Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lessons from the Saints

"Whatever you would wish at your dying hour to have done in health, that do now while you may."
~ St. Angela Merici (1474-1540)

I looked at the church calendar for today. One of the many saints whose memorial is today, January 27, is Angela Merici. I was surprised to read that she actually died on January 24, which is my birthday. Also, she is one of the "the incorruptibles," the term applied to those saints of the Catholic Church whose physical bodies remain intact after death.

(Aside: I wonder how atheists would explain the incorruptibles?)

Many years ago I read The Incorruptibles, the fascinating book by Joan Carroll Cruz (no relation). As it was a Christmas gift from one of my children, and one I had requested, I still have my copy. So I looked up Angela Merici's story to refresh my memory. There is a photo in the book of her body on display in a beautiful glass case in Casa S. Angela in Brescia, Italy.

St. Angela founded the Ursulines, the first teaching order of nuns in the Church. As usual, saints are busy people. She took her own advice to "do it now." I read somewhere that "saints are just sinners who keep on trying." As usual, again, there's a lesson there.