Angelina Lanza: a Rosminian Sicilian mystic


  • Cataldo Naro



This short essay was found among the unpublished papers of the Church historian Cataldo Naro (1951-2006), who was first Dean of the Theological Faculty of Sicily (Palermo) and then Archbishop of Monreale. The essay sketches the spiritual and intellectual profile of Angelina Lanza, one of the most refined personalities of early-twentieth-century Sicily. Poetess and mystic, she matured a multifaceted physiognomy, capable of combining aesthetic form and mystical fact. In Lanza’s life and writings, this intertwining of elements was also due to the influence of Rosmini’s thought and spirituality. She began to study Rosmini’s writings in 1914; in 1916 followed her adhesion as an external disciple to the Institute of Charity. She published (unsigned) «spiritual pages» on several issues of the Rosminian magazine Charitas, among which her most beautiful spiritual text, La completa offerta di sè a Dio [The complete self-offering to God] (1927) deserves to be mentioned. In this text, Lanza borrows from Rosmini’s works terms as «sentiment of God», «passivity», and «justice of God»; moreover, here she devotes a whole chapter to comment the last words of the dying Rosmini: « Adore. Be Silent. Rejoice».