Models of Perfect Contrition: An Interview with Steven Nelson

Steven Nelson, author of the “Magdalena Prayer Book - Devotions for Perfect Contrition and Spiritual Communion,” shares insights into his inspiration behind the book, and delves into the lives of Mary Magdalene and St. Vibiana. This spiritual gem is available at Amazon. He also explains the mission of Gaudent Angeli, a non-profit organization based in Claremont, California.

Mary Magdalene and Perfect Contrition

Coming from a Jewish background, Steven found his spiritual home in Catholicism. He highlights Mary Magdalene's significance as the sister of Lazarus and Martha, noting her repentance despite her past sins. She was an accomplished sinner, and yet it was a contrite Mary Magdalene to whom Our Lord first appeared after his death.

The concept of contrition, depicted as the breaking of a proud and hard heart through penance, is central to the book's teachings.

Why Spiritual Communion?

Spiritual Communion is reception of the Eucharist in spirit only. It is also called “the communion of desire,” and is recommended by the Church to be frequented often in the hopes of receiving the graces and benefits while being deprived of the sacramental species themselves.

Saint Vibiana’s Legacy and Promotion

Saint Vibiana, a third-century Roman virgin martyr, is also honored in the prayer book. Rediscovered in 1853, her bones were entrusted to Thaddeus Amat, the incoming Bishop of Los Angeles. They now rest in the crypt of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral, with her feast day celebrated on September 1st.

Gaudent Angeli is dedicated to promoting the veneration of St. Vibiana, aiming to touch hearts across her patronage area. To learn more about this ministry and offer support, visit

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