Pope Benedict says the penitential path of Blessed Angela of Foligno, Italy, offers modern men and women a lesson on discovering the presence of God in their lives.

The little-known woman experienced a conversion in the late 13th century. She used to look down on those who observed strict poverty in religious life, but she experienced a series of tragic events and suffering that changed her way of thinking.

After the deaths of her mother, her husband and her children, she sold all she had and joined the Third Order of St. Francis. Her conversion began with a good confession and was aided by penance, humility and tribulations, as well as a fear of eternal punishment.