Bl. Archangela Girlani was born Elanor Girliani in 1460 at Trino, on Monte Ferrato in northern Italy to a noble family. Having her early education with the Benedictines, she had intended to become a Benedictine nun but on her way to the convent, her horse refused to take her there.
She interpreted this as a sign and along with her two sisters, Maria and Frances (Scholastica), she took the Carmelite habit in the monastery of Parma in 1477 at the age of 17 where she took the name Archangela. She eventually became prioress of the monastery at Parma, and then prioress at the new foundation at Mantua from 1492 until her death. She was reported to have the gifts of ecstasies, levitation and miracles. She was often seen rapt in ecstasy while meditating on the mysteries of the faith.
It is written in an old manuscript that Blessed Archangela lived her religious life so intensely that, just as the monastery was entitled “Saint Mary in Paradise”, she and the other nuns, even though still here on earth, lived as if already absorbed into heaven.
She became fatally ill in her third year as prioress of Mantua. Strengthened with the Sacraments and with her eyes fixed on an image of the Crucified Christ, she repeated her frequently uttered words; “Jesus, my Love’ and peacefully gave up her soul on January 25, 1495. The religious honors which had been publicly rendered to her were examined by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, and approved by Pope Pius IX who granted that an Office should be recited in her honor.