Solemn opening of the anniversary celebrations, Florence, Italy
On the 2nd of April, the date of Mary Magdalen’s birth in 1566, the solemn opening of the anniversary celebrations took place at the monastery of Careggi (Forence, 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 Magdalen de’Pazzi.