Friday, August 13, 2010

St. Maria Magdalena de Pazzi (April 2, 1566 to May 25, 1607)

I was born on a Friday the 13th in the month of March, so today is exciting for me. It's a day of luck for those who were born on it and, to those who fear it, unfortunately, Friday the 13th can occur as many as three times a year (February, March, and November).
The family story goes, that five years before I was born, my cousin, Anthony, arrived on Thursday, March 12, sometime after 11:30 p.m. Since he was the first grandchild born on my mother's side of the family, everyone waited anxiously, praying that he wouldn't be born on Friday, March 13. By the time I came along, six grandchildren later, it was no big deal.
The main reason for the superstition is that there were 13 people at the Last Supper (to me, since Jesus is also the Holy Spirit, there were only 12 people in attendance) and Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
Also, the day of the week, named for Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility was considered unlucky.
However, Freya is linked to sexual activity, divination, the full moon, and black cats, so she's okay in my book. But, she is not a saint.
Perhaps her polar opposite is St. Maria Magdalena de Pazzi, the patron saint against sexual temptation.
She was born with the name Catherine on April 2, 1566 in Florence, Italy. At age 12, she had her first mystical ecstacy and these continued throughout her life. As a teenager she joined the Carmelite of Ancient Observance and changed her name. to Maria Magdalena.
She died on May 25, 1607. Canonized: 1669. St. Maria Magdalena de Pazzi's feast day is May 25.

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