Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Saint Mary Magdalen de Pazzi


Caterina de Pazzi was born into the nobility in the year 1566, her parents were deeply devout and passed this on to their beloved daughter.
From an early age Caterina loved Jesus and displayed this by her longing to receive Him in the Eucharist, she would often approach others and beseech them to tell her what it was like to receive our Lord in Communion, her devotion was outstanding when one considers how very young she was.
Caterina though born wealthy was drawn to lead an ascetic life from an early age she also practiced acts of mortification which was common in that era for those who had a great longing to become closer to God. Even though she practiced these mortifications she was not a dour person and was known for her charm and simplicity of manner which draw admiration from all who met her.
This young girl also had a great love of prayer and of a love for the poor, in whom she tried to help by practicing the corporal works of mercy but her greatest love was reserved for Jesus especially in the Blessed Sacrament upon which she would spend hours contemplating this deep mystery and love. Finally at the age of 10 years her dream came true as she made her first Communion, this so touched her heart that she near wept for joy to be so closely connected to her Lord and Savior in the Eucharist, it was around this time that she vowed herself to God and God alone!
Upon reaching 14 years of age, Caterina was sent to school at the Convent of Cavalaresse, where her obvious holiness, humility and penances impressed the Sisters who were instructing her, many of whom noted that if the young Caterina continued to live in this way she would become a Saint, they would prove to be correct!
It was while she was living and learning at the Convent that Caterina decided she too would enter the Religious life, in order to spend her life entirely centered on her beloved Lord, most especially in the Blessed Sacrament. Caterina was blessed in that both her parents were truly devout people and after a little persuasion Caterina managed to convince her parents that this is where God wished her to be, serving Him through her Religious Community.
Caterina's dream came true in 1582 when she entered the Carmelite Convent of Santa Maria degl Angeli, what drew Caterina to this particular Order was its austere penances and lifestyle, this suited Caterina's own manner of living. Another factor was its ability to receive daily Communion a fact which pleased Caterina greatly and was the deciding factor.
Once Caterina entered the Order as so happens with many Religious who are Graced with extraordinary experiences, Caterina's soul entered the 'dark night' her physical condition also decorated, so she took her Vows as she lay seriously ill, as her religious name she chose Sister Mary Magdalen.
Though Sister Mary Magdalen suffered greatly she also began to experience the Mystical events which would continue throughout the rest of her life and though in ill health she also undertook her duties as a Sister within her community faultlessly.
During this period though Sister Mary Magdalen would be constantly plagued by the temptations and other forms of attack as God brought her closer to Himself and Satan was left to fume in impotent rage at Sister Mary Magdalena's obvious holiness. Through all her mystical experiences, this did not make the other Sisters jealous of her, for many of them had come to love Sister Mary Magdalen's personable character and her deep sense of humility.
It was also due to the fact that in herself Sister Mary Magdalen was always common sensical and not given to hysteria or whimsy, as she with great consideration fulfilled her daily obligations within the Religious community. This most holy Sister also never complained of the great aridity of soul nor of her sufferings as she lived her daily life, content in the knowledge that God loved her and had not abandoned her, for Sister Mary Magdalena did not rely on her feelings but on God's Promise.
Through all her hardships Sister Mary Magdalen was also privileged by God to be the recipient of miraculous gifts and events, some of which she would speak out loud while continuing her work, through this many Sisters in her Community noted down Sister Mary Magdalen's words which were kept for prosperity. She also had the Gift of reading peoples hearts within and outside of her community which brought in many visitors who sought her wisdom. One of the miracles attributed to this most holy Sister was that she kept up a correspondence with Catherine de Ricci who would become another great Saint of the Church. Though both these Sisters corresponded they never met, but Sister Mary Magdalen did see as in a vision, that holy Sister Catherine de Ricci answer one of her letters.
Sister Mary Magdalen's great legacy to all who read about her, is her great devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, may we also develop such a high love for our God of Love, Divine.
Sister Mary Magdalen of Pazzi died in 1607.
Saint Mary Magedalen was canonized in 1669 by Pope Clement IX.
Some Quotes.
"Come Holy Spirit Spirit of truth, you are the reward of the saints, the comforter of souls, light in the darkness, riches to the poor, treasure to lovers, food for the hungry, comfort to those who are wandering; to sum up, you are the one in whom all treasures are contained."
"Come! As you descended upon Mary that the Word might become flesh, work in us through grace as you worked in her through nature and grace."
"Come! Food of every chaste thought, fountain of all mercy, sum of all purity."
"Come! Consume in us whatever prevents us from being consumed in you."
Peace of Christ to ALL
Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

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