Caring for the Sick – Part 1 of 2

St. Mary Magdalen di Pazzi showed wonderful charity towards all the sick. She visited them every day, and in severe cases many times a day, remaining as long as necessary, and serving them in all their needs, for which she provided herself, or through the Superioress or others in charge. By first tasting it herself, she sometimes encouraged them to take food. She bathed them, arranged their beds, and swept their rooms, performing the humblest offices of her own accord. She read spiritual books to them, exhorted them to patience, or gave them consolation, and did everything with so much affection and cheerfulness, that she was of the greatest assistance. This charity was universal, free from self-interest, prompted solely by the love of God, regarding the sick now as temples of the Holy Ghost, now as sisters of the angels.

When medicine was to be given at inconvenient hours, she offered to help the infirmarian. When any required unusual care, she took the whole charge of serving them. She did this in the case of a blind consumptive, of a leper, and of one who had a frightful ulcer.

When the sick were near their end, she remained with them all night, without lying down, sometimes staying beside them for fifteen days and nights in succession, now praying for them, now encouraging them with so much feeling and charity, that she gave them the greatest comfort. And so all the dying wished to have her present at their passage from this world.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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