Magdalene (1415?-1465) was noted for her love for all and her purity of life. She was a great promoter of the Augustinian way of life.
Born in Como, Italy, around the year 1415, Magdalene was raised in a noble and well-to-do family. She was given a good Christian education as a child.
At the age of 20, she decided to entered a religious community. At first she was going to join the Benedictines. But she changed her mind and chose to join a poorer and more remote community that followed the Rule of Augustine.
As more and more women came to join that community, Magdalene wished that the sisters there would be officially received into the Order of Saint Augustine. In 1455, the Augustinians of Lombardy did accept Magdalene’s convent into the Order.
She was responsible for many other women, and even some men, becoming affiliated with the Augustinians. She founded a large number of Augustinian convents. She promoted the Secular Augustinians, in which lay people came to know and live according to the ideals of Augustine.
When she was named Superior, her attitude was one of service to her sisters, rather than one of wielding power. By word and by example, she urged her sisters to seek holiness above all. She revived simplicity and austerity in the religious communities of her area. She succeeded because she would never ask others to do anything that she did not do herself.
Magdalene was often sought out for spiritual counsel, and had a great influence on the religious spirit of her time. Her selfless devotion to and care for the sick and needy was an inspiration to all. In her last years, she herself suffered from a serious illness.
Magdalene died either May 13 or 15, 1465. Pope Pius X declared her Blessed in 1907. Her remains are preserved at the Cathedral of Como.