Saint Magdalene of Canossa had a burning desire to go to the remotest ends of the earth to make Jesus known and loved. This desire was the fruit of her contemplation of Jesus Christ Crucified, which opened her heart to charity towards her neighbor at all social and economic levels. She developed a series of different plans which tell of her ideas for her works of charity. The cornerstone of her thought is captured in “Plan B6-6”:
“Some persons, desiring to dedicate themselves to the glory and the service of God, reflecting on the actual circumstances in which the Lord’s indignation seems to clearly call for a reform of life, are thinking of starting a Congregation, or Pious Union, whose aim is the fulfillment of the two great Precepts of Charity: to love God and to love one’s neighbor; consequently through it to sanctify themselves, and also to meet the needs of their place. Therefore all the Rules, the dispositions, the methods, the practices, both internal and external, must be geared to dedicating all their time to the benefit of their neighbor. In fact, since the Plan of teh Congregation contemplates to exercise nearly all the works of Mercy, these persons intend to have as their first and foremost goal the acquisition of perfect love, trying to achieve the most intimate, cordial, familiar and continuous union with God, while working for the benefit of their neighbor, in view of God alone.” (Epistolario II/2, p. 1415-1416)
A Summary, Magdalene’s Dream:
The purpose of this blog is two-fold. First and foremost, it is an exercise of love as I reflect anew on the Rule Saint Magdalene wrote for our ‘smallest of all institutes’, the Canossian Daughters of Charity – Servants of the Poor. I am not sure what form these writing will take, but I will be posting the Rule in bits and pieces, expressing at times my own passion about what she is saying.
The second purpose for this blog about the Rule of St Magdalene of Canossa, is to help others know a little about this hidden saint of the Church. She was an amazing woman, so on fire for the Lord, that she would say, ‘If it would please the Lord, I would become dust so to better spread throughout the world knowledge of Him.’
Thus, the title of the Blog – Heart of Flame – for Saint Magdalene of Canossa’s heart was truly aflame for the love of God, and how she wished the whole world were consumed by this Love.
I hope that in reading Magdalene’s thoughts conveyed here, you may agree with me that she was a woman before her time, and is a woman – a Foundress – for our time too.
Saint Magdalene of Canossa, Pray for us!