Luigia Torelli, Countess of Guastalla (b. about 1500; d. 29 Oct., 1559 or 1569), widowed for the second time when she was twenty-five, resolved to devote her life to the service of God. The Principality of Guastalla, which she had inherited from her father, was laid claim to by another branch of the family, and the affair carried before Pope Clement VIII and Emperor Charles V, whereupon she settled the matter by disposing of her estates to Fernando Gonzaga, thereby also increasing her resources for the religious foundations she had in mind. In 1536 she entered the Angelicals, a congregation which she had founded and richly endowed, taking the name in religion of Paola Maria; and later she established or assisted in the establishment of several other religious houses in various parts of Italy. With other Angelicals she accompanied the Barnabites on their missions, working among women, and converting numbers from lives of sin. When Paul III imposed the cloister on the Angelicals, whom their foundress had destined for works of active charity, particularly the care of the sick and orphans, she instituted another community, also at Milan, for whom she built a house between the Roman and the Tosa gate, known as the college of Guastalla. Like the Angelicals, they were under the direction of the Barnabites. The members, known as Daughters of Mary, dedicated themselves to the care of orphans of noble family, eighteen being provided for in the endowment. The orphans, appointed by prominent Milanese, who eventually became administrators of the institute, may remain for twelve years, after which they are free either to return to the world, or remain as religious, receiving in the former event a dowry of 2000 lire ($400). After the death of the foundress, Pope Urban VIII, at the instance of St. Charles Borromeo , enclosed the community. The sisters live as religious, attend choir, have their meals in common, observe definite hours for prayer, silence, and work, but take no solemn vows. Their garb is black, fashioned according to a more secular style than was that of the Angelicals and their veil is folded in a peculiar coronet form; each also wears a gold ring engraved with a hand holding a cross. Their charges dress in blue and are also popularly known as Guastallines.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online