On 2nd of April, 2016, the date of Mary Magdalene’s birth in 1566, the solemn opening of the 450th Anniversary of the Birth of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi was marked with the solemn celebrations took place at the monastery of Careggi (Florence, Italy), where her body is venerated.
The Cardinal Archbishop of Florence, Giuseppe Betori, led the celebration of the Eucharist that was concelebrated by several priests. The concelebrants included, the Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, along with other members of the General Curia, the Vice-Prior General, Fr. Christian Körner, the Councilor General for Europe, Fr. John Keating, the Procurator General, Fr. Michael Farrugia, the Bursar General, Fr. Carl Markelz, and the Delegate General for the Nuns, Fr. Mario Alfarano. The Carmelite Family was present in great numbers, with friars from the different houses in Florence and Castellina, the sisters of the Istituto di Nostra Signora del Monte Carmelo, and very many lay Carmelites.
In his homily the Cardinal pointed to the example of the saint in her cultivation of the transforming knowledge of the Risen Lord, just as the readings in the liturgy suggested. He read a telegram from the Pope, signed by the Secretary of State, Card. Pietro Parolin, in which he “joined in thanksgiving to the Lord for giving to the Church such a significant disciple of the Gospel and master of spirituality.” He ended by imparting an Apostolic Blessing and granting the corresponding plenary indulgence.
At the end of the celebration the Prior General thanked all those who were present and in particular the nuns, who, although they are just a small community, continue to keep alive the spirit and teaching of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi.
On the 25th of May, feast of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, the Prior General led the celebration of the Eucharist at the Hermitage of Santa Maria degli Angeli, in Scandicci (Florence). This monastery was founded n 1987 in the hills opposite where Careggi is situated where the remains of the saint are kept. The Mass, and the banquet afterwards, took place in a festive and fraternal setting. Along with the Prior General, there was a number of Carmelites and three postulants from the Italian province present. There was also a large number of diocesan priests, including the Vicar for that area, priests from the Community of San Leolino and of the “Opera Madonnina del Grappa”. The celebrations were enriched by the presence of the sisters of the Instituto di Nostra Signora del Monte Carmelo, members of the Third Order and many friends of the nuns.
In different places of the Carmelite monasteries, parishes, and schools in the world, among the friars, nuns, and laity, activities of retreats, exhibitions, conferences, and seminars continue to appear to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the birth in Florence of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi.
On account of the 450th anniversary of the birth of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, the Apostolic Penitentiary has granted that all Carmelite monasteries be places where people may obtain a plenary indulgence throughout this year, beginning on the 2nd of April, 2016 and ending on the 25th of May, 2017. The same applies to churches and chapels dedicated to her.
For more information and latest news regarding the 450th anniversary of the birth of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, please visit the official website of the order at www.ocarm.org/mmp450 to read and learn more the life and works of the saint.