Bl. Mary of the Angels
Virgin of our Order
Feast Day: 16 December

2011 marks the 350th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Mary.
Special celebrations have been taking place in Turin, Italy, throughout this year!

Who was Mary of the Angels?

Quotes of Blessed Mary of the Angels

Blessed Mary's message for the 21st Century

Prayer for the intercession of Blessed Mary

Further Reading

Who was Mary of the Angels?
A brief biography

Mary Fontanella was born in Turin, Italy, on 7th January 1661. She was the youngest of eleven children and at the early age of 12 she joined the Cistercians at Saluzza. However, her father died soon after and she had to return home to help her family. Four years later, in 1675, she entered the Carmel of St. Christina in Turin despite the strong opposition of her mother. Mary was clothed in the Carmelite habit on 19th November 1675 and the following year, on December 26th she made her religious profession.

Mary is said to have obtained from the Lord the end of the war and the liberation of Turin in 1696. Ascribing that grace to the intercession of St. Joseph, she had the joy of having him proclaimed a patron of the city, with a solemn triduum at St. Christina's. A few years later she turned to the Bl. Virgin to obtain again the liberation of Turin from the imminent danger of siege and invasion on the part of the French troops. On Sept. 7, 1706, the united forces of Duke Victor Amadeus and Prince Eugene of Savoy gained a decisive victory, as the blessed had foretold. To celebrate this victory, the famous votive temple at Superga was built.

Long years of indescribable sufferings, and spiritual trials borne with heroic serenity, refined her spirit even to mystical transformation in God. The renown of her holiness imposed itself on the esteem and confidence of her sisters in Carmel and her fellow-citizens. She obtained papal dispensation to be elected prioress at the age of thirty-three, and was confirmed in the same office three more times. She was also entrusted with the office of mistress of novices; and in 1702 she founded a new Carmel at Moncalieri. This is where she eventually died on 16 December 1717 at the age of 56. She left behind many letters and spiritual autobiographical accounts. She is buried in the church of St. Teresa in Turin, underneath a magnificent altar. She was beatified by Pope Pius IX in 1865 and St. John Bosco was responsible for writing her biography on the occasion of her beatification.

Quotes of Blessed Mary of the Angels

May Jesus burn more and more in our hearts so that we can enkindle the whole world with His love.

I come from Love.
I go to Love.
I do everything for Love.

Blessed Mary's message for the 21st Century

Despite the fact that little detail is known about her life, Mary of the Angels can be a great model for those who wish to live a faithful Christian life today. She embraced the Carmelite life with full dedication and lived as a true daughter of St. Teresa of Jesus, zealously upholding the full observance of the rule and the counsels. She was also distinguished by an unsullied purity — such as to be compared with St. Aloysius Gonzaga, to whom she was related on her mother's side. Purity is listed as one of the Eight Beatitudes, the characteristics of those who follow the ways of the Gospel:
"Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God"
(Matthew 5). 

Mary's prayer life was a model for us all. She had a very tender devotion to the Bl. Virgin
and to St. Joseph and continually offered prayers and suffrages for the souls in purgatory. 
She also revealed her charity for her neighbor and for her country by her continual prayer for all, by
her life of self-sacrifice in Carmel, and by her delicacy and care in receiving and consoling everyone.
Members of the royalty were even among her admirers and confidants.
May Blessed Mary of the Angels help us to live our Christian lives more fully and deeply.

Prayer for the Intercession of
Blessed Mary of the Angels
you have told us that you live for ever
in the hearts of the chaste.
By the prayers of the virgin
Blessed Mary of the Angels
help us to live by your grace
and to become temples of your Spirit.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Further Reading

Announcement of celebrations for the 350th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Mary:

Website of the Carmel of Moncalieri:


The text on this page has been taken from the "Calendar of Carmelite Saints"
published by the Carmelite Friars, Singapore and the publication

Made with NVU© 2011 Carmelite Sisters, Kilmacud

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