Sister Magdalena of the Cross -The nun who made a pact with the devil
Sister Magdalena of the Cross -The devil's saint for 40 years & her escape from an evil pact through extraordinary repentance The November 24, 2011 prosecution of the false Italian mystic, Mother Ebe Giorgini, foundress of the religious movement "La Pia Unione di Gesù Misericordioso", once again brings to light the importance of careful discernment when it comes to mystics, visionaries and the like, and calls to mind the incredible life story of the false mystic, Sr. Magdalena of the Cross (14871560). The renowned Franciscan nun who made a pact with Satan Sister Magdalena of the Cross (Magdalena de la Cruz) was
born in Córdoba (Cordova) in Andalusia, Spain in 1487. Named after the mystic St. Mary Magdalene, the one whom Church tradition remembers as the great "..sinner from whom Jesus had cast out seven demons.” (Mark 16:9), and who was also known for her extraordinary repentance. As for herself, Magdalena of the Cross too would one day become an extraordinary mystic, and later a repentant sinner, doing severe penances for her sins. Not even the great Saint Teresa of Avila would ever have as much prestige across Spain in her lifetime as Sr. Magdalena of the Cross! Her (apparent) outstanding piety and the miracles that she performed were known throughout Spain, and even much of Europe. So much so, that even the Emperor Charles V, the sovereign ruler of the Roman and Spanish Empire asked for a piece of the habit of Magdalena of the Cross to wrap around the future Prince Philip II at his birth, to give his royal son the "assistance of a living saint from birth, to envelop him in Divine grace." Incidentally, prince Phillip II later became the King of Spain in 1556. Little Magdalena's first vision But for now, little Magdalena is just 5 years old, and she is already known in town for her remarkable devotion, which is out of the ordinary for a girl of her age. Not long after her fifth birthday, she is praying in Church when she hears music of remarkable sweetness. Then a beautiful young man, with thick, black hair appears to her, wearing a mantle so brilliant that she has to close her eyes. Hearing the story, some believe it to be Jesus. News of this event spreads throughout Córdoba, and many want to see little Magdalena. Sorting out the heavenly apparitions from the demonic ones
The difficulty that we will now have in sorting out Magdalena's early life story is that as with all the mystics and their mystical graces, there is often the influence and appearence of the demonic along with the heavenly apparitions. Like in the case of the Biblical Job, God allows the devil to tempt and even attack the mystics, to test their faith, love and devotion. This is the case with most every mystic. And with Magdalena, the task of discernement of her obvious mystical gifts and graces is even more difficult in her early years, because there definitely was a period where Magdalena demonstrated authentic piety and deep devotion, with the sincerity and simplicity of a child. But we know that she made a pact with the devil, so there must have been a point where the heavenly apparitions slowed or even ceased altogether, and the diabolic apparitions took over. But for now, little Magdalena is living a simple life with her family who were poor artisans, and while Magdalena remains of exemplary modesty and conduct, the visions continue, one after another, and as time goes on this attracts the attention of many; so much so that one day she flees her home to take refuge in a nearby cave, where she once again falls into ecstasy. When she awakens, she discovers that she has been miraculously transported back to her bed by her guardian angel. Miraculous cures Soon, a person whom she believes to be Jesus appears to her and asks her to somewhat moderate her asceticism, so as not to compromise her fragile childhood health. He informs her that a great destiny awaits her, and that she will need her strength. She flies to the church to thank Jesus and on the way meets a man with a severe limp who asks her to lend him her hand to climb
Soon afterwards. Blood flows. 1497.the Church steps. then her left hand. someone comes in looking for her and realises that she is seeing a vision. probaly because of infection from the wounds of her failed crucifixion. Even so. Looking closely at her eyes. On Easter Saturday. none of which can apparently be found. like Jesus after the cure of the blind man. But this soon makes her very ill. At midnight. a mute person also allegedly receives his speech through her intercession. and one day for penance she tries to crucify herself on the wall of her bedroom. sits
. Her parents call the doctor and he bandages all of her nail wounds. Magdalena is bedridden and seems to be dying. so as to suffer more. Magdalena is already quite beautiful. He has hardly climbed a few steps when he stands erect and with great surprise and excitement he dashes through the whole town crying out that he is healed! Magdalena herself goes into Church then falls into a deep ecstasy. and in her purity she is very cautious to hide herself under long black dresses and skirts. Magdalena attempts to crucify herself In 1497 at the age of ten. she breaks two ribs. she sees in the reflection in her eyes the heavens and what seems to be the Holy Trinity surrounded by the Communion of Saints. falling heavily onto a chest. she still finds herself too beautiful. yet she is burning with desire to suffer terribly for the reparation of sins. Soon. Her flesh tears and. She starts by nailing her two feet. and she faints from the atrocious pain. she lets out a great scream. Magdalena is subjected to all sorts of interrogations to discover any subterfuge. Not long afterwards. and she repeatedly takes off the bandages.
for who else but a saint could do such extraordinary penances? When she whips herself to bleeding point while doing penance.up on her bed. during an apparition. and everything about her seems wholesome. She says that it is Jesus himself. Magdalena contunes to astound many with her apparent extraordinary devotion and her remarkable desire to make reparation for sin. surprisingly without losing her healthy appearance. without her needing to approach the priest. at the precise moment of consecration. she explains that the Lord Himself put the Eucharist in her mouth. she fasts right up until the Sunday of her first Holy Communion. The pleadings of her poor parents make no difference.
. Wounds seemingly heal overnight and the story of two stubby fingers At sixteen. saying that she is healed. once more rips off her dressings. they are no larger than the size of a child's pinky. She is healthy. who has just appeared to her and has cured her. On the day of the ceremony. she lets out another cry and prostrates herself for a long time. Some say that these two fingers are those that Christ touched one night in her childhood. Magdalena seemingly stops eating. Many see her as a living saint. A prolonged fast and her first Holy Communion Three months before her First Holy Communion. her wounds are miraculously healed the next day to everyones great surprise. When she exits the church. except two fingers which have not grown like the others: at sixteen.
kisses her companions’ feet. so her "extravagances" are for the most part downplayed. Because of her reputation for holiness. she is joyfully admitted to the Franciscan convent of Saint Elizabeth of the Angels in Cordova (Convento de Santa Isabel de los Ángeles). There are however some "red flags" though. She is seemingly not too discrete about her spiritual life and merits. and she seemingly stops eating completely. she inflicts severe mortifications upon herself. Magdalena at last obtains what seems to be the great desire of her life: to become a Franciscan nun.a spiritual daughter of St. and she soon edifies and inspires the admiration of many of the nuns.Magdalena becomes a Franciscan nun In 1504. at least for now. All of these facts are cause for some concern. Clare. apparently living only on Holy Communion.
. carries a heavy cross all around the convent. Francis and St. at age 17. but she does seem very devout and is willing to do even the most menial and unwanted tasks.
as is usual. The event is greatly anticipated and well prepared. and for so long. Afterwards it flies outside of the Church and those who run out to follow it see it rise almost striaght up. at age 22. she already has a reputation for sainthood.
. and seems to speak into her ear. in memory of the heroic crucifixion of her youth. something very remarkable happens: a dove. Afterwards it ascends up to a parapet. The dove lands on Magdalena's shoulder. and waits to hear the Cardinal’s speech. in 1509. At last. The news of these events spread like wildfire across the country and even spills outside its borders. catches the eye of everyone. All of the nobles seek to obtain a good place in the church and to add even more glory to the great day. The ceremony begins and she comes forward and kneels outside the sanctuary. Magdalena will now be known as Sister Magdalene of the Cross.After a few years as a postulant. the day of the ceremony arrives. the Archbishop himself has his throne covered by a dais of richly embroidered velvet. The miraculous dove Afterwards at the Kyrie Eleison. and remains there as if watching until the end of the ceremony. But rather than exhort the novice to the practice of christian virtue and piety. and because of this it is thought prudent to let her take her vows alone. As the weeks and months progress after her solemn profession. which seems to descend straight from the high catherdral ceiling. that the sky finally seems to close over it. he publicly asks her for her prayers and protection in support of himself and the diocese.
Magdalene de la Cruz (as she is know known as) soon exhibits extraordinary faculties. As in the past she continues to go into ecstasy often. and also the regency of Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros over the kingdom of Castile. she seemingly knows many things that happens in Cordoba and elsewhere. her companions carry her to her cell then withdraw discretely.Sr. Sometimes their curiosity gets the better of them and they listen not far away and often hear a gentle muttering of unknown words and also moans of suffering too. people from all over petitioning Magdalena of the Cross for her prayers and spiritual help. In 1515. In sign of gratitude. which increases the admiration and devotion of her fellow sisters and others even more. the gossip around all of these remarkable events swells and continues to spill outside of Spain. and Magdalena’s convent is buzzing like a beehive with activity. Without ever going outside the walls. which comes to pass as foretold. Generous donations pour in also. and if she happens to be out of her cell while doing so. she announces the death of King Ferdinand for the following year. and also in the aristocratic and noble homes in Cordoba. Magdalena appears: she can seemingly predict the future. particularly in the neighbouring Franciscan convent. Cardinal Jiménez has a beautiful vermilion ostensory given to her. Magdalena's prophesies It is at this time that another prodigious mystical gift of Sr.
. Correspondence floods the convent. Her fame continues to spreads across Spain and abroad As can be expected.
the Abbess discretely watches Magdalena and. some perhaps because they feel a hidden envy for Magdalena. and there is nothing in Sacred Scripture that would point to such a second birth of Jesus into this world. Magdalena discreetly tells her Abbess some news which fills the pious woman with great confusion and perplexity--Magdalena states that on the preceding night. for Magdalena's abdomen is noticeably rounding out.. she is obliged to bow to the obvious evidence.or of nature? The nuns are divided concerning Magdalena's alleged miraculous pregnancy The nuns are all informed of the situation. she had conceived the child Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. and soon the convent is divided into two camps. On the one side.. there are those who doubt the miraculous conception. As the days pass. after a few weeks. while she prays for guidence as to how to proceed. the Abbess orders Magdalena to keep absolutely quiet about it for now. Thus Magdalene of the Cross. is pregnant. Forseeing the enormous scandal that such news would inevitably provoke. 1518.
. At this point most do not yet actually doubt her sainthood. the solemn Vigil of the Annunciation. the day of the Feast of the Annunciation. the shining light of the convent of Saint Elizabeth of the Angels. and the moment is going to come when they will no longer be able to hide this "work" of the Holy Spirit.A unexpected and remarkable pregnancy on the day of the Annunciation On March 25.. that is. Others because it is such a extraordinary thing that has never happened outside of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
and besides she never leaves the convent grounds. To that. however some cannot help themselves and soon the extraordinary news is spreading through all of Cordova and abroad. the doubters reply that she receives her confessor alone. Certainly many of them accuse themselves of jealousy to their confessor. and must have harbored some envy towards her. Seemingly even more devout in the practice of virtue. But how does Magdalena respond? She treats all of the news and insinuations with absolute and complete indifference. most importantly because such a miracle is not announced in the Holy Scriptures. and the countless individuals who request her intercession and prayers. However.however all these extraordinary things are without a doubt cause for careful discernment. there are those. also numerous. she
. and that the Most High has been pouring all sorts of extraordinary graces on his humble servant for many years. On the other side. she who is so seemingly devout and pious. And then there is all the generous donations that have been flowing in in honor of the "living saint".all of this tends to relegate the other sisters to a lesser position in the convent. for various reasons this supernatural pregnancy appears inconceivable. and also that the bars on the convent fence are so widely spaced as to allow the passage of a much more cumbersome being than the Holy Spirit.. And so to some. Understandably they cannot fathom how she could have possibly stained her purity. and causes them to feel somewhat inadequate in their spirituality and the practice of virtue.. who say that God works in mysterious ways. a vow of silence is agreed upon by both camps.
she gives birth to a magnificent baby who radiates so much light that she can see as if it were high noon. for in a vision her guardian angel recommends that she give birth alone. Magdalena remains locked up in the little house for three days. The story that Magdalena tells when she comes out is absolutely prodigious. A little house at the end of the garden is prepared for her. Prayers of thanksgiving explode in all the churches and throughout the land. during which time the whole community remains in prayer. at midnight. so as to suffer more without any human assistance. and inside the convent the doubters and gossipers are reduced to utter silence and penances for their apparent doubts . they announce that while it is indeed true that the nun is pregnant. The Archbishop orders a medical examination of Sr.
. Magdalena confirms that she will very soon give birth. Having very carefully examined her. the Archbishop of Seville sends three experienced matron "midwives" to examine Magdalena. walking barefoot on pieces of broken glass and lashing her back and shoulders with instruments of severe mortification. Magdalena Hearing the news. it is also very much a fact that her virginity is completely intact and unquestionable. 1518. The cold air of her chamber is suddenly miraculously heated and the divine child doesn’t suffer at all from the cold. She relates that during Christmas night.redoubles the severity of her penances. On Christmas Eve. along with wearing a rough cilice discipline.
in particular by two demons named Balban and Patorrio. Soon the matron midwives are sent again to check on the veracity of these facts and to verify that Magdalena’s virginity has not suffered from the event. one into her foot.During this time. He approaches her and pushes two long needles in her body. while the nun is in ecstasy.. A solemn 'Te Deum' is then sung in the cathedral and donations flow in like never before. A few people continue to gossip. As proof of the miracle. Magdalene de la Cruz states that on the morning after Christmas she found herself alone. she cuts a few of her blond curls before her hair turns back to normal. with its long length allowing her to swaddle the infant child in it. strangely Magdalena’s hair begins to grow very fast and. yet Magdalena remains perfectly insensitive to them.. The needles penetrate deeply. so in an attempt to put a definitive end to the calumnies an exorcist monk arrives at the convent one morning. from crow black that it was.. however. When the needles are
.. without any reaction whatsoever. The nuns then compete for a few of the miraculous hairs to keep as precious relics. and the other into her hand. Sr.. but with her breast chapped from suckling him. the beautiful little child gone. as we will soon discover. which confirms in the minds of many that her ecstasies are authentic. But in truth this entire event was orchestrated and perpetrated by the devil. along with all of the stigmata of recent delivery still on her body. it changes to the brightest blond. and keep him warm in the softest of tunics. Continuing with the story of the remarkable birth.
Her fast from food is subjected to a stringent test In spite of this proof. it is discovered that Magdalena has suddenly disappeared. For. Magdalena is subjected to another test.are withdrawn. this time concerning her abstinence from food. asleep near a fountain. Magdalena reveals that it is Saint Francis himself who transported her to this place. For her part. a little stream of blood flows from the wounds. a fast which she allegedly has been carrying out for eleven years. So the Abbess then requests that a vigilant guard of two monks from the nearby Franciscan monastery be positioned at the entrance to Magdalena's cell with a 24 hour watch. Sr. the two monks taking turns with others in a rotating schedule. she even orders that the window shutters of the chamber be nailed shut. They look for her everywhere. The monks assure the abbess that they have not relaxed their surveillance for an instant. Sr.
. it was being insinuated that certain novices were secretly bringing her food. Additionally. and it is concluded that this is but another miracle in the extraordinary life of Sister Magdalena of the Cross. After a few days. and soon find her in the completely opposite part of the garden. Of course nobody is able to give any explanation for this prodigy.
and is able to furnish by far the greatest part of the money needed for its construction.A Cathederal is built in greater part through the donations given to Sister Magdalena At this point. Sr. Because of this. the Archbishop is in need of a new Cathederal. and soon Magdalena and the other nuns who have befriended her are better informed of what is happening in the city than the Archbishop himself. and because of the abundant donations sent to Sr. by great and small alke. Sr. Magdalena her convent of Saint Elizabeth of the Angels is the richest in Spain. Magdalena de la Cruz is elected Abbess
. Magdalena is consulted on the new cathedral’s appearance. Sr. Her advice is even sought from outside. In 1523. She is consulted for all the major decisions that need to be taken by the community. Magdalena now has a greater prestige than the Abbess herself.
by hypocrisy or fear of too difficult penances. she inspires and fascinates the Spanish high clergy. The new abbess Magdalena encourages severe mortifications and penances With Magdalena now in charge. And so it is that during Confession the sisters. and she exhorts her religious sisters to do likewise. Mother Magdalena
. although full of sometimes astounding events. many of her fellow nuns want her as abbess so much that. in presence of the Order’s Superior. on February 17. Hearing of this. the new Abbess sometimes provokes very difficult scenes. has contributed for the most part in a positive way to the convent’s enrichment through her practice of virtue and the apparent signs from heaven which inspire the faithful. stating: “Let them elect Sister Isabella of the Holy Trinity instead. In doing so. In a show of alleged humility.And so it is that for twenty-nine years Magdalena's notoriety has grown in proportion to her alleged virtues. and she has led an existence which. except Mother Magdalena seems to have a strong penchant for the practice of severe penances. and many feel that she should have a higher position in the convent more suited to her merits. Magdalena protests and she uses her poor administrative abilities as a reason. by forty-four votes as opposed to the seven given to Isabella of the Holy Trinity. in the beginning life in the convent hardly changes. It is suggested that she should become the Abbess. now usually only accuse themselves of small faults.” However. 1533 Magdalena is elected Abbess. Always seemingly pious and disposed to sacrifice. since as time passes the current Abbess is becoming infirm.
Some burst into tears.
. Penances are now measured to the alleged gravity of the faults. it is necessary to totally expiate sins. This is to preserve the nuns humility. the confessions of the nuns are more to Mother Magdalena's liking. before slowly returning back to normal. She orders them to admit to more severe sins. so that no one else could see the nuns who chose to use this form of severe mortification. Before. the Abbess modernises it.enters into holy wrath which soon causes unspeakable fear into her sisters. for according to Abbess Magdalena. As for the manner and the times in which the discipline (iescourge or lash/whip) should be applied. rolling on the floor and arching their bodies. supposedly revelaing the sisters true state of sin. the Abbess orders some to crawl on their knees in the refectory and make the sign of the cross with their tongues on the shoes of all the assembled nuns. It was the nuns own choice to do so. Soon. and it was done in darkness so that no one might know who is choosing to discipline themselves. when the occasion came for extreme penance and use of the discipline (ie -scourge or lash/whip). and there are a couple of others who astonishingly go into a sort of semi-possession. and to succeed in this endeavor the common cord whip disciplines are replaced with iron tipped ones. the candles were extinguished. To reprimand the more guilty ones for their alleged spiritual weaknesses. and the poor nuns become frightened by the severity of the abbess.
or be exposed to the indignation of others. and the nuns are given all the necessary time to openly whip themselves in the performance of bodily mortification and penance.But from now on. and discouragement and despair in others Gone now are the "little penances" consisting of begging food from each table. in the full light and prescence of the other nuns. Knowing that Mother Magdalena was being guided by the devil at this time (which we shall soon see). According to her. the sight of the self inflicted penance should be an encouragement for all of them to likewise do the same. it is assumed that these exraordinary penances were an attempt by the devil to instill spiritual pride in some of the nuns. along with provoking interior feelings of inadequacy and spiritual weakness and discouragement amongst many of the nuns. for according to Mother Magdalena a soul with
. Mother Magdalena orers that the candles are to remain lit.
they are encouraged to wear cilices or belts with small iron spikes pointing inwards and are encouraged to stretched out in doorways so that the others nuns can walk upon them and some wear a crown made of thorns. Yet these extreme severities seemingly do not harm the outward devotion of most of the community to their new Abbess.pride can submit to that easily enough. as in the past. No one dares. and dispenses her from Confession Not only does Magdalena on the one hand encourage severe penances and mortifications. the abbess Magdalena of the Cross relaxes some long-standing rules of the Order that have exsisted for centuries. St Francis allegedly appears to her. it seems. her reputation for holiness goes before her. and on the other hand she relaxes some of the rules of the Order. Yet. surprsingly. to question her authority and power within the community. For acording to her it is severe mortification which is the salt of true penitence. Mother Magdalena relaxes other rules of the Order Yet. The nuns are now encouraged to remain on their knees on boards garnished with rounded iron nailheads. She is twice re-elected with the majority of the votes. the founder of her Order allegedly appears to her one night and dispenses her from having to go to Confession in the future. but now apparently because of her "saintliness" Saint Francis. and she is allowed to relax many rules of the Order within her own convent.
. and also with the Archbishop and the priests within the local Church itself. This of course causes concern first and foremost amongst the other Franciscan communities in her order.
but also with the priests themselves. In her opinion. as such a practice is unheard of throughout Catholic Spain at that time. This most recent innovation of course causes even more murmurs and doubts. the Carmelite St. This causes quite a stir amongst not only the sisters. Mother Magdalena receives the admiration of many top dignitaries
. Additionally. Mother Magdalena states that on the previous evening. (presumably a soul from purgatory?) had come to confess to her. Teresa of Avilia would face such heavy opposition to the reforms that she was endeavoring to instill within the Carmelite Order in Spain only a few short years later. they are to sit face to face with the confessor. particularly from Isabella of the Holy Trinity who still hasn’t forgotten being beaten by Magdalena in the 1533 elections. a dead woman. It is no wonder then that within a couple of decades the great Spanish reformer and mystic. and on whom Magdalena (as Abbess) has inflicted the severest humiliations upon ever since. and to the Order itself. Mother Magdalena of the Cross authorises the sisters to no longer fast on Fridays "so as to be able to support even greater mortifications". Soon afterwards. It is the belief of many of her fellow sisters that this great reform of the Franciscan Order that she is undertaking will bring new prosperity to the convent. She immediately wants the young nuns and novices to confess to her at night in her cell.And for the confessions of her fellow nuns. she explains that it is an insult to them to be separated from their confessor by a grille.
the Emperor Charles V was starting from Barcelona for the expedition to Tunis. The doubts about Mother Magdalena begin to mount And so it is that the revelations and prodigies that direct and guide Mother Magdalena seem to cause her to make decisions that are more and more contestable and disconcerting. he sent his banner to C6rdova that she might bestow on it her blessing. and also the Archbishop of Seville often writes to her. When. while pregnant and nearing their deliveries would send the layette to be blessed by her. made pilgrimages to visit her. the inquisitor-general. and it is said that even the pope sent to ask her prayers for the Christian Republic. the admiration that she receives from the greats of her time seem to easily blunt any criticisms– for Queen Isabella of Spain herself sends Mother Magdalena her portrait and beseeches Magdalena for her prayers. although it should be said that this was often a common practice of the time for prioresses such as Mother Magdalena who were considered devout. presumably because of all the alleged heavenly graces that she supposedly receives. for since they were in charge of their respective convents. and in his letters he calls her "the happiest creature in the world”. the papal nuncio. as did the Empress Isabel before the birth of Philip II. The noblest ladies. and Giovanni di Reggio. Cardinal Manrique.Yet. for the benefit of the Church or their local dioceses. in 1535. And now once again she reveals more troubling revelations one morning:
. amidst these troubling new reforms and directives from Mother Magdalena. the pope and the high prelates would often request their prayers in union with the sisters in their convents.
In reparation (and perhaps some retaliation for her own humiliations?) that same evening. With doubts continuing to mount. After the "ecstasy" she finally returns to her cell on her own. Mother Magdalena of course receives her information from the Holy Virgin Herself. The 1542 elections bring a surprising result During the next elections for abbess. but in the families. these revelations strongly displease those who are the victims. because for example one of their ancestors were perhaps Jewish. Magdalena is again suspected
. Now. she obliges Magdalena to make as many signs of the cross on the floor with her tongue as there are tiles in the refectory. and Isabella of the Holy Trinity is elected by a large margin. see their daughters refused entrance into the convent. Always when this would happen in the past. Magdalena the former Abbess falls into ecstasy. Sister" and then gazing at one of those who had been opposing her "but she only gave a long look of scorn to you. She smiled at you. Their protestations join those of the families who. indignation and anger provoke the growing attitude of doubt concerning the supposed heavenly guidance recieved by the abbess. In the middle of this.“The Holy Virgin has appeared to me and led me about the corridors last night. the sisters would carry her to her cell. Mother Magdalena receives only a handful of votes.” Understandably. outside. she is left where she is in the refectory for a good part of the night.
seems to prove that the miracle of spontaneous Communion. But when he wisely dips the needle in holy water. which is one of the distinctive marks of real ecstasies. she falls gravely ill. You will not see another Christmas. Add to this. Seemingly out of character. one day. As time progrsses. as she is still said to be fasting on a daily basis for over thirty years now. she hears: “You are dying. Magdalena immediately goes into convulsions. so he sends for a doctor whom he knows to be also well versed in the spiritual life. repeated many times in the past. This box. she is now worried. This immediately draws suspicion and concern that Sr. One December day. a little iron box containing Communion wafers is brought to the Abbess. Magdalena's illness continues to get worse. A demonic presence is detected In 1543.of receiving food clandestinely. Magdalena lets out a moan. has been just a trick. Magdalena’s eyes do not remained fixed. The priest suspects a demonic prescence. But at the moment when the confessor puts his stole on in preparation for her confession. and often asks the doctor to keep her informed on the evolution of her illness. he stabs her with a needle and obtains no reaction.”
. Magdalena may be infested or even possessed by a demon. He examines Magdalena and notices that during one of her ecstasies. However. This seems a good occasion for the Abbess to oblige her to make a general confession of her entire life. found under Magdalena’s bed.
and perhaps even possession. and soon afterwards
. and if need be exorcise Magdalena immediately. She then falls heavily onto the bed several times. Rev.. but apparently without hurting herself.Greatly anguished. Don Juan of Cordova is able to establish at least a solid case of demonic infestation. I am a cursed dog! Take me to Hell!” Then she falls back into her bed and begins uttering revolting blasphemies before suddenly being taken from her bed by an inisible force and held in mid-air.. and she asks him to examine.. Thus the Rev. Don Juan of Cordova called in.. and the news spreads first among the nuns. After some reflection. The demon glories in all the disorder that he has been able to cause over so many years in the convent. the Abbess decides to have a very old and experienced priest. Not long after visiting Magdalena the old man looks at her and orders: “I order you in the Name of Jesus to leave this poor woman and dare to say your name!” The demon first lets out a terrible cry in which the name “Balban” is recognised. The demonic laughing intensifies and the words uttered are horrible.The forty years as announced!. and swears that he will return. Later during exorcisms it was discovered that another demon named "Patorrio" was also influencing her. Magdalena suddenly twists on her bed and then rises up and lets out mysterious words: “1544!.
Upon hearing such disconcerting admissions. Yet all those who meet him afterwards notice that he is carrying a very heavy burden. And it is also he who teaches her the subterfuge of the wafers. the Provincial of the Franciscans goes in person to the dying nun’s bedside. Don Juan of Cordova and he inspires her with confidence. and later throughout the whole of Spain. Sister Magdalena of the Cross admits to a 40 year pact with the devil Next. the lifetime of the “saint” Magdalena of the Cross.amongst the clergy and townsppeople of Cordova. Her cries in the night are in no way inspired by the ecstatic love that she has for the Creator. He remains there for several hours and receives a complete confession. Immediately. of which he says nothing. The following day however. Sr. an Inquisitor is sent to investigate the thorny matter by the express order of Cardinal Juan Pardo de Tavera. Magdalena starts to insult the
. and he assists her with the simulation of ecstasies. but by the demon’s evil caresses. She reveals to him that the beautiful dark-haired young man who appeared to her at the age of five was in fact the devil. if she would consent to obey him always. He had promised her fame and the respect of everyone. a frightful secret. the diabolic Abbess of Cordova. the Inquisitor is horrified and almost instictively he makes the sign of the Cross upon himself. a nightmare which has been a whole lifetime. He is much younger than the Rev. It is also satan who leaves his mark by touching her two fingers which from then forward stop growing. the Primate of Spain.
She then begins to roll around the floor in her cell. it is discovered that the most wicked and hideous means were used to undermine Magdalena’s soul as a child. One night. During the ongoing exorcisms it is learned that when Magdalena became a young adult. It was believed that he originally chose her because she was in fact very pious and devoted to God. Sr. Magdalena de la Cruz' case is well documented and quickly prepared. he presented himself to her in the form of a schimmering mist which condenses and takes the form of a very tall man with long hair. while striking indecent poses and mimicking the vile copulations that she has performed with Balban for nearly forty years. the demon Balban ceased to appear to her as a beautiful young man. who radiates a reddish light. when the young girl was waiting for him as usual. we shall soon see how God wins triumphantly in the end.
. and bites anything she can. more experienced nuns to stay in the corridor to write down the fallen Magdalena's words. so as to be able to document and later serve as witnesses.priest with vile and abhorrent words. and so in his terrible wickedness he earnestly sought to despoil God of one of His favorites. But. as he had been doing since she was age five. From here. The Exorcisms of Sister Magdalena begin During the extended course of interrogations that were part of the ongoing exorcism during which Balban is very reluctantly dislodged from Magdalena. Because he is an experienced Inquisitor. the good monk had asked the older.
and he promises that her apparent sainthood would only grow in measure with the supposed unimaginable pleasures that she would enjoy with him. his twisted horns and his toothless mouth. It was to play a joke by troubling the minds of the nuns and the Spanish clergy and laity that he had made her pregnant with an montorous caterpillar. Magdalena then gives in. and it is again the darkhaired. The infernal creature is repulsive and the possessed nun describes in horror his wide. Next she confesses that it was also the devil who came to feed her in secret. He commanded her to immediately become his wife. was in fact the most-beloved creature of the devil. and that she had really been pregnant by him. flat nose. She had been told by him that she risked nothing if she followed his instructions. and very attractive young man that she now receives in her.She cries out “Jesus”. Lacking in spiritual fortitude. of course. and he assures her that she will not lose her virginity. which escaped from her body with a loud wind that famous Christmas night. A few holy and well known individuals were not fooled And so it is that the whole of Christendom discovers with horror that she of whom most everyone thought was God’s mostbeloved. She is then forced to contemplate this horrid creature who now rises before her in a horrible metamorphisis. greatly displeases Balban. Yet
. vanquished. but this. before changing into Balban. and re-possessing her with unprecedented vigor. who lifts her with his burning hand and drops her on the ground. from a man into a vile beast.
he was discreetly denied access to her.(Mark 16:9) and she became known as the great.
Sr. Mary Magdalene and deeply repents of the demons that were possessing her As the Scriptures relate. repentant sinner. it is said that he severely reproved Martin de la Santa Cruz. when he was in Cordova. for accepting exterior signs without seeking for the true interior ones. Tradition tells us that she spent the rest of her life in a cave making
. Magdalena of the Cross becomes like her namesake. Mary Magdalene. and the great St John of Avila (who is soon to be declared a Doctor of the Church) was also very sceptical and. Magdalena's contemporaries were not so easily fooled by her false mysticism.some of Sr. Jesus had cast out seven horrible demons that were possessing St. Magdalena. St. like the great St Ignatius Loyola who was incredulous and in 1541. who endeavored to win him over towards Sr.
and it is because of this that Magdalena is transferred to the Alcazar prisons to be further interrogated. Magdelena de la Cruz. appointed by Isabella of Castile herself. now fully exorcised and free of the demons Balban and Patorrio who are forced to reveal that they are leaving forever the body and soul of the possessed woman. and she became a most extraordinary Saint. Because of her great age. she is then judged by the religious tribunal on May 3. most especially Balban. as Holy Scripture tells us. Magdalena is now sixty-one years old and she is extraordinarily repentant for all that she has done and she begs the court to put a rapid end to her torments and deliver her to the purifying flames. The Grand Inquisitor of the religious tribunal is Cardinal Jimenez.
. And rightfully so. her sincere confessions and the quality of her repentance her deserved sentence is greatly mitigated. now the Primate of Spain. And so the inquisitors place a large portion of the blame on the demons Balban and Patorrio. 1546. Jesus chose St Mary Magdalene to be one of the first witnesses to His glorious Resurrection. they consider her to be a pitiful victim of the demon and perhaps they remember well the days of her glory when they too had exalted in having what was belived to be such an extraordinary saint in their midst. and not so much on Magdalena herself. In fact. The judgement of the Religious Tribunal As for the once renowned Sr. The judges however decide otherwise. The demons Balban and Patorrio receive the majority of the blame Sr.penance and reparation for her manifold sins.
which precipitates her revelations. If Magdalena confesses.since she was just an inexperienced youth when the demon(s) began influencing her. And it is God who assures her that she will live if she confesses. She abjures and repents in tears. on the other hand. and she must always walk last in all of the movements of convent life. a Spartan cord around her neck. in 1544. Magdalena is to be led to the scaffold with a gag in her mouth. and that she should then abjure her manifold errors. She would become even more a heroine in repentance than she was in false virtue and fame. She is also ordered to go to a different Franciscan convent in Burgos. so they conclude that her culpability is greatly lessened because of her age at the time. Those of the demon. in front of the Cathedral that she had had raised thanks to her deceptions in union with the demons Balban and Patorrio. her pact with the devil has arrived at its end. as she says herself. they feel that as a youth Magdalena was heavily intimidated by the demon. It is fear of Hell. she must keep her face exposed and cannot wear the black veil. and inspires and guides her deep repentance. and a candle in her hand. In short. it is because. For three months. So the judges decide that Sr. where she lives long years or repentance and expiation without ever falling again into
. She is to remain exposed there for all to see for the time period of a High Mass. The Catholic church relies on the principle that divine works are eternal and infinite. And it is also God who in His infinite love and mercy inspires all of her admissions. are always limited in time and space.
However. Magdalena succumed to a great pride and a false demonic promise that offered her prestige and power. for whom Magdalena is an important historical figure. The important lessons learned through the extraordinary
. At a young age. And it is from the transcript of her trial that Maitre Maurice Garcon drew up his remarkable book on her life. documents how she was in fact very well-known throughout Christendom in the 16th and 17th centuries. Maurice Garcon. Today. one in London and the other in Paris. Sister Magdalena de la Cruz died in 1560 at the age of 74. According to him there are only two copies of this very precious manuscript in the world. and how many of the theological and demonological treatises make precise and detailed references to her case.the slightest error. the great lawyer and writer. using the transcript from her trial. the name of this Sister Magdalena of the Cross is all but forgotten and her remarkable story is practically unknown. In fact during this time period the many facts presented in theological books concerning demonic influences are illustrated by the statements and documents drawn from her trial. Louis Pauwels used Maitre Garcon's book (among other references) for his resume of Sr Magdalena's life. But the great and small of her time were all later sure that her final deep humility and repentance had made her quite worthy of Paradise.
he was able to decieve even Cardinals. His subterfuges have turned against him: by intimidating and perverting Magdalena. Magdalena's extraordinary yet fraudulent mystical life replete with numerous alleged supernatural and mystical gifts that almost perfectly mimic the ones given to authentic mystics should serve as a very grave warning of how the devil can ape and mimic God's works. he has in the end only reinforced the faith of the people. himself. and she who had been submissive to him for so long.case of Magdalena of the Cross Magdalena had arrived so high in her reputation for sainthood that she had been the counseller of kings. Yet the trial’s conclusions about this are very interesting. The outcome of the long and detailed trial by the judges concludes that in the end the only real dupe in this affair is the devil. and can be exceedingly convincing while doing so. through the power and mercy of God. For as we see in the case of Sr. priests. Magdalena was the absence of a priest spiritual director to guide and discern her alleged mystical gifts and supernatural graces. and above all. of the great Church dignitaries. Magdalena. gloriously escapes from his wicked rule in the end. emperors. The root cause of the ongoing deception: The necessity of spiritual direction and obedience The important missing element which allowed for the ongoing demonic deceptions in the life of Sr. And Truth overcomes the devils lies and the deceptions that he inspires through his demons. Obedience is the
. theologians and others who were very experienced in the mystical life and spiritual matters. For those who study the lives of visionaries and the mystics of the Church.
Mystics and visionaries should always be guided by a priest spiritual director. the demonic deceptions would certainly have been detected much sooner. defend us in battle!
. A priest spiritual director represents Christ and His authority within the Church. and may the Blessed Virgin Mary cover us under Her mantle. For sure another one of the spiritual lessons is that all that glitters is not necessarily gold. St Michael the archangel. and it should always be the priest who directs the mystic. and the devil does not counterfeit tin or copper. and therefore mystical and supernatural graces should be subjected to this authority to help discern their authenticity. and NOT the mystic who directs the priest. -May Jesus inspire. and it seems that Sr. with the help of God. guide and protect us."litmus test" of the Church. So we need to be very careful. or even silver---he seeks to counterfeit gold. not to be misled by his phony deceptions. Magdalena was never subjected to obedience to a spiritual director. Had she been.