact that Bollandus, among other testimonials, quotes Maximilian van der Sandt, of the Society of Jesus, as calling her the "'Mistress of Theologians', whose whole doctrine has been drawn out of the Book of Life, Jesus Christ, Our Lord". (a brief wiki explanation)
Pope Benedict's full writing can be found here. This is an incredible meditation.
Pope Francis just today: The Role of Women in the Church
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