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Ursuline pedagogy
The Pedagogical intuition of Saint Angela Merici
Angioletta Servidati

Configured to Christ, interiorly open, Saint Angela welcomed and lived grace with the simplicity and depth of the saints and, becoming a “Teacher of Life”, gave to past and present Ursulines an educational model marked by a wise and balanced “humanity”.

With amazing foresight, she synchronized spirit and matter, gentleness and strength, dependence and responsibility, understanding and trust, obedience and openness to the signs of the times. She harmonized asceticism and mysticism with the industriousness proper to her apostolic educational mission. The Madre understood that the most serious poverty of the young women of her time was the lack of instruction and education; therefore she trained her spiritual daughters to be mother-educators according to the example of Jesus the Teacher. So she asked them to be “true and virginal spouses of the Son of God”, cultivating their “espousal” in deep communion with Christ, their “only treasure”.
Each Ursuline educator has the gift to be a “mother” and is asked to live up to it. So she must teach by drawing forth, allowing the values already in the hearts of those entrusted to her to emerge, not forcing them, but offering herself with humility, pleasantness and impartiality, aware that she receive more than she gives. “Love your little daughters equally, because all of them are God’s creatures and you do not know what He wants to do with them”.
The educator, Saint Angela’s daughter, is called by her particular charism to draw forth the mystery of the hearts of her pupils, respecting the freedom of each of them, patiently surrounding them with esteem, affection, respect. Invoking the only true Teacher gives her support, strength, and reward, with the awareness that only He is the source from which flows that mysterious stream which is the educational task. God’s presence is the heart of the unity that each Ursuline is called to form again every day, though in diverse methodologies, in order to bear witness to the truth of what Saint Angela writes in her splendid Last Counsel: “My last word to you, by which I implore you even with my blood, is that you live in harmony, united together, all of one heart and one will. Be bound to one another by the bond of charity, esteeming each other, helping each other, bearing with each other in Jesus Christ.... See then how important is this union and concord. So, long for it, pursue it, embrace it, hold on to it with all your strength”.

13 aprile 2013   0