« Angela of Brescia Angelicals Angelis, Girolamo »

Angelicals

ANGELICALS: A sisterhood founded about 1530 by Ludovica di Torelli, Countess of Guastalla (then, at the age of twenty-five, for the second time a widow), to care for sick and reformed women. The members were to lead lives of angelic purity (whence the name) and self-denial, indicated by coarse clothing, a wooden cross on the breast, and a cord about the neck. The foundress placed them under the supervision of Antonia Maria Zaccaria, founder and director of the Barnabites; and herself labored, under the monastic name of Paola Maria, as manager of the main convent of her society near Milan till her death (Oct. 29, 1569). The order was first confirmed by Paul III. (1534) with the rule of St. Augustine, with the provision that the Angelicals were to assist the Barnabites in their missionary work among women. The obligation to live in seclusion was adopted in 1557. Archbishop Borromeo of Milan subjected the statutes of the order to a stricter revision, which was confirmed by Urban VIII. (1625). The order never spread outside of Lombardy (especially Milan and Cremona) and was dissolved at the beginning of the nineteenth century. A branch, however, still exists, the Society of the Guastallinæ founded by the same Countess Torelli, devoted to the education of girls of noble birth (the number being limited to 18); they occupy a building outside the Porta Romana at Milan, and are under the supervision of the Barnabites.

O. Zöckler†.

Bibliography: C. G. Rosignoli, Vita e virtù della contessa di Guastalla L. Torella, Milan, 1686; Helyot, Ordres monastiques, iv. 116-223; Heimbucher, Orden und Kongregationen, i. 519-520.

« Angela of Brescia Angelicals Angelis, Girolamo »
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