St. Ursula was one of the favorite heroes in the early days of Christianity. She is part of the saintly legends, favored by the simple and uneducated peasants of the early period time when few could read, and stories were told and retold. When we examine the history or lack thereof of Ursula, we ask ourselves, what did St. Angela Merici- Foundress of the Ursulines know about Ursula and why did she choose 1200 years later to name the company of St. Ursula after her? Perhaps the answer lies in the respect for consecrated life and standing up for one’s faith in times of pressure and defiance of social norms. The legend of Ursula as a strong woman standing her ground against marrying a barbarian is one to which St. Angela could relate. She stood up for her faith and dedicated herself to consecrated life. Her companions followed St. Angela’s lead and did the same.
God of all goodness and light, you have given us many models of your gracious-kindness and love and we thank you. May Ursula, patroness of the Company of St. Ursula, bless us with zest for life, courage to face challenges, and trust in God’s providence. Amen