Saint Mary Magdalen de Pazzi (1607)

She was an Italian girl, born in Florence in 1566. Her baptismal name was Catherine. As a little child, she would place a crown of thorns on her head when she went to bed at night. She received her first Holy Communion when she was ten years old. She immediately bound herself by a vow of virginity to be the spouse of Jesus. At the age of sixteen she joined the Carmelite Order, and took the name of Mary. She joined that Order because the sisters there, by special permission, were allowed to receive Holy Communion every day. Because she was so sick and not expected to live, she was allowed to make her religious vows two years after her entrance. Saint Mary Magdalen de Pazzi enjoyed great ecstasies of love and union with God. She also suffered great darknesses of soul, sicknesses and attacks by the devil. She offered all her sufferings to God for the conversion of sinners, heretics, pagans and unbelievers. She spent the last three years of her life in bed. Her motto was, “To suffer and not to die.” She did die, at the age of forty-one. Her body is preserved incorrupt in the Carmelite convent, in Florence, adjacent to the church there.

Vision of Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi by Pedro de Moya (ca. 1640)