St Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi was born Caterina de' Pazzi, on April 2nd 1566 to Camillo di Geri de’ Pazzi, who was a member of one Florence’s most noble families, and Maria Buondelmonti. She was sometimes called Lucrezia, after her grandmother, Lucrezia Mannucci. At about age nine, she learned how to meditate using the family chaplain. This was also the time when she started practicing mortification of the flesh by self-flagellation, wearing sackcloth and wearing a homemade crown of thorns. She received Holy Communion at the age of ten. That same year she made a vow of virginity. She had her first ecstasy when she was 12, in the presence of her mother. From then on, she had many of these visions. When she was fourteen, Caterina was sent by her father to the monastery of the order of Malta. But soon she was called to marry a young nobleman. Then Caterina reminded her father of her vow of virginity and she was allowed to lead a religious life. She went to the Carmelite monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in the city of Florence because she was allowed to have Holy Communion daily. She was accepted as a novice and took the name, Sister Mary Magdalene. When she was only one year into her religious profession she got gravely ill. When one of the sisters asked how she could suffer without a whisper, Mary pointed to the crucifix and said “Those who call to mind the sufferings of Christ, and who offer up their own to God through His passion, find their pains sweet and pleasant.” When death seemed so close her superiors let her make her profession of religious vows during a private ceremony, while she laid on a cot. Immediately after that she fell into another ecstasy that lasted 2 hours. This continued for the next 40 days but after Holy Communion. Mary died on May 25, 1607, at the age of 41. She was buried in the church quire. At her canonization in 1668 her body was found to be miraculously incorrupt. Her relics are buried in the Monastery of Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi in Careggi, Italy.
Saint Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, we ask your divine intercession before your Mystical Spouse to give all Religious the gift of perseverance, obedience, and poverty. Your spiritual ecstasies were unique—and destined for few. Grant those gifts that are common—and destined for many.