St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi


Also Known as:
Virgin

Feast:
May 25th

Born:
April 2, 1566

Died:
May 25, 1607 (aged 41)

Canonized:
April 28, 1669 by Pope Clement X

Patronage:
Against bodily ills; against sexual temptation; against sickness; sick people; Naples (co-patron)


 

Saint Mary Magdalene of Pazzi was the only daughter of the illustrious Camille de Pazzi, related to the Medicis of Florence. As a child she loved to go into solitary places to enter into prayer with God, who revealed Himself to her from her tender years without the aid of teachers, as her Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. She made a crown of thorns one day, and wore it for an entire night, enduring great pain. She received her First Communion at ten years of age; at twelve years, she made a vow of virginity and took great pleasure in teaching Christian doctrine to poor children.

Her father, not knowing of her vow, wished to give her in marriage, but she persuaded him to allow her to become a religious, and chose the Carmelites, because there the nuns received Communion frequently. She entered in the year of the death of Saint Teresa of Avila, 1582, at the age of sixteen. It had been more difficult to obtain her mother’s consent; while she was a novice, her mother sent a portrait artist to the convent, with instructions that her daughter be portrayed in lay clothing. The Sisters complied with her request, and the portrait can still be seen in the Convent. In addition to her deep spiritual life, she observed conscientiously her religious vows and led a hidden life of prayer and self denial. She was filled with a burning desire for the renewal of the Church: keenly aware of the urgent need for reform, yearning to see it spread, and offering herself so that the “anointed ones” (i.e. priests) would once again be a witness to the world and that the lapsed would return to the Church.

God raised her to elevated states of prayer and gave her rare gifts, enabling her to read the thoughts of her novices, and filling her with wisdom to direct them. She was twice chosen mistress of novices, and then made Superior. On her deathbed she asked her Sisters to love only Our Lord Jesus Christ, to place all hope in Him, and be perpetually ardent with desire to suffer for love of Him. God took her to Himself on May 15, 1607. Her body remains incorrupt.

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