May 24, 2017

Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, Virgin

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazz
May 25th, is also the optional memorial of Saint Mary Magdalen of Pazzi. A highly gifted mystic, she made a vow of chastity at the age of ten. She entered the convent of the Discalced Carmelite nuns in Florence, because the practice of receiving holy Communion almost daily was observed there. For five years her only food was bread and water.

She practiced the most austere penances and for long periods endured complete spiritual aridity. Her favorite phrase was: "Suffer, not die!" 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.

Purity of soul and love of Christ are the chief virtues which the Church admires in St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi. These virtues matured her spiritually and enabled her to take as a motto, "Suffer, not die!" Purity and love are also the virtues which the Church today exhorts us to practice in imitation of the saint. We may never attain her high degree of holiness, but we can strive to suffer patiently out of love for Christ.

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 honor 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. Amen. St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, pray for us!

Adapted excerpt from The Church's Year of Grace, Father Pius Parsch.

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