Tuesday, May 25, 2010

St. Mary Magdalene dei Pazzi, Carmelite Nun and Visionary

This Carmelite mystic was born of a wealthy and prominent family, who had high hopes that Catherina dei Pazzi would be given in marriage to a suitor of a similarly powerful family. However, she promised her virginity to God and entered the Carmelites at the age of 16. Her motto was " to suffer, not to die" and she did indeed suffer. She experienced the anguish of spiritual aridity, and was severely tested by attacks of impurity, gluttony and doubt. She experienced her first ectasy at age 12 in the presence of her mother and she was attracted to the Carmelites because she would be enabled to receive Holy Communion often. One of her most notable visions was one of many levels of Purgatory, where she saw even the souls of religious who were undergoing purification before they could see God. One nun in particular was prevented from entering Heaven because of time that she spent begrudgingly before the Most Blessed Sacrament.

The saint's body was discovered to be incorrupt and she was canonized in 1669 by Pope Clement IX.

Manuscripts of the saint's visions are available from Paulist Press in a collection entitled "Maria Mddalena de' Pazzi, Selected Revelations".

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