Saint Maria Magdalen de Pazzi
(or Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
) (April 2
, 1566 - May 25
, 1607) is an incorrupt saint
of the Roman Catholic Church
St. Maria Magdalena de Pazzi was born into one of the wealthiest and most distinguished noble
families of Renaissance Florence, Italy
known as the "de Pazzi"
and she was baptized
with the name of "Catherine"
(known affectionately as "Atrina"
). She experienced her first ecstasy
when she was only twelve, in her mother's presence. From then on, she continued to witness many varied mystical experiences. She was sent to a convent at age 14, but was returned home by her family, who opposed her religious vocation and wanted her to marry a distinguished man. However, they eventually conceded, and Catherine became a Carmelite
of the Ancient Observance at 16, taking the name of Sister Maria Magdalena, at a convent that is now the site of San Frediano in Cestello
. Her life took a course similar to that of other women who have become great mystics
, characterized by an early love of prayer and penance, charity for the poor, and an evangelical spirit.
St. Maria Magdalena was a descendant of the "de Pazzi" family who were the first to scale the walls of Jerusalem during the First Crusade. She was also related to the famed Pazzi of the "Pazzi conspiracy" who was supported by Pope Sixtus IV against members of the Medici family.
Beatification and Canonization
Countless miracles followed St Maria Magdalena's death, and the process for her beatification
was begun in the year 1610 under Pope Paul V
, and completed under Pope Urban VIII
in the year 1626. She was not, however, canonized
until sixty-two years after her death, when Pope Clement X
raised her to the altars on April 28
, 1669. Church of the Monastery of Pažaislis
, comissioned in 1662, was one of the first to be consecrated in her honor.
In 1670, the year after her canonization, the feast day of the saint was inserted in the General Roman Calendar for celebration on 25 May
, the day of her death (as today). In 1728, the date of 25 May
was assigned instead to Pope Gregory VII
, and the feast day of Saint Magdalena de Pazzi was moved to 29 May
, where it remained until 1969, when it was restored to its traditional place in the calendar.
- Mary Magdalen de' Pazzi, The Complete Works of Saint Mary Magdalen de' Pazzi Carmelite and Mystic (1566-1607), 5 vols, translated by Gabriel Pausback, O.Carm., Fatima 1969-1973.
- Camilleri, Charlò, A Beautiful edifice Built by a Skilful Craftsman. The Human Person as a Dwelling Place under construction according to Santa Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi (1566-1607), in In Labore Requies (=Textus et Studia Historica Carmelitana 26), Roma 2007, 99-136.
- Camilleri, Charlò, Union with God as Transformation in Beauty. A Literary-Spiritual Analysis of the Colloquies of Santa Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi (1566-1607), Doctoral Thesis in Spiritual Teology, Gregoriana, pro manuscripto, Roma 2007.
- Camilleri, Charlò, Longing for God. Purgatory as Paradigm in Santa Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi (1566-1607), in Carmelus 54/1 (2007), 67-102.