A few days before I left Florence, a few of us from the SSTM took a mini pilgrimage to the Monastery of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi. It’s situated on the hills of Careggi, overlooking Florence and the rest of the beautiful Tuscan hills that surround it. I didn’t know much about St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, whose feast we celebrate today (together with Venerable Bede and Pope Gregory VII), so learning about her life and visiting the monastery was surely a treat.
Mass was celebrated in Church of the monastery. We were blessed with the opportunity to celebrate with the cloistered nuns as well, which was beautiful. What was even more beautiful was the fact that we celebrated with St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi! Her body remains incorrupt and is kept behind the altar for pilgrims to venerate. It was incredible to see such a miracle with my own eyes.
So tonight, after contemplating on that beautiful day and the life of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, I call to mind the simple message of her great love for God and her proclamation of the love of God for every human being. Pope Benedict XVI said, “During her life she would ring the bells and exhort her fellow sisters saying: ‘Come to love Love!'” May we come to love God, who is Love, more and more each day.
St. Mary Magdalene was born at Florence in 1566 and after a religious upbringing she entered the Carmelites. She led a solitary life of prayer and self-denial, prayed fervently for Church reform and directed her fellow sisters on the road to perfection. She was blessed by many gifts from God and died in 1607. (Taken from today’s Office of Readings)