May 25: The feast of *Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi*
Today, May 25, we celebrate the feast day of *Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi* (1566-1607), the “ecstatic saint, mystic & gifted with extraordinary gifts.
Mystic and visionary, Saint Mary wished for nothing more than to suffer for the love of Christ, and throughout her life was graced with extraordinary ecstasies, raptures, and communion with the Lord.
Born Catherine in Florence, Italy, Mary learned meditation and internal prayer from her priest when she was just nine years old. She spent hours each day in silent meditation, contemplating the Lord, and being drawn further into Him.
When 16, she entered the Carmelite convent in Florence because she could receive Communion daily there. Catherine had taken the name Mary Magdalene and had been a novice for a year when she became critically ill. Death seemed near so her superiors let her make her profession of vows from a cot in the chapel in a private ceremony.
Immediately after, she fell into an ecstasy that lasted about two hours. This was repeated after Communion on the following 40 mornings. These ecstasies were rich experiences of union with God and contained marvellous insights into divine truths. Over the next six years, five large volumes of her ecstasies were recorded.
During her lifetime, she appeared to several persons in distant places and cured a number of sick people. Saint Mary, throughout her life, served as guide to many of her sisters, as well as popes and leaders of the Church. She wrote many encouraging letters to the clergy, seeking reform, and devotion to the Lord.
In 1604, Mary fell ill with headaches, became paralyzed, and was confined to her bed and she died in 1607 at 41, and was canonized in 1669. Her body has remained incorrupt to the present day; it is preserved in a glass coffin in the church of the Carmelite nuns at Florence.
*Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, pray for us*.
O God, lover of virginity, who adorned with heavenly gifts the Virgin Saint Mary Magdalene de’Pazzi, setting her on fire with your love, grant, we pray, that we, who honour her today, may imitate her example of purity and love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.