St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi: Missa “Dilexísti justítiam”
Mystical ecstasy is the elevation of the spirit to God in such a way that the person is aware of this union with God while both internal and external senses are detached from the sensible world. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi was so generously given this special gift of God that she is called the “ecstatic saint.”
Catherine de’ Pazzi was born into a noble family in Florence in 1566. The normal course would have been for her to have married into wealth and enjoyed comfort, but Catherine chose to follow her own path. At 9, she learned to meditate from the family confessor. She made her first Communion at the then-early age of 10, and made a vow of virginity one month later. At 16, Catherine entered the Carmelite convent in Florence because she could receive Communion daily there.
Catherine had taken the name Mary Magdalene and had been a novice for a year when she became critically ill. Death seemed near, so her superiors let her make her profession of vows in a private ceremony from a cot in the chapel. Immediately after, Mary Magdalene fell into an ecstasy that lasted about two hours. This was repeated after Communion on the following 40 mornings. These ecstasies were rich experiences of union with God and contained marvelous insights into divine truths.
As a safeguard against deception and to preserve the revelations, her confessor asked Mary Magdalene to dictate her experiences to sister secretaries. Over the next six years, five large volumes were filled. The first three books record ecstasies from May of 1584 through Pentecost week the following year. This week was a preparation for a severe five-year trial. The fourth book records that trial and the fifth is a collection of letters concerning reform and renewal. Another book, Admonitions, is a collection of her sayings arising from her experiences in the formation of women religious.
The extraordinary was ordinary for this saint. She read the thoughts of others and predicted future events. During her lifetime, Mary Magdalene appeared to several persons in distant places and cured a number of sick people.
It would be easy to dwell on the ecstasies and pretend that Mary Magdalene only had spiritual highs. This is far from true. It seems that God permitted her this special closeness to prepare her for the five years of desolation that followed when she experienced spiritual dryness. She was plunged into a state of darkness in which she saw nothing but what was horrible in herself and all around her. She had violent temptations and endured great physical suffering. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi died in 1607 at age 41, and was canonized in 1669.
INTROIT Psalm 44:8
Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Ps 44:2 My heart hath uttered a good word I speak my works to the king; V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
O God, lover of chastity, Who endowed with heavenly gifts blessed Mary Magdalene, a virgin on fire with love for You, grant that we who keep this feast-day in her honor may imitate her by purity and love. Who liveth and reigneth with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen
Collect of the Souls
From all perils of soul and body defend us, O Lord, we beseech thee, and by the intercession of blessed and gloriosus ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, graciously grant us safety and peace that all adversities and errors being overcome, thy Church may serve thee in security and freedom.
Prayer for God’s Holy Church
Let us pray. Graciously hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy Church that, having overcome all adversity and every error, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R.Amen.
EPISTLE 2 Cor 10:17-18; 11:1-2
Lesson from the second letter of St Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brothers: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself, is approved, but he, whom God commendeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly: but do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 44:5
With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. Because of truth and meekness and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully. Allelúja, allelúja. Ps 44:15-16 After her shall virgins be brought to the king: They shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing: Allelúja.
GOSPEL St Matthew 25:1-13
In that time Jesus said to the people: shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish, and five wise. But the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. But at last come also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 44:10
The daughters of kings have delighted thee in thy glory. The queen stood on thy right hand, in gilded clothing; surrounded with variety.
May the offering made by Your devoted people be pleasing to You, O Lord, in honor of Your Saints, through whose merits they know they have received help in times of trial. Who with Thee livest and reignest, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God Forever and ever. R. Amen
Of the souls
Hear us, O God, our salvation that through the power of this Sacrament thou mayest defend us from all enemies of soul and body and bestow upon us grace here and glory hereafter.
Prayer for God’s Holy Church
Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that, cleaving to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and in mind. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R.Amen.
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON St Matthew 25:4; 25:6
The five wise virgins took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him.
You have filled Your people, O Lord, with sacred gifts; we beseech You to ever comfort us by the intercession of her whose festival we are celebrating. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, For ever and ever. R. Amen
Of the souls
May the offering of this divine Sacrament cleanse and protect us, O Lord we beseech thee, and by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, may it purify us from all sin, and free us from all adversity.
Prayer for God’s Holy Church
Let us pray. O Lord our God, we pray Thee that Thou suffer not to succumb to human hazards those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of divine mysteries. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R.Amen.