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The Life and Legacy of Magdalen de Pazzi – A Testament to the Importance of Humility

Articles | November 14, 2023 | by Catholics for Catholics

Magdalen de Pazzi was born in Florence in 1566, during the time of the Renaissance. Despite coming from a wealthy and aristocratic family, she vowed to become a Carmelite nun at the age of 14, before her father could marry her off. Her decision to enter Carmel was influenced by the fact that she could receive Communion daily, an uncommon practice during the 1500s. Here, she met Sister Mary Benedicta, a humble and devout nun who impressed Magdalen with her self-abasement and faithfulness to her vows as a Bride of Christ. Sister Mary Benedicta’s devotion to St. Alexius of Rome, who dressed as a beggar to humble himself, inspired her to seek out mortification in her own life. Despite her struggles, Sister Mary Benedicta remained joyful and childlike in her love of humility.

After Sister Mary Benedicta’s death, Magdalen experienced an ecstatic vision of her in Heaven, where she had been crowned with a gold star of charity and adorned with beautiful rings as a reward for her faithfulness. Sister Mary Benedicta’s love of suffering in union with Christ had earned her a higher place in Heaven than many other nuns.

Magdalen’s life and Sister Mary Benedicta’s example both demonstrate the importance of humility in the spiritual life. Pride is the root of all sin, and conversely, humility is the foundation of all virtue. In honor of these two holy women, let us remember the value of self-abasement and seek to imitate their example in our own lives.

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