St. Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene, or Mary of Magdala, was one of Jesus’ closest disciples who followed Him during his ministry.

According to Sacred Scripture, Mary Magdalene was a sinner who Jesus cured of seven demons. After this encounter with Jesus she devoted her life to Him, providing for his material needs and those of the Apostles.

She was present at the Crucifixion, standing at the foot of the Cross with the Blessed Virgin Mary and John the Apostle.

Mary was the first to discover the empty tomb and encounter the risen Jesus, who sent her to tell the Apostles the good news. Because of this she is known as the apostle to the Apostles.

As a canonized saint, Mary Magdalene’s loving example teaches that no one is beyond the saving power of God.

She is often confused with the unnamed sinful woman who wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair and with Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

The Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene on July 22.

An example of God’s mercy and grace:

But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”h She thought it was the gardener and said to Him, “Sir, if you carried Him away, tell me where you laid Him, and I will take Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what He told her.

John 20: 11-18

A woman with a past and a future:

A repentant sinner and important friend of Jesus:

The Gospel of John emphasizes the special role of Mary Magdalene. She is the first to meet the Risen Christ. At first she thinks He is the gardener; she recognizes Him only when He calls her by name: “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary’. She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuni’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father, but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God’. Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her”. Hence she came to be called “the apostle of the Apostles”. Mary Magdalene was the first eyewitness of the Risen Christ, and for this reason she was also the first to bear witness to Him before the Apostles. This event, in a sense, crowns all that has been said previously about Christ entrusting divine truths to women as well as men.

Pope John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, August 15, 1988

Demonstrating love, desire, and perseverance:

Compelled by pure love:

Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus, which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday, were the first to encounter the Risen One. Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ’s Resurrection for the Apostles themselves. They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers, and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims: “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 641

A saint with a rich story:

Honored with a feast day on par with the Apostles:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

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