Mary Magdalen de Pazzi – Levitating with three mile boots
Type of Spiritual Experience
Friar Herbert Thurston was a Catholic priest, a member of the Jesuit order and an historian. He wrote extensively on Catholic mysticism and psychic phenomena and was a member of the Society for Psychical Research. He was also widely read on this subject. He is described as ‘an honest skeptic’., and once said ‘the role of Devil’s advocate is a thankless one and does not make for popularity’.
A description of the experience
Friar Herbert Thurston - The Physical Phenomenon of Mysticism
Even so illustrious a Saint as Mary Magdalen de'Pazzi had curious illusions as to her physical remoteness from earth when in the trance state. She shouted at the top of her voice when a question was addressed to her by a bystander, and then was heard saying to herself "they can't hear me down there; it is too far off."
She went [writes her confessor, Father Cepari] with incredible swiftness from one place to another, mounting and descending the stairs with such agility that she seemed rather to fly than to touch the earth with her feet.
She sprang securely on to the most dangerous places, as when, on the feast of the Invention of the Cross, May 3, 1592, she ran into the choir and without human help or any sort of ladder leapt on to the cornice . . . the height of which from the floor is about fifteen brachia (i.e., about 30 feet) whilst in breadth it is not more than the third of a braccio.
From this, she with perfect safety took down the crucifix and having unfastened the figure from the cross she placed it in her bosom, clasped it to her and then brought it to the nuns to kiss, and taking off her veil, wiped it as though it had been covered with sweat, actions which in such a situation would have made anyone else's brain reel.
The source of the experienceMary Magdalene de Pazzi
Concepts, symbols and science items
SymbolsThree mile boots
Activities and commonsteps
Flagellation, beating and physical abuse