May 25: St Bede (673-735), St Gregory VII (1021-1085) & St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (1566-1607)

bedeBede was born in the neighbourhood of the Wearmouth monastery in 673.  He was trained by St Benedict Biscop and later entered the monastery at Jarrow.  Ordained to the priesthood, he spent his ministry in teaching and writing.  He wrote Biblical commentaries and historical books, most notably the Ecclesiastical History of the English People.  He helped introduce the notion of dating the Incarnation of Christ (AD) and is known as the “Father of Church History.”  He died in 735.  He is currently the only English-born Doctor of the Church. – CTS New Daily Romas Missal 2012, p 2701; Christian Prayer 1990, p 1133.

 

gregory viiBorn as Hildebrand in 1021 near Tuscany.  He was educated in Rome and entered the monastic life.  He worked closely with several popes until he himself was elected to the See of Peter in 1073 under the name of Gregory VII.  He courageously fought against simony, clerical immorality and the abuse of lay investiture.  However, his reformist zeal earned for him the enmity of Henry IV.  He was exiled to Salerno, where he died in 1085. – CTS New Daily Roman Missal 2012, p 2703; Christian Prayer 1990, p 1134.

St.-Mary-Magdalen-de-Pazzi-2Mary Magdalene de Pazzi was born in Florence in 1566 to one of the wealthiest families there.  After a religious upbringing she entered the Discalced Carmelites when she was sixteen, living a life of prayer, penance and humility.  She had mystical experiences, exchanging her heart with that of Jesus and reliving the sufferings of the Passion.  But she also endured many years of spiritual dryness.  She used to say, “You know, Lord, that my soul has desired nothing apart from you.”  She died in 1607. – CTS New Daily Roman Missal 2012, p 2705; Christian Prayer 1990, p 1134

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