Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bl. Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation: Foundress, Perpetual Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament

From the Vatican website:
"Caterina Sordini was born on 16 April 1770 at Grosseto, Italy, the fourth of nine children born into a deeply Catholic family. When she was 17 her father arranged for her to marry a maritime merchant. At first she was against it, but later complied with her father's wishes. The young man gave her a casket of jewels and, having adorned herself, turned to admire her reflection in the mirror but saw the image of the Crucified Christ who asked: "Do you want to leave me for another?"

"She took the question seriously and in February 1788 visited the Franciscan Tertiary Monastery in Ischia di Castro. Caterina entered then and there, thus shocking her father who had thought it was merely a visit. She was clothed six months later, taking the name of Sr Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation.

"On 19 February 1789, she fell into ecstasy and saw a vision of "Jesus seated on a throne of grace in the Blessed Sacrament, surrounded by virgins adoring him" and heard him telling her: "I have chosen you to establish the work of perpetual adorers who, day and night, will offer me their humble adoration...". Thus, she was called to become a foundress and to spend her life adoring Jesus in the Eucharist. In that turbulent period for the Church she set an example to all."

A recent article from the Catholic Anchor, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska, tells of a small community of Sisters of Perpetual Adoration who follow their foundress in a life of perpetual Eucharistic adoration:

They are members of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, a cloistered religious order that was first established in 1807 in France by Blessed Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation. The order operates 85 monasteries worldwide — all are dedicated to the perpetual adoration of the Eucharistic Christ.

Focused on Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, each nun spends her life praying and sacrificing for the good of the church and the salvation of souls.

The religious order locates its monasteries in cities in order to provide people access to the Blessed Sacrament for veneration. So, the Anchorage monastery’s chapel is open to the public every day, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., for Eucharistic adoration. Visitors kneel adoring Christ in the consecrated host, exposed in a large, bronze monstrance, while in another section of the chapel, the nuns take turns in adoration from behind the cloister grille.

But even while performing daily chores or praying elsewhere in the monastery the nuns strive to continually focus on the Blessed Sacrament.

“I like to always stay before the Blessed Sacrament in my mind or body,” explained Mother Maria.

That means constant communication with God every day — while she is waking at 5:15 a.m., reciting the Divine Office and rosary with the congregation, resting in her cell, and reading the pope’s statements in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

Mother Maria believes those outside the monastery walls can pray in a similar way.

“Think of God and want what he wants,” she urged. “God is center” at the monastery, she added, but “we all have the same center – God.”
~ Read the entire article from Catholic Anchor here. ~
~ Visit the Anchorage Sisters of Perpetual Adoration website here. ~

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Mother of all priests and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests. Amen.

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