Saint Mary Magdalen

The Church today remembers liturgically St Mary Magdalen.

Almighty God, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and mind,

and called her to be a witness to his resurrection:

Mercifully grant that by your grace we may be healed from all our infirmities

and know you in the power of his unending life;

who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,

one God, now and for ever.

Wikipedia has more on her.

Mary Magdalene (original Greek Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή), or Mary of Magdala and sometimes The Magdalene, is a religious figure in Christianity. She is usually thought of as the second-most important woman in the New Testament after Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary Magdalene traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She was present at Jesus’ two most important moments: the crucifixion and the resurrection. Within the four Gospels, the oldest historical record mentioning her name, she is named at least 12 times, more than most of the apostles. The Gospel references describe her as courageous, brave enough to stand by Jesus in his hours of suffering, death and beyond.

In the New Testament, Jesus cleansed her of “seven demons”,[Lk. 8:2] [Mk. 16:9] sometimes interpreted as referring to complex illnesses. Mary was most prominent during Jesus’ last days. When Jesus was crucified by the Romans, Mary Magdalene was there supporting him in his final moments and mourning his death. She stayed with him at the cross after the other disciples (except John the Beloved) had fled. She was at his burial, and she is the only person that all four Gospels say was first to realize that Jesus had risen and to testify to that central teaching of faith. John 20 and Mark 16:9 specifically name her as the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection. She was there at the “beginning of a movement that was going to transform the West”. She was the “Apostle to the Apostles”, an honorific that fourth-century orthodox theologian Augustine gave her and that others earlier had possibly conferred on her.

Throughout the centuries there have been many extra-biblical speculations about her role before and after she met Jesus. These have included theories presenting her as a harlot, the secret lover or wife of Jesus and/or the mother of their child, and leader among the women following Jesus, similar to the role of Simon Peter among the men.

Mary Magdalene is considered to be a saint by the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches—with a feast day of July 22. Other Protestant churches honor her as a heroine in the faith. The Eastern Orthodox churches also commemorate her on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, the Orthodox equivalent of one of the Western Three Marys traditions.

 

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