Union with Christ -The Mystics who died at age 33
by: Glenn Dallaire
[Pictured in the photograph to the left is the American mystic, stigmatic and victim soul, Marie-Rose Ferron -1902-1936.]
While studying the lives of the mystics of the Church for this website, I began to notice an extraordinary supernatural grace in which I think one can readily see the hand of God.
For centuries it has been a common traditional belief in the church that Jesus died at the age of 33. The number three, of course, referrers to the Holy Trinity; the Father; the Son and the Holy Spirit. And so two number threes together(33) would refer to the second person of the holy Trinity, which is of course the Son- Jesus. Such facts add a deeper understanding and meaning to the longstanding tradition of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus at the age of 33.
But what caught my attention is that I repeatedly kept coming across mystics in whom, like Jesus, died at age 33. Now, mystics are already a relatively small group in the church, for very few Saints, Blesseds etc. are mystics. And then, to narrow it even further, all 8 of the mystics that died at age 33 were also victim souls, that is, souls who are especially called by God to suffer in union with Jesus for the conversion and redemption of souls. And additionally, 5 of the 8 are also Stigmatics. But, it is precisely that almost all of them are victim souls that makes it so interesting, for the victim souls do not offer or suffer alone---they are mystically bound and united with Jesus, and suffer and sacrifice in union with Jesus for the conversion of souls. But, is it really surprising that these mystics-victim souls died precisely at the age of 33, just like their Jesus in whom they suffered in union with? After all, are they not living images of Jesus' life of sacrifice, and especially His passion?
As one after another I repeatedly kept coming across these mystics, all of whom died at age thirty-three, the revelation of it eventually sunk in. So one day I pointed it out to my wife who nonchalantly replied- “Well, it only makes sense don't you think? These persons mystically suffered in union with Jesus for the conversion of sinners. And so, should not many of them then die with Jesus at age 33?’.
‘Well…..sure!’ I replied, as it really did make sense when looked at from that perspective..
And so it seems that for some mystic-victim souls, their suffering in union with Jesus is brought to a consummation by dying like Him at age 33. Such a fact must then be meant to be a sign of the authenticity of their calling and mission, and a heavenly confirmation of their lives of heroic sacrifice and suffering in union with Jesus for the conversion of souls.
The eight mystic-victim souls (discovered so far) that, like Jesus, died at age 33 are:
St Catherine of Siena 1347-1380 -mystic, stigmatic, victim soul
St Faustina Kowalska 1905-1938 -mystic, victim soul
Sr. Josefa Menendez 1890-1923 -mystic, victim soul
St Michael of the Saints 1591-1625 -priest, mystic and victim soul
Blessed Mariam Baouardy 1846-1878 -mystic, stigmatic, victim soul
Marie Rose Ferron 1902-1936-American mystic, stigmatic & victim soul
Servant of God, Domenica Lazzeri 1815-1848 -mystic, stigmatic, victim soul
Servant of God, Louise Lateau 1850-1883 -mystic, stigmatic, victim soul
I am certain that there are others, especially in earlier centuries, but such are the one's that I have found so far. Of course, I would appreciate suggestions for additions to this list.
Finally, I would like to add that another mystic and victim soul, Maria von Mörl (1812-1868) was given the grace of the Stigmata for exactly 33 years. And, as an interesting side note concerning this mystic, she was a contemporary of the Servant of God, Domenica Lazzeri (one of the mystics listed above). One day Domenica, who was completely bedridden, was found missing from her bed. After an extensive search, she was unable to be found. To the surprise of everyone, she was found once again in her bed a few hours later. She was immediately asked where (and how!) she had gone. She replied: "I was taken to my suffering sister, Maria von Mörl, and we prayed to Jesus together."