Saint Mary Magdalene of Pazzi
Saint Mary Magdalene of Pazzi (or Maria Magdalena de Pazzi; April 2, 1566 – May 25, 1607) is an Italian Carmelite mystic and saint of the Roman Catholic Church.
Saint Mary Magdalene of Pazzi was born into one of the wealthiest and most distinguished noble families of Renaissance Florence, the Pazzi. She was baptized with the name of Catherine. 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 Mary Magdalene, 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.