St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Beloved in Christ, today is Memorial Day, and it is also the Feast day of a few different saints: St. Bede, St Gregory, and also St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi – I thought today we could speak a bit about Mary Magdalene de Pazzi.
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She was born in 1566, and from her youth her mother taught her to meditate on the things of God for ½ hour each day. And this is an excellent practice for us as well, to meditate for ½ hour each day with a spiritual book or the scriptures.
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At age 16, she entered the Carmelites, and took the name Mary Magdalene. A priest once gave her a crucifix, and at that moment, she made a decision to suffer for her Savior any way that God asked. In fact, she soon contracted a serious illness. When asked how she could bear the pain she said: ‘Those who offer their sufferings to God, soon find their pain to be very sweet.’
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At one point, she became so near to death, that she was allowed to profess her vows early. She made them lying on a stretcher before the altar. After that, she experienced forty days of spiritual ecstasies.
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Her many conversations with Christ are famous; her and Jesus often spoke with familiarity, and with teasing and banter. Jesus once said to her: “I called to you Mary Magdalene, and you didn’t answer;” she replied, “Lord, you didn’t call loud enough!”
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But Christ would give her a great trial, to make her Faith even more pure; he said: “I will take away from you, not my grace, but the feeling of grace, yet I will be close to you.” At age nineteen, she started five years of dryness and desolation in which she was tempted to sin, and didn’t even want to pray. In her darkness everything in life seemed horrible and gloomy. She was so depressed, that twice she came close to suicide. All she could do to fight this darkness, was to serve others, help others, hold onto prayer, and trust God.
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Her darkness ended in 1590 when at Mass, she fell into a rapture. On emerging from it she took the hands of the sisters and said, ‘rejoice with me, for my winter is at an end, help me thank my Creator.’ From this time on, she received a flood of remarkable supernatural gifts. The sisters wrote down many of the wondrous words that fell from her lips.
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She was a very strong woman; she spoke clearly and bluntly. One nun thought herself to be quite important, but Mary de Pazzi simply said to her: ‘Sister, you should lose your pride.
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In 1604, headaches and paralysis confined her to bed. Despite her sufferings, she was filled with the joy of Christ and she died in happiness, at the age of 41; her body remains perfectly incorrupt, to this day.

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