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St Mary Magdalene d’Pazzi

She experienced periods when God felt completely absent

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Carmelite Nun and Mystic: 1566-1607

Her life

+ Caterina d’Pazzi was born into one of the wealthiest families in Florence, Italy. She was a devout child and it is said that she had her first mystical experience at the age of 12. She developed a great devotion for the Passion of Christ and the Eucharist.

+ At the age of 16, she entered the Carmelite Monastery of St. Mary of the Angels in Florence. She was known in religious life as “Sister Mary Magdalene.”

+ Although she experienced profound graces, including, it is said, the stigmata, she also experienced periods of profound desolation, when God seemed completely absent. Through all of this, she placed herself entirely in God’s hands and tried to always give herself over to God’s will.

+ Sister Mary Magdalene also served her community in many practical ways, and was named novice-mistress in 1598 and subprioress in 1604.

+ Saint Mary Magdalene d’Pazzi died on May 25, 1607. She was canonized in 1669.

Spiritual bonus

Saint Mary Magdalene d’Pazzi’s spirituality was grounded in the Bible and the writings of Saint Augustine of Hippo and Saint Catherine of Siena. She was particularly inspired by the Mystery of the Incarnation, which she saw as the “bridge” or “ladder” that allows us to recover our heavenly homeland.


“Come, Holy Spirit. Let the precious pearl of the Father and the Word delight come. Spirit of truth, you are the reward of the saints, the comforter of souls, light in the darkness, riches to the poor, treasure to lovers, food for the hungry, comfort for those who are wandering.”


O God, lover of virginity,
who adorned with heavenly gifts
the Virgin Saint Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi,
setting her on fire with your love,
grant, we pray, that we, who honor her today,
may imitate her example of purity and love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)


Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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