2016년 6월 8일 수요일

Pleiades to Hyades  게시판 

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2011 November 17


Image Credit & CopyrightRogelio Bernal Andreo
Explanation: This cosmic vista stretches almost 20 degrees across the gentle constellation Taurus. It begins at the Pleiades and ends at the Hyades, two of the best known star clusters in planet Earth's sky. At left, the lovely Pleiades star cluster is about 400 light-years away. In a familiar celestial scene, the cluster stars shine through dusty clouds that scatter blue starlight. At right, the V-shaped Hyades cluster looks more spread out compared to the compact Pleiades and lies much closer, 150 light-years distant. Of course, the Hyades cluster stars seem anchored by bright Aldebaran, a red giant star with a yellowish appearance. But Aldebaran actually lies only 65 light-years away, by chance along the line of sight to the Hyades cluster. Faint dust clouds found near the edge of the Taurus Molecular Cloud are also evident throughout the remarkable 12 panel mosaic. The wide field of view includes the youthful star T Tauri and Hind'svariable nebula about four degrees left of Aldebaran on the sky.

Tomorrow's picture: the colorful side


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Padre Pio story -- from' Padre Pio devotion' newsletter archives issue 26, 2006  게시판 
2016.03.28. 01:30
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Eublio Cardone was born in 1921 in Pietrelcina, Italy, Padre Pio”s hometown. Eublio’s parents were close friends with Padre Pio’s parents, Giuseppa and Grazio Forgione, who lived just down the road from the Cardones. 





A blind man from Lecco begged Padre Pio to restore his sight "even if only in one 
eye," so that he might again see the faces of his dear ones.
 Padre Pio questioned him repeatedly: "Only in one eye?"


Padre Pio told the man to be of good heart and that he would pray for him. 
Some weeks later the man returned in tears to thank Padre Pio
 because his sight was restored!


Padre Pio said: "So, you are seeing normally again?" The man replied,
 "Yes, from this eye here, not from the other."


Padre Pio said: "Ah! Only from one eye? Let that be a lesson to you.
 Never put limitations on God. Always ask for the big grace!" 



Throat cancer


Danilo Gorin testified in 1996 that he had returned to Italy from Canada because 
he had a terminal throat cancer. The doctors had told him:
 “Go to your homeland to die.”


With his wife he went to see Padre Pio for the first time. As soon as Padre Pio 
saw him he said: “Eh, Canadian.” The poor man was so surprised that
 he started crying.


After the confession, Padre Pio asked: “So what do the doctors say about 
your illness?” After Danilo’s explanation that he had three months to live, 
Padre Pio touched his throat and said: 
“Have faith, Jesus is doctor and medicine.”


On his way to his hometown of Vicenza he realized that he felt normal. A doctor’s examination found him completely healthy.[2]



Antonio Bandolino


Antonio Bandolino, age fifty three, after an accident, for thirty three years was 
unable to sit or walk. He had multiple fractures of pelvis, chronic generalized 
polyarthritis, and cardio respiratory deficiency. He had been hospitalized fifty four 
times all over Italy.


He was brought to Casa Sollievo, few years after Padre Pio’s death, for urgent need 
of oxygen. During the night he was visited by a monk who commanded him to get up 
and walk. Struggling and perspiring he obeyed, accompanying his strange director in 
silently visiting the bedside of each patient in the rooms of his hospital wing.


Back to his room, the monk said: “Don’t forget to go down to the church, to visit my 
tomb.” Only then he realized that it was Padre Pio. He had never seen Padre Pio and 
he had never believed in him.  He was an atheist. The following day he was dancing 
and jumping about. The real miracle came afterwards, with his conversion.
The souls in Purgatory pray for us  게시판 
2016.03.28. 00:53

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CCACIOPPOLI FAMILY

John McCaffery with Padre Pio


John wrote "Tales of Padre Pio"



To John McCaffery: "I believe that not a great number of souls go to hell. God loves us so much. He formed us at his image. God loves us beyond understanding. And it is my belief that when we have passed from the consciousness of the world, when we appear to be dead, God, before He judges us, will give us a chance to see and understand what sin really is. And if we understand it properly, how could we fail to repent?"[75]




 비오 신부님은
존 맥커퍼리 에게 "나는 그렇게 많은 영혼들이 지옥에 간다는 것을 믿지 않네.
 하느님은 우리를 너무 사랑하신다. 신은 우리를 그의 형상으로 지으셨네. 하느님은
우리를 이해할 수 없을 만큼 사랑하신다. 나는 우리가 세계의 의식에서 지나서, 우리가
죽어서, 하느님 앞에 설 때 하느님은 우리에게 죄의 실상이 뭣인가를 보고 이해하게
기회를 주신다. 그래 우리가 그것을 적절히 이해한다면, 누가 회개하기를 그만 두겠니?"


Dr. Karl Kisvarday, administrator of Casa Sollievo reported that Padre Pio told him: “Carletto, the Lord has already established the date or our death, but I’m saying a special prayer to add one more year to the time allotted to you.”

A little less than a year after this, Dr. Kisvarday died. But he had his extra year of perfect health.[71]




고통을 더는 집의 행정관이었던 Karl Kisvarday 박사는 비오 신부님이 그에게 말한 것을
전한다. "Carletto(까를레또), 주님께서는 이미 그 날과, 우리의 죽음을  이미 정해 놓으셨어, 그러나 나는 너에게 정해진 시간에 1 년을 더 살게 기도를 특별히 말씀 드리겠네."
이후 일 년 조금 지나서 닥터 까를 끼스바르디 는 세상을 떠났다. 그러나 그는 온전히 건강하게 그 기간을 살았던 것이다.


"The souls in Purgatory pray for us, and their prayers are even more effective than ours, because they are accompanied by their suffering. So, let's pray for them, and let's pray them to pray for us." "The souls in Purgatory repay the prayers that we say for them." "When we pray for the souls in Purgatory we will always get something back."





연옥에 있는 영혼들은 우리를 위하여 기도한다, 그들의 기도는 우리들의 기도보다 훨씬 더 효과적인데, 그것은 그들의 기도가 그들의 고통이 동반 되어있는 까닭이다.
그러므로, 우리는 그들을 위하여 기도하고, 연령들이 우리를 위하여 기도하도록 기도 드리자. 연옥에 있는 영혼들은 우리가 그들을 위해드린 기도를 되갚아 준다. 우리가 연옥에
있는 영혼들을 위해 기도 드리면 우리는 언제나 무엇인가를 되돌려 받을 것이다.
THE HEALING OF GIOVANNI SAVINO  게시판 
2016.03.28. 00:47

Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry – Issue 15 – April-June 2003 
What fame he had. How many followers from around the world. Why? Was it because he was a philosopher, a scholar, or because he had means at his disposal? No, it was because he said Mass humbly, heard confessions from morning until night and was a marked representative of the stigmata of Our Lord. He was truly a man of prayer and suffering.”  
- Pope Paul VI  
The following story of the healing of Giovanni Savino is well-documented and backed up by factual information and analysis. Father Dominic Meyer, Padre Pio’s secretary for twelve years, wrote a detailed account of Giovanni’s cure in July, 1949. When the story were first publicized, it attracted great numbers of pilgrims to San Giovanni Rotondo.
THE HEALING OF GIOVANNI SAVINO

Giovanni Savino, a construction worker and a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, was a devoted spiritual son of Padre Pio. In February, 1949, Giovanni was working at Padre Pio’s friary, completing the construction of an annex to the monastery. The workers were leveling the ground and were getting ready to blast a huge boulder.
It was Giovanni’s custom to attend Padre Pio’s Mass every morning before going to work. After the Mass, he would wait in the sacristy to receive a blessing from Padre Pio. Every day Padre Pio would place his hands on Giovanni’s head and pray for him.
One morning, Padre Pio deviated from the regular routine. When Giovanni asked for a blessing, Padre Pio gave him a big hug and said, “Courage! I am praying to the Lord that you will not die.” Giovanni was terribly upset by this statement. He began to cry. “Padre Pio, what is going to happen to me?” Giovanni asked. But Padre Pio was silent.
The next three mornings as Giovanni asked for a blessing, Padre Pio embraced him and repeated the same disturbing words. When he repeated the same remarks on the fourth day, Giovanni told some of the construction workers, “I’m afraid something is going to go wrong. Maybe we should not work today.” But the crew decided to proceed with the job of blasting and leveling the ground.
That afternoon, Giovanni and another worker placed a charge of dynamite under a huge boulder. Giovanni lit the fuse but it failed to detonate. After a few minutes, he went over to check the charge. Just as he bent over, the dynamite exploded in his face. A shower of rocks hit Giovanni. The rock that he had been standing on fell on top of him and he lost consciousness. His face was badly burned and much of the skin was torn off. His left eye was filled with rocks and gravel. His right eye was completely gone. There was only a bit of raw flesh left in the empty socket.
Giovanni was rushed to the hospital. His left eye was operated on but nothing could be done for his right eye. The doctor told Giovanni’s wife that both of her husband’s eyes had been destroyed. Padre Pio was informed about the accident and told that Giovanni had been blinded. “That is not for certain yet,” Padre Pio replied.
It was three days before Giovanni regained consciousness. His entire head and face were bandaged. He was told that there was a possibility that his left eye might be saved. But as for his right eye, there was no hope. Meanwhile, Padre Pio was asking everyone to pray for Giovanni. He exposed the Blessed Sacrament and was heard to say, “Lord, I offer You one of my eyes for Giovanni, because he’s the father of a family.”
One evening, after being in the hospital for ten days, while Giovanni was praying the Rosary, he smelled “the aroma of paradise.” It was a beautiful, heavenly smell. It was the sign that announced Padre Pio’s invisible presence.
Giovanni felt a gentle slap on his right eye, the one that had been blown out of it’s socket. “Who touched me?” Giovanni said. But no one was there. He felt a tightness of the bedclothes caused by someone standing against the bed. He then realized that Padre Pio was with him. “Give me back my sight, Padre Pio, or let me die,” Giovanni said. “I cannot live like this.”
In the morning, when the doctor took the bandages off, he discovered that Giovanni’s face was healed and covered with new skin. He then examined his eyes. “I can see you!” exclaimed the injured man. “I can see you with my right eye.” The doctor insisted that he was seeing out of the left eye, as the right was totally destroyed. After further examination, it was clear that Giovanni was speaking the truth. He was not able to see with the eye in which the shrapnel had been removed, but he was seeing perfectly from the eye that had been shattered to a bloody jelly.
The doctor was astonished and said, “Well, now, who is the saint behind this? Who is your protector?” Giovanni replied, “I have been praying to Padre Pio and he has been taking care of me.” The doctor, who had been an atheist said, “Now I believe, too. I believe because this has happened right in front of me.”
When Giovanni was released from the hospital, he went to the friary to thank Padre Pio for the prayers said on his behalf. Padre Pio said to him, “Let us thank God that you did not get killed.” And later he said to Giovanni, “If only you knew what this cost me!”
Pietro Cugino, who used to visit Padre Pio’s monastery, said that one day, in the garden, while talking to some of the friars, Padre Pio suddenly said, “I’m blind. I cannot see anything.” After a time, Padre Pio’s eyesight returned. While we may not fully understand the meaning of this incident, we do know that Padre Pio was offering many prayers and sacrifices on Giovanni’s behalf and encouraging others to do the same.
In thanksgiving for the miracle, Giovanni and his wife offered to the Lord the child she was then carrying. Padre Pio named him Francesco, and he grew up to become a Capuchin priest.
Padre Raffaele, one of the friars at San Giovanni Rotondo, suggested that Giovanni go to Rome to see another eye doctor for treatment of his left eye. Giovanni asked Padre Pio his thoughts on the matter. “No,” Padre Pio said, “we have already obtained the grace which we have asked for. Even if you go to Rome you will not get any better than you are right now.”
Giovanni was not the only family member to be the beneficiary of graces through Padre Pio’s prayers. His children also received help in times of crisis. Giovanni’s young daughter, Lina, was on her way to a birthday party when she was struck down by a moped. This was before Padre Pio’s hospital had been built, so Lina was taken unconscious to a first aid station. She was in a coma and found to be suffering from a trauma to her head and severe internal bleeding.
Giovanni and his wife rushed to the friary and told Padre Pio. As they described it, “He looked up to heaven as if he saw another reality,” and said, “Let’s pray and we’ll leave everything in Our Lord’s hands.” Afterward, Lina made a rapid and complete recovery.
Even when people were cured through the intercessory prayers of Padre Pio, as in the healing of Giovanni Savino, Padre Pio always gave God the credit. He would say, “Nothing is due to me. I am not a miracle worker. Left to my own devices, I can do nothing but sin.” When people came to thank Padre Pio for his prayers he would reply, “Do not thank me, thank Our Lord and Our Lady. They are responsible for your healing.”

God is for us a refuge and strength . . . So we shall not fear though the earth should rock, though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea.
– Psalm 46:1,2
________________________________

A Letter from Padre Pio to Pope Paul VI
Padre Pio had a great devotion to the Pope. Every day Padre Pio would rise at two o’clock in the morning and begin his prayers. His lamp had to be draped because the light would bother his eyes. But the drape had to be open so that a ray of light could hit the Pope’s picture which was always on his desk. Until the ray of light hit the Pope’s picture, he was never satisfied. That is how Padre Pio would begin his day – praying for the Holy Father. A short time before his death, Padre Pio wrote the following letter to Pope Paul VI. His words remain especially relevant today.
Your Holiness,
. . . In a spirit of faith, love, and obedience to the greatness of Him whom you represent on earth, I offer my respectful homage to your August Person. . .
I know that your heart suffers much these days on account of the happenings in the Church; for peace in the world, for the great needs of its peoples; but above all, for the lack of obedience of some. . . . to the lofty teachings which you, assisted by the Holy Spirit and in the name of God, have given us. I offer Your Holiness my daily prayers and sufferings. . . asking the Lord to comfort you with His grace to continue along the direct yet often burdensome way–in defense of those eternal truths which can never change with the times.
May God grant the triumph to the truth, peace to His Church . . . so that when these disturbing clouds pass over, the Reign of God may triumph in all hearts, through the apostolic works of the Supreme Shepherd of all Christians.
Prostrate at your feet, I beg you to bless me, my Brothers in religion, my spiritual children, the “Prayer Groups”, all the sick–that we may faithfully fulfill the good works done in the name of Jesus and under your protection.
Your Holiness’ most humble servant,

Padre Pio, Capuchin
San Giovanni Rotondo, September 12, 1968
________________________________

Padre Pio and His Friends
Pauline Bongiovanni of San Diego shared her testimony at one of our Padre Pio devotions, regarding the grace her family received through the intercession of Padre Pio. Her story was so powerful and inspiring that we wanted to include it here.
In 1972, Pauline and Joseph Bongiovanni’s ten year old son, Ignazio (Zino) Bongiovanni, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, one of the deadliest and most aggressive forms of bone cancer. It was already in a very advanced state and Zino was given three months to live. The doctor said that nothing could be done for Zino. The Bongiovanni’s took Zino to another doctor in order to obtain a second opinion. The second doctor came to the very same conclusion. Pauline asked the second doctor if there wasn’t something that could be done for her son. The doctor said that he could amputate Zino’s leg but he did not recommend it because even if this measure was taken, his chance of survival would be only five percent. The doctor said that perhaps it would be better to let Zino live according to the time that was left to him without having to undergo the trauma of an amputation.
Pauline and her husband had a big decision to make regarding their son’s medical treatment. One day, in a great state of anxiety, Pauline went into the hospital chapel and knelt to pray, asking for guidance.
A few moments later a man entered the chapel. He touched Pauline gently on the shoulder and asked if there was something he might do to help her. Pauline was embarrassed by her tears so she did not turn around to look at the stranger. She shook her head to indicate that she did not care to talk. A few moments later, the man tapped her on the shoulder again and said: “Please let me help you. Maybe I can give you some advice.” Pauline was startled by these words because at that very moment she had been praying to the Blessed Mother, asking for advice. She once again declined to talk to the man. A few moments later, the man touched her shoulder for the third time and Pauline finally turned around to look at this man who was so persistent. Pauline was very, very surprised. “I can’t believe it,” she said to herself. “it’s St. Joseph.” Of course she realized that the stranger was not actually St. Joseph but he reminded her of him. His eyes were large and beautiful. He had a beard. He manifested a great love and concern. She told him about her son and the decision that had to be made soon. The man said to her: “I want to give you some advice. Go ahead with the operation. A 5 percent chance is better that no chance at all. When I was younger, the doctors gave up on me too, but look, I am still here today.” As the kindly man spoke, Pauline felt that his words were filling her with renewed hope and courage to face whatever lay ahead. She left the chapel to tell the doctors she had decided in favor of the operation and when she went back to the chapel to thank the man, he was gone. She asked many people in the hospital but no one had seen him.
Pauline thought about the man many times through the years. For a reason she did not quite understand, he had made a tremendous impression on her. She would never forget him. How she wished she could have thanked him for what he had done for her. She wished she could tell him that her son did indeed beat the odds, and was alive and healthy.
Twelve years later, Pauline and her husband Joseph were driving back to California from New York. Their sister in law was making the trip with them and had been experiencing serious symptoms related to a heart condition. Pauline and Joseph were beside themselves with anxiety. They were afraid she might have a heart attack on the long trip back home. Pauline related her fears to a close friend and the friend told her, “Pauline, don’t worry. I am going to give you a photo of a very powerful saint. You can put it right on your dashboard. He will protect your sister in law and get you all home safely.”
When Pauline looked at the photo, she couldn’t believe it. It was the kindly man she had thought about so many times through the years, the man who had reminded her of St. Joseph. It was the man who came into the chapel at the hospital during the darkest time of her life, whose words had filled her with hope and courage. It was Padre Pio.

Sister Magdalena who made a pact with Satan  게시판 
2016.03.28. 00:10
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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 (1487-1560).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 the Church steps. 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. Soon, someone comes in looking for her and realises that she is seeing a vision. Looking closely at her eyes, she sees in the reflection in her eyes the heavens and what seems to be the Holy Trinity surrounded by the Communion of Saints. Soon afterwards, like Jesus after the cure of the blind man, Magdalena is subjected to all sorts of interrogations to discover any subterfuge, none of which can apparently be found. Not long afterwards, a mute person also allegedly receives his speech through her intercession.
Magdalena attempts to crucify herself
In 1497 at the age of ten, Magdalena is already quite beautiful, and in her purity she is very cautious to hide herself under long black dresses and skirts. Even so, she still finds herself too beautiful, and one day for penance she tries to crucify herself on the wall of her bedroom. She starts by nailing her two feet, then her left hand. Blood flows, and she faints from the atrocious pain. Her flesh tears and, falling heavily onto a chest, she breaks two ribs. Her parents call the doctor and he bandages all of her nail wounds, yet she is burning with desire to suffer terribly for the reparation of sins, and she repeatedly takes off the bandages, so as to suffer more. But this soon makes her very ill.

On Easter Saturday, 1497, Magdalena is bedridden and seems to be dying, probaly because of infection from the wounds of her failed crucifixion. At midnight, she lets out a great scream, sits up on her bed, once more rips off her dressings, saying that she is healed. She says that it is Jesus himself, who has just appeared to her and has cured her.
A prolonged fast and her first Holy Communion
Three months before her First Holy Communion, Magdalena seemingly stops eating. The pleadings of her poor parents make no difference; she fasts right up until the Sunday of her first Holy Communion, surprisingly without losing her healthy appearance. On the day of the ceremony, at the precise moment of consecration, she lets out another cry and prostrates herself for a long time. When she exits the church, she explains that the Lord Himself put the Eucharist in her mouth, without her needing to approach the priest.
Wounds seemingly heal overnight and the story of two stubby fingers
At sixteen, Magdalena contunes to astound many with her apparent extraordinary devotion and her remarkable desire to make reparation for sin. Many see her as a living saint- for who else but a saint could do such extraordinary penances? When she whips herself to bleeding point while doing penance, her wounds are miraculously healed the next day to everyones great surprise. She is healthy, and everything about her seems wholesome, except two fingers which have not grown like the others: at sixteen, they are no larger than the size of a child's pinky. Some say that these two fingers are those that Christ touched one night in her childhood, during an apparition.

Magdalena becomes a Franciscan nun
In 1504, at age 17, Magdalena at last obtains what seems to be the great desire of her life: to become a Franciscan nun- a spiritual daughter of St. Francis and St. Clare. 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), and she soon edifies and inspires the admiration of many of the nuns.

There are however some "red flags" though. She is seemingly not too discrete about her spiritual life and merits; she inflicts severe mortifications upon herself, carries a heavy cross all around the convent, kisses her companions’ feet, and she seemingly stops eating completely, apparently living only on Holy Communion. All of these facts are cause for some concern, but she does seem very devout and is willing to do even the most menial and unwanted tasks, so her "extravagances" are for the most part downplayed, at least for now.

After a few years as a postulant, in 1509, at age 22, she already has a reputation for sainthood, and because of this it is thought prudent to let her take her vows alone. The event is greatly anticipated and well prepared. All of the nobles seek to obtain a good place in the church and to add even more glory to the great day, the Archbishop himself has his throne covered by a dais of richly embroidered velvet.

At last, the day of the ceremony arrives. Magdalena will now be known as Sister Magdalene of the Cross, in memory of the heroic crucifixion of her youth. The ceremony begins and she comes forward and kneels outside the sanctuary, and waits to hear the Cardinal’s speech. But rather than exhort the novice to the practice of christian virtue and piety, as is usual, he publicly asks her for her prayers and protection in support of himself and the diocese.
The miraculous dove
Afterwards at the Kyrie Eleison, something very remarkable happens: a dove, which seems to descend straight from the high catherdral ceiling, catches the eye of everyone. The dove lands on Magdalena's shoulder, and seems to speak into her ear. Afterwards it ascends up to a parapet, and remains there as if watching until the end of the ceremony. Afterwards it flies outside of the Church and those who run out to follow it see it rise almost striaght up, and for so long, that the sky finally seems to close over it. The news of these events spread like wildfire across the country and even spills outside its borders.

As the weeks and months progress after her solemn profession, Sr. Magdalene de la Cruz (as she is know known as) soon exhibits extraordinary faculties. Without ever going outside the walls, she seemingly knows many things that happens in Cordoba and elsewhere, particularly in the neighbouring Franciscan convent, and also in the aristocratic and noble homes in Cordoba. As in the past she continues to go into ecstasy often, and if she happens to be out of her cell while doing so, her companions carry her to her cell then withdraw discretely. 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.
Her fame continues to spreads across Spain and abroad
As can be expected, the gossip around all of these remarkable events swells and continues to spill outside of Spain. Correspondence floods the convent; people from all over petitioning Magdalena of the Cross for her prayers and spiritual help. Generous donations pour in also, and Magdalena’s convent is buzzing like a beehive with activity.
Magdalena's prophesies
It is at this time that another prodigious mystical gift of Sr. Magdalena appears: she can seemingly predict the future. In 1515, she announces the death of King Ferdinand for the following year, which comes to pass as foretold, and also the regency of Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros over the kingdom of Castile. In sign of gratitude, Cardinal Jiménez has a beautiful vermilion ostensory given to her, which increases the admiration and devotion of her fellow sisters and others even more.
A unexpected and remarkable pregnancy on the day of the Annunciation
On March 25, 1518, the day of the Feast of the Annunciation, Magdalena discreetly tells her Abbess some news which fills the pious woman with great confusion and perplexity--Magdalena states that on the preceding night, that is, the solemn Vigil of the Annunciation, she had conceived the child Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus Magdalene of the Cross, the shining light of the convent of Saint Elizabeth of the Angels, is pregnant.

Forseeing the enormous scandal that such news would inevitably provoke, the Abbess orders Magdalena to keep absolutely quiet about it for now, while she prays for guidence as to how to proceed. As the days pass, the Abbess discretely watches Magdalena and, after a few weeks, she is obliged to bow to the obvious evidence, for Magdalena's abdomen is noticeably rounding out, and the moment is going to come when they will no longer be able to hide this "work" of the Holy Spirit....or of nature?
The nuns are divided concerning Magdalena's alleged miraculous pregnancy
The nuns are all informed of the situation, and soon the convent is divided into two camps. On the one side, there are those who doubt the miraculous conception, some perhaps because they feel a hidden envy for Magdalena. Others because it is such a extraordinary thing that has never happened outside of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and there is nothing in Sacred Scripture that would point to such a second birth of Jesus into this world.

At this point most do not yet actually doubt her sainthood, however all these extraordinary things are without a doubt cause for careful discernment. And then there is all the generous donations that have been flowing in in honor of the "living saint", and the countless individuals who request her intercession and prayers...all of this tends to relegate the other sisters to a lesser position in the convent, and causes them to feel somewhat inadequate in their spirituality and the practice of virtue. Certainly many of them accuse themselves of jealousy to their confessor, and must have harbored some envy towards her. And so to some, for various reasons this supernatural pregnancy appears inconceivable, most importantly because such a miracle is not announced in the Holy Scriptures.

On the other side, there are those, also numerous, who say that God works in mysterious ways, and that the Most High has been pouring all sorts of extraordinary graces on his humble servant for many years. Understandably they cannot fathom how she could have possibly stained her purity; she who is so seemingly devout and pious, and besides she never leaves the convent grounds. To that, the doubters reply that she receives her confessor alone, 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.

However, a vow of silence is agreed upon by both camps, however some cannot help themselves and soon the extraordinary news is spreading through all of Cordova and abroad. But how does Magdalena respond? She treats all of the news and insinuations with absolute and complete indifference.

Seemingly even more devout in the practice of virtue, she redoubles the severity of her penances, walking barefoot on pieces of broken glass and lashing her back and shoulders with instruments of severe mortification, along with wearing a rough cilice discipline.
The Archbishop orders a medical examination of Sr. Magdalena
Hearing the news, the Archbishop of Seville sends three experienced matron "midwives" to examine Magdalena. Having very carefully examined her, they announce that while it is indeed true that the nun is pregnant, it is also very much a fact that her virginity is completely intact and unquestionable. Prayers of thanksgiving explode in all the churches and throughout the land, and inside the convent the doubters and gossipers are reduced to utter silence and penances for their apparent doubts .

On Christmas Eve, 1518, Magdalena confirms that she will very soon give birth. A little house at the end of the garden is prepared for her, for in a vision her guardian angel recommends that she give birth alone, so as to suffer more without any human assistance. Magdalena remains locked up in the little house for three days, during which time the whole community remains in prayer. The story that Magdalena tells when she comes out is absolutely prodigious.

She relates that during Christmas night, at midnight, she gives birth to a magnificent baby who radiates so much light that she can see as if it were high noon. The cold air of her chamber is suddenly miraculously heated and the divine child doesn’t suffer at all from the cold.

During this time, strangely Magdalena’s hair begins to grow very fast and, from crow black that it was, it changes to the brightest blond, with its long length allowing her to swaddle the infant child in it, and keep him warm in the softest of tunics.

As proof of the miracle, she cuts a few of her blond curls before her hair turns back to normal. The nuns then compete for a few of the miraculous hairs to keep as precious relics.

Continuing with the story of the remarkable birth, Sr. Magdalene de la Cruz states that on the morning after Christmas she found herself alone, the beautiful little child gone, but with her breast chapped from suckling him, along with all of the stigmata of recent delivery still on her body. 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. A solemn 'Te Deum' is then sung in the cathedral and donations flow in like never before. But in truth this entire event was orchestrated and perpetrated by the devil, in particular by two demons named Balban and Patorrio, as we will soon discover......

A few people continue to gossip, however, so in an attempt to put a definitive end to the calumnies an exorcist monk arrives at the convent one morning, while the nun is in ecstasy. He approaches her and pushes two long needles in her body, one into her foot, and the other into her hand. The needles penetrate deeply, yet Magdalena remains perfectly insensitive to them, without any reaction whatsoever, which confirms in the minds of many that her ecstasies are authentic. When the needles are are withdrawn, a little stream of blood flows from the wounds.
Her fast from food is subjected to a stringent test
In spite of this proof, Sr. Magdalena is subjected to another test, this time concerning her abstinence from food; a fast which she allegedly has been carrying out for eleven years. For, it was being insinuated that certain novices were secretly bringing her food.

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; the two monks taking turns with others in a rotating schedule. Additionally, she even orders that the window shutters of the chamber be nailed shut. After a few days, it is discovered that Magdalena has suddenly disappeared. They look for her everywhere, and soon find her in the completely opposite part of the garden, asleep near a fountain. The monks assure the abbess that they have not relaxed their surveillance for an instant. For her part, Sr. Magdalena reveals that it is Saint Francis himself who transported her to this place. Of course nobody is able to give any explanation for this prodigy, and it is concluded that this is but another miracle in the extraordinary life of Sister Magdalena of the Cross.
A Cathederal is built in greater part through the donations given to Sister Magdalena
At this point, Sr. Magdalena now has a greater prestige than the Abbess herself. She is consulted for all the major decisions that need to be taken by the community. Her advice is even sought from outside, by great and small alke, 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.

In 1523, the Archbishop is in need of a new Cathederal, and because of the abundant donations sent to Sr. Magdalena her convent of Saint Elizabeth of the Angels is the richest in Spain, and is able to furnish by far the greatest part of the money needed for its construction. Because of this, Sr. Magdalena is consulted on the new cathedral’s appearance.
Sr. Magdalena de la Cruz is elected Abbess
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, although full of sometimes astounding events, 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. Always seemingly pious and disposed to sacrifice, she inspires and fascinates the Spanish high clergy, and many feel that she should have a higher position in the convent more suited to her merits. It is suggested that she should become the Abbess, since as time passes the current Abbess is becoming infirm. In a show of alleged humility, Magdalena protests and she uses her poor administrative abilities as a reason, stating:
“Let them elect Sister Isabella of the Holy Trinity instead.”

However, many of her fellow nuns want her as abbess so much that, on February 17, 1533 Magdalena is elected Abbess, in presence of the Order’s Superior, by forty-four votes as opposed to the seven given to Isabella of the Holy Trinity.
The new abbess Magdalena encourages severe mortifications and penances
With Magdalena now in charge, in the beginning life in the convent hardly changes, except Mother Magdalena seems to have a strong penchant for the practice of severe penances, and she exhorts her religious sisters to do likewise. In doing so, the new Abbess sometimes provokes very difficult scenes.

And so it is that during Confession the sisters, by hypocrisy or fear of too difficult penances, now usually only accuse themselves of small faults. Hearing of this, Mother Magdalena enters into holy wrath which soon causes unspeakable fear into her sisters. She orders them to admit to more severe sins, and the poor nuns become frightened by the severity of the abbess. Some burst into tears, and there are a couple of others who astonishingly go into a sort of semi-possession, rolling on the floor and arching their bodies, before slowly returning back to normal.

To reprimand the more guilty ones for their alleged spiritual weaknesses, 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.

Soon, the confessions of the nuns are more to Mother Magdalena's liking, supposedly revelaing the sisters true state of sin. Penances are now measured to the alleged gravity of the faults, for according to Abbess Magdalena, it is necessary to totally expiate sins, and to succeed in this endeavor the common cord whip disciplines are replaced with iron tipped ones.

As for the manner and the times in which the discipline (ie- scourge or lash/whip) should be applied, the Abbess modernises it. Before, when the occasion came for extreme penance and use of the discipline (ie -scourge or lash/whip), the candles were extinguished, so that no one else could see the nuns who chose to use this form of severe mortification. It was the nuns own choice to do so, and it was done in darkness so that no one might know who is choosing to discipline themselves. This is to preserve the nuns humility.
But from now on, Mother Magdalena orers that the candles are to remain lit, and the nuns are given all the necessary time to openly whip themselves in the performance of bodily mortification and penance, in the full light and prescence of the other nuns. According to her, the sight of the self inflicted penance should be an encouragement for all of them to likewise do the same, or be exposed to the indignation of others, along with provoking interior feelings of inadequacy and spiritual weakness and discouragement amongst many of the nuns. Knowing that Mother Magdalena was being guided by the devil at this time (which we shall soon see), it is assumed that these exraordinary penances were an attempt by the devil to instill spiritual pride in some of the nuns, and discouragement and despair in others

Gone now are the "little penances" consisting of begging food from each table; for according to Mother Magdalena a soul with pride can submit to that easily enough. For acording to her it is severe mortification which is the salt of true penitence. The nuns are now encouraged to remain on their knees on boards garnished with rounded iron nailheads; 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. She is twice re-elected with the majority of the votes. No one dares, it seems, to question her authority and power within the community.
Mother Magdalena relaxes other rules of the Order
Yet, surprsingly, the abbess Magdalena of the Cross relaxes some long-standing rules of the Order that have exsisted for centuries. This of course causes concern first and foremost amongst the other Franciscan communities in her order, and also with the Archbishop and the priests within the local Church itself. Yet, as in the past, her reputation for holiness goes before her, and she is allowed to relax many rules of the Order within her own convent.
St Francis allegedly appears to her, and dispenses her from Confession
Not only does Magdalena on the one hand encourage severe penances and mortifications, and on the other hand she relaxes some of the rules of the Order, but now apparently because of her "saintliness" Saint Francis, the founder of her Order allegedly appears to her one night and dispenses her from having to go to Confession in the future.

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. In her opinion, they are to sit face to face with the confessor. This causes quite a stir amongst not only the sisters, but also with the priests themselves, as such a practice is unheard of throughout Catholic Spain at that time.

Additionally, Mother Magdalena of the Cross authorises the sisters to no longer fast on Fridays "so as to be able to support even greater mortifications". 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, and to the Order itself. It is no wonder then that within a couple of decades the great Spanish reformer and mystic, the Carmelite St. 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.

Soon afterwards, Mother Magdalena states that on the previous evening, a dead woman, (presumably a soul from purgatory?) had come to confess to her. She immediately wants the young nuns and novices to confess to her at night in her cell. This most recent innovation of course causes even more murmurs and doubts, particularly from Isabella of the Holy Trinity who still hasn’t forgotten being beaten by Magdalena in the 1533 elections, and on whom Magdalena (as Abbess) has inflicted the severest humiliations upon ever since.
Mother Magdalena receives the admiration of many top dignitaries
Yet, amidst these troubling new reforms and directives from Mother Magdalena, 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, and also the Archbishop of Seville often writes to her, and in his letters he calls her "the happiest creature in the world”, presumably because of all the alleged heavenly graces that she supposedly receives.

The noblest ladies, while pregnant and nearing their deliveries would send the layette to be blessed by her, as did the Empress Isabel before the birth of Philip II. When, in 1535, the Emperor Charles V was starting from Barcelona for the expedition to Tunis, he sent his banner to C6rdova that she might bestow on it her blessing. Cardinal Manrique, the inquisitor-general, and Giovanni di Reggio, the papal nuncio, made pilgrimages to visit her, and it is said that even the pope sent to ask her prayers for the Christian Republic, 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, for since they were in charge of their respective convents, the pope and the high prelates would often request their prayers in union with the sisters in their convents, for the benefit of the Church or their local dioceses.
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. And now once again she reveals more troubling revelations one morning:

“The Holy Virgin has appeared to me and led me about the corridors last night. She smiled at you, Sister" and then gazing at one of those who had been opposing her "but she only gave a long look of scorn to you.”

Understandably, these revelations strongly displease those who are the victims. Their protestations join those of the families who, outside, see their daughters refused entrance into the convent, because for example one of their ancestors were perhaps Jewish. Mother Magdalena of course receives her information from the Holy Virgin Herself, but in the families, indignation and anger provoke the growing attitude of doubt concerning the supposed heavenly guidance recieved by the abbess.
The 1542 elections bring a surprising result
During the next elections for abbess, Mother Magdalena receives only a handful of votes, and Isabella of the Holy Trinity is elected by a large margin. In reparation (and perhaps some retaliation for her own humiliations?) that same evening, she obliges Magdalena to make as many signs of the cross on the floor with her tongue as there are tiles in the refectory.

In the middle of this, Magdalena the former Abbess falls into ecstasy. Always when this would happen in the past, the sisters would carry her to her cell. Now, she is left where she is in the refectory for a good part of the night. After the "ecstasy" she finally returns to her cell on her own.

With doubts continuing to mount, Magdalena is again suspected of receiving food clandestinely, as she is still said to be fasting on a daily basis for over thirty years now.

Add to this, one day, a little iron box containing Communion wafers is brought to the Abbess. This box, found under Magdalena’s bed, seems to prove that the miracle of spontaneous Communion, repeated many times in the past, has been just a trick.
A demonic presence is detected
In 1543, she falls gravely ill. This seems a good occasion for the Abbess to oblige her to make a general confession of her entire life. But at the moment when the confessor puts his stole on in preparation for her confession, Magdalena immediately goes into convulsions. The priest suspects a demonic prescence, so he sends for a doctor whom he knows to be also well versed in the spiritual life. He examines Magdalena and notices that during one of her ecstasies, Magdalena’s eyes do not remained fixed, which is one of the distinctive marks of real ecstasies. However, he stabs her with a needle and obtains no reaction. But when he wisely dips the needle in holy water, Magdalena lets out a moan. This immediately draws suspicion and concern that Sr. Magdalena may be infested or even possessed by a demon.

As time progrsses, Magdalena's illness continues to get worse. Seemingly out of character, she is now worried, and often asks the doctor to keep her informed on the evolution of her illness. One December day, she hears:

“You are dying. You will not see another Christmas.”

Greatly anguished, Magdalena suddenly twists on her bed and then rises up and lets out mysterious words:

1544!...The forty years as announced!; 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. She then falls heavily onto the bed several times, but apparently without hurting herself.

After some reflection, the Abbess decides to have a very old and experienced priest, Rev. Don Juan of Cordova called in, and she asks him to examine, and if need be exorcise Magdalena immediately. 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. Later during exorcisms it was discovered that another demon named "Patorrio" was also influencing her. The demonic laughing intensifies and the words uttered are horrible. The demon glories in all the disorder that he has been able to cause over so many years in the convent, and swears that he will return...

Thus the Rev. Don Juan of Cordova is able to establish at least a solid case of demonic infestation, and perhaps even possession, and the news spreads first among the nuns, and soon afterwards amongst the clergy and townsppeople of Cordova, and later throughout the whole of Spain. The following day however, the Provincial of the Franciscans goes in person to the dying nun’s bedside. He remains there for several hours and receives a complete confession, of which he says nothing.

Yet all those who meet him afterwards notice that he is carrying a very heavy burden, a frightful secret; a nightmare which has been a whole lifetime; the lifetime of the “saint” Magdalena of the Cross, the diabolic Abbess of Cordova.
Sister Magdalena of the Cross admits to a 40 year pact with the devil
Next, an Inquisitor is sent to investigate the thorny matter by the express order of Cardinal Juan Pardo de Tavera, the Primate of Spain. He is much younger than the Rev. Don Juan of Cordova and he inspires her with confidence. 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. He had promised her fame and the respect of everyone, if she would consent to obey him always.

It is also satan who leaves his mark by touching her two fingers which from then forward stop growing. And it is also he who teaches her the subterfuge of the wafers, and he assists her with the simulation of ecstasies. Her cries in the night are in no way inspired by the ecstatic love that she has for the Creator, but by the demon’s evil caresses.

Upon hearing such disconcerting admissions, the Inquisitor is horrified and almost instictively he makes the sign of the Cross upon himself. Immediately, Sr. Magdalena starts to insult the priest with vile and abhorrent words. She then begins to roll around the floor in her cell, and bites anything she can, while striking indecent poses and mimicking the vile copulations that she has performed with Balban for nearly forty years.

Because he is an experienced Inquisitor, the good monk had asked the older, 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. From here, Sr. Magdalena de la Cruz' case is well documented and quickly prepared.
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, it is discovered that the most wicked and hideous means were used to undermine Magdalena’s soul as a child. It was believed that he originally chose her because she was in fact very pious and devoted to God, and so in his terrible wickedness he earnestly sought to despoil God of one of His favorites. But, we shall soon see how God wins triumphantly in the end.

During the ongoing exorcisms it is learned that when Magdalena became a young adult, the demon Balban ceased to appear to her as a beautiful young man, as he had been doing since she was age five. One night, when the young girl was waiting for him as usual, 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, who radiates a reddish light.

She cries out “Jesus”, but this, of course, greatly displeases Balban, who lifts her with his burning hand and drops her on the ground. She is then forced to contemplate this horrid creature who now rises before her in a horrible metamorphisis, from a man into a vile beast.

The infernal creature is repulsive and the possessed nun describes in horror his wide, flat nose, his twisted horns and his toothless mouth. He commanded her to immediately become his wife, and he assures her that she will not lose her virginity, and he promises that her apparent sainthood would only grow in measure with the supposed unimaginable pleasures that she would enjoy with him. Lacking in spiritual fortitude; vanquished, Magdalena then gives in, and it is again the dark-haired, and very attractive young man that she now receives in her.

Next she confesses that it was also the devil who came to feed her in secret, and that she had really been pregnant by him. She had been told by him that she risked nothing if she followed his instructions. 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, which escaped from her body with a loud wind that famous Christmas night, before changing into Balban, and re-possessing her with unprecedented vigor.
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 most-beloved, was in fact the most-beloved creature of the devil. Yet some of Sr. Magdalena's contemporaries were not so easily fooled by her false mysticism, like the great St Ignatius Loyola who was incredulous and in 1541, it is said that he severely reproved Martin de la Santa Cruz, who endeavored to win him over towards Sr. Magdalena, for accepting exterior signs without seeking for the true interior ones; and the great St John of Avila (who is soon to be declared a Doctor of the Church) was also very sceptical and, when he was in Cordova, he was discreetly denied access to her.Sr. Magdalena of the Cross becomes like her namesake, St. Mary Magdalene and deeply repents of the demons that were possessing her
As the Scriptures relate, Jesus had cast out seven horrible demons that were possessing St. Mary Magdalene,(Mark 16:9) and she became known as the great, repentant sinner. Tradition tells us that she spent the rest of her life in a cave making penance and reparation for her manifold sins, and she became a most extraordinary Saint. In fact, Jesus chose St Mary Magdalene to be one of the first witnesses to His glorious Resurrection, as Holy Scripture tells us.
The judgement of the Religious Tribunal
As for the once renowned Sr. Magdelena de la Cruz, 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, she is then judged by the religious tribunal on May 3, 1546.

The Grand Inquisitor of the religious tribunal is Cardinal Jimenez, now the Primate of Spain, appointed by Isabella of Castile herself, and it is because of this that Magdalena is transferred to the Alcazar prisons to be further interrogated.
The demons Balban and Patorrio receive the majority of the blame
Sr. 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 judges however decide otherwise. Because of her great age, her sincere confessions and the quality of her repentance her deserved sentence is greatly mitigated. And rightfully so, 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 so the inquisitors place a large portion of the blame on the demons Balban and Patorrio, most especially Balban, and not so much on Magdalena herself, since she was just an inexperienced youth when the demon(s) began influencing her. In short, they feel that as a youth Magdalena was heavily intimidated by the demon, so they conclude that her culpability is greatly lessened because of her age at the time.

The Catholic church relies on the principle that divine works are eternal and infinite. Those of the demon, on the other hand, are always limited in time and space. If Magdalena confesses, it is because, in 1544, her pact with the devil has arrived at its end. It is fear of Hell, as she says herself, which precipitates her revelations. And it is also God who in His infinite love and mercy inspires all of her admissions, and inspires and guides her deep repentance. And it is God who assures her that she will live if she confesses. She would become even more a heroine in repentance than she was in false virtue and fame.

So the judges decide that Sr. Magdalena is to be led to the scaffold with a gag in her mouth, a Spartan cord around her neck, and a candle in her hand. She is to remain exposed there for all to see for the time period of a High Mass, and that she should then abjure her manifold errors. For three months, she must keep her face exposed and cannot wear the black veil, and she must always walk last in all of the movements of convent life.

She abjures and repents in tears, in front of the Cathedral that she had had raised thanks to her deceptions in union with the demons Balban and Patorrio. She is also ordered to go to a different Franciscan convent in Burgos, where she lives long years or repentance and expiation without ever falling again into the slightest error.

At a young age, Magdalena succumed to a great pride and a false demonic promise that offered her prestige and power. 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. Sister Magdalena de la Cruz died in 1560 at the age of 74.

Today, the name of this Sister Magdalena of the Cross is all but forgotten and her remarkable story is practically unknown. However, the great lawyer and writer, Maurice Garcon, for whom Magdalena is an important historical figure, documents how she was in fact very well-known throughout Christendom in the 16th and 17th centuries, and how many of the theological and demonological treatises make precise and detailed references to her case. 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.

And it is from the transcript of her trial that Maitre Maurice Garcon drew up his remarkable book on her life, using the transcript from her trial. Louis Pauwels used Maitre Garcon's book (among other references) for his resume of Sr Magdalena's life.

According to him there are only two copies of this very precious manuscript in the world, one in London and the other in Paris.
The important lessons learned through the extraordinary case of Magdalena of the Cross
Magdalena had arrived so high in her reputation for sainthood that she had been the counseller of kings, emperors, and above all, of the great Church dignitaries. 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, himself. His subterfuges have turned against him: by intimidating and perverting Magdalena, he has in the end only reinforced the faith of the people, and she who had been submissive to him for so long, gloriously escapes from his wicked rule in the end, through the power and mercy of God. And Truth overcomes the devils lies and the deceptions that he inspires through his demons.

For those who study the lives of visionaries and the mystics of the Church, 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, and can be exceedingly convincing while doing so. For as we see in the case of Sr. Magdalena, he was able to decieve even Cardinals, priests, theologians and others who were very experienced in the mystical life and spiritual matters.
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. Magdalena was the absence of a priest spiritual director to guide and discern her alleged mystical gifts and supernatural graces. Obedience is the "litmus test" of the Church, and it seems that Sr. Magdalena was never subjected to obedience to a spiritual director. Had she been, the demonic deceptions would certainly have been detected much sooner. Mystics and visionaries should always be guided by a priest spiritual director, and it should always be the priest who directs the mystic, and NOT the mystic who directs the priest. A priest spiritual director represents Christ and His authority within the Church, and therefore mystical and supernatural graces should be subjected to this authority to help discern their authenticity.

For sure another one of the spiritual lessons is that all that glitters is not necessarily gold, and the devil does not counterfeit tin or copper, or even silver---he seeks to counterfeit gold. So we need to be very careful, with the help of God, not to be misled by his phony deceptions.

-May Jesus inspire, guide and protect us, and may the Blessed Virgin Mary cover us under Her mantle. St Michael the archangel, defend us in battle!

For those interested, I have written an 
article on judging visionaries and private revelations here.
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Some references on the life of Sister Magdalena de la Cruz
"A History of the Inquisition of Spain" by Henry Charles Lea 
-Free online reading here.
"Magdeleine de la Croix-Abbesse Diabolique" by Maurice Garcon.
"Witches, devils, and doctors in the Renaissance" by Johann Weyer
"Histoire critique de l’Inquisition d’Espagne" by Juan Antonio Llorente
"The Diabolic Saint -Magdalena of the Cross" Lady Marilyn Kay Dennis, Parts 1-6
- See more at: http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2011/12/sister-magdalena-of-cross-nun-who-made.html#sthash.sgdeRrPF.dpuf