St Magdalene (1774-1835) was born into the wealthy Marquis Ottavio di Canossa family, Italy. Her father died when she was five years old and her mother left the family home two years later. At 17, she joined a Carmelite monastery but soon departed, still searching for ways to fulfil her lifetime vocation.
St Magdalene was greatly affected by the ravages of the many conflicts between European armies and the resultant poverty and destruction that it caused. She started using her wealth to provide for the hungry and poor in her hometown. This led to her setting up a refuge for poor slum girls and later the equivalent for boys.
St Magdalene’s work caught the attention of supporters and soon the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity, Servant of the Poor, was formed. The congregation numbers rapidly increased and with it, a church invite to extend her work to many other cities. The Order continues to thrive today in numerous countries throughout the world.
St Magdalene’s Feast Day is the 8th May.
Pray for us that we will continuously yearn to help the poor.