St. Angela Merici
Ursulines throughout the world trace their roots to St. Angela Merici. In 1535, Angela Merici, a spiritual leader in Brescia, Italy founded the Company of St. Ursula. Angela gathered a circle of twelve women who shared her vocation and dedication to helping the poor, visiting the sick and instructing young women in family values. An independent thinker, Angela created an alternative future for young women for whom a patriarchal society offered only marriage or monastic life.
Later, St. Angela’s foundation became the first teaching order of Sisters in the Church. Angela Merici died on January 27, 1540 and was canonized St. Angela in 1807.