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St. Mary Magdalene

Few saints hold the significance and profound influence that Saint Mary Magdalene does. Known for her unwavering devotion to Jesus Christ and her remarkable role as the “Apostle to the Apostles,” Mary Magdalene’s life is a testament to the transformative power of encountering Jesus Christ.

Mary Magdalene’s Life and Encounter with Jesus

Mary Magdalene’s story begins in the town of Magdala, situated on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. She was a woman of means, who, according to the Gospels, had been afflicted by seven demons before encountering Jesus Christ. This meeting changed her life completely, and she became a devoted follower of Jesus.

Mary Magdalene, along with other women, traveled with Jesus and his Apostles throughout his ministry, supporting him financially, witnessing his teachings and miracles, and being present at his ultimate sacrifice on the Cross. Her presence during these crucial moments of Jesus’ life reveals the significant role women played in the early Christian community.

The Witness of the Resurrection

One of Mary Magdalene’s most significant contributions to Christianity is her central role in the resurrection story. The Gospels recount how, on the morning of the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion, she went to the tomb only to find it empty. In her grief and confusion, she encountered the risen Christ, becoming the first person to witness the resurrected Lord.

This pivotal moment, often referred to as the “Noli me tangere” (Do not cling to me), solidified Mary Magdalene’s place as the “Apostle to the Apostles.” She was tasked with sharing the news of Christ’s resurrection with the disciples, heralding the most crucial aspect of the Christian faith. Her unwavering faith, love, and devotion to Christ exemplify the power of encountering the living God.

Misconceptions and Misinterpretations

Over the centuries, Mary Magdalene’s image has been distorted by misconceptions and misinterpretations. Contrary to popular belief, there is no scriptural evidence to suggest that she was a sinful woman or a prostitute. Such misconceptions have arisen from confusing her with other biblical figures and misunderstandings of her true role.

However, recent scholarship and the Catholic Church’s stance have emphasized the importance of understanding Mary Magdalene as a devoted disciple and a true witness to Christ’s resurrection, restoring her rightful place as a model of faith and discipleship for all Christians.

Mary Magdalene’s Legacy and Devotion

The legacy of Saint Mary Magdalene continues to inspire millions of Christians worldwide. Her unwavering loyalty, fervent love for Christ, and courageous witness to the resurrection offer invaluable lessons for believers today. Her life encourages us to seek Christ earnestly, embrace our encounters with our Lord, and passionately share the Good News with others.

In the Catholic Church, Saint Mary Magdalene is venerated as a patron saint of penitent sinners, contemplatives, and women. Her feast day, celebrated on July 22nd, serves as a reminder of her profound impact on Christian spirituality and her place as a crucial figure in salvation history.

Saint Mary Magdalene’s life showcases the incredible power of encountering Jesus Christ. From a woman tormented by demons, she became the “Apostle to the Apostles,” witnessing the resurrection and spreading the Good News with unwavering faith. Her story continues to inspire Christians to deepen their devotion to Christ, share His love, and proclaim the joyous message of the Resurrection. Let us seek her intercession and follow her example as we strive to live authentic and faithful Christian lives.

Her feast day is July 22.

Patron Saint of …

She is is venerated as a patron saint of penitent sinners, contemplatives, and women.

Daily Mass Readings for the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

  • First ReadingSong of Songs 3:1-4b: In the night, the Bride seeks her beloved. She searches the city, and at last finds Him whom her heart loves.
  • Alternate First Reading2 Corinthians 5:14-17: The love of Christ compels us to live for Him, who died and was raised for us. In Christ, we become a new creation, leaving the past behind.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 63: My soul longs for God, like parched earth craves water. In His sanctuary, I seek His power and glory, for His kindness is better than life. My soul finds satisfaction in praising Him. God is my help, and I cling to Him in joy and trust.
  • Gospel John 20:1-2, 11-18: On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene goes to Jesus’ tomb and finds it empty. Distraught, she weeps outside the tomb. Jesus appears to her and asks why she is crying, and she mistakes Him for the gardener. When He calls her by name, she recognizes Him, and Jesus instructs her to go and tell His disciples about His resurrection. Mary Magdalene becomes the first witness of Jesus’ resurrection.

Homilies and Reflections

The Earthshaking Resurrection

On the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, Bishop Robert Barron explains that we celebrate the first witness of Christ’s rising, who declared the Resurrection to the Apostles. The Easter faith is an explosive revolution, signifying Jesus’ real and bodily Resurrection through the power of the Holy Spirit, not a mere symbol or metaphor. The claim that Jesus rose from death is not a modern fantasy but the testimony of the first witnesses. This event fulfills the ancient hope of Israel for the union of heaven and earth. The bodily Resurrection signifies the coming together of the two orders, exemplified by the central line in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Apostle of Mercy and Witness of Resurrection

On the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, we honor her as a powerful example of God’s mercy and grace. Scripture tells us that Jesus cast out seven demons from her, and she became a faithful follower who witnessed His crucifixion and resurrection. As the first to adore Him after His resurrection, her loyalty and love made her the “Apostle of the Apostles.” Her story reminds us that no one is beyond God’s saving grace, and we are called to share the good news of His mercy with the world.

Touching Jesus: A Lesson in Faith

In this video, Scott Hahn explains the significance of Jesus’ words to Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb in John 20:11-18. Jesus tells Mary not to touch Him, not because He doesn’t want her near, but because He wants her to understand that their relationship has transcended the physical realm. Instead, He invites Thomas to touch Him, not physically, but through faith, recognizing Him in His resurrected glory, which extends to all believers in the Holy Eucharist. This encounter teaches us to see Jesus not in nostalgia, but in the present reality of our faith.

Quotes and Social Media Graphics

I have seen the lord

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he told her.

Saint Mary Magdalene

In the gospel of John, St. Mary Magdalene encounters Jesus at the tomb. She recognizes him when he speaks her name. He instructs her to go tell the disciples what she has seen. She runs to them and says “I have seen the Lord!”. For this reason, she is called the Apostle of the Apostles.

Books and Gifts for Baptism and Confirmation

Frequently Asked Questions

What date is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalen?

It is observed annually on July 22.

The next date is Monday July 22, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for the Feast of St. Mary Magdalen?

The Mass readings for Monday July 22, 2024 are:
First Reading – Song of Songs 3:1-4b: The Bride’s Quest
Alternate First Reading – 2 Corinthians 5:14-17: The Love of Christ: A New Creation
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 63: My Soul Thirsts for God
Gospel – John 20:1-2, 11-18: Mary Magdalene’s Encounter with the Risen Jesus
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings and links to the readings.

Who was Saint Mary Magdalene?

Saint Mary Magdalene was a prominent figure in Christian history, known for her close association with Jesus Christ. She hailed from the town of Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. According to the Gospels, she was healed of possession by seven demons after encountering Jesus. Subsequently, she became one of Jesus’ devoted followers, witnessing his teachings, miracles, crucifixion, and, most notably, his resurrection. Her unwavering faith and pivotal role in spreading the news of Christ’s resurrection earned her the title “Apostle to the Apostles.”

Was Saint Mary Magdalene a prostitute?

No, there is no scriptural evidence to support the notion that Saint Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. Unfortunately, her reputation was tarnished by misconceptions over the centuries, often conflating her with other biblical figures. However, the Catholic Church and many scholars maintain that there is no basis for this association. she was a devoted disciple of Jesus and a witness to the most critical events in Christian history.

What was Saint Mary Magdalene’s relationship with Jesus?

She had a close relationship with Jesus. After her encounter with Jesus, she became a steadfast follower and was among the women who traveled with Jesus and his disciples during his ministry. She showed unwavering loyalty, witnessing his crucifixion, and was the first person to see the risen Christ after his resurrection. This encounter at the empty tomb solidified her role as a vital witness to the resurrection and exemplified her devotion to Jesus.

Why is Saint Mary Magdalene called the “Apostle to the Apostles”?

She is given the title “Apostle to the Apostles” because she was the one chosen by Jesus to announce his resurrection to the other disciples. After finding the tomb empty, she encountered the risen Christ, and he entrusted her with the task of informing the male disciples about his resurrection. In this way, Mary Magdalene played a crucial role in spreading the fundamental message of Christianity, making her an apostle-like figure to the other apostles.

Was Saint Mary Magdalene present at the crucifixion of Jesus?

Yes, according to the Gospels, she was present at the crucifixion of Jesus. Along with other women followers, she stood near the Cross, witnessing the agonizing moments of Jesus’ crucifixion. Her unwavering presence and loyalty to Jesus during his darkest hour exemplify her devotion and love for the Savior.

What role did Saint Mary Magdalene play in the early Christian community?

She played a crucial role in the early Christian community as a devoted disciple of Jesus and a witness to key events in his life. Alongside other women, she provided essential support to Jesus and his apostles during their travels and ministry. Her presence and active involvement highlighted the significance of women in spreading the Gospel message and contributing to the growth of Christianity.

Why is Saint Mary Magdalene known as the first witness of the resurrection?

She holds the distinction of being the first witness of the resurrection because, according to the Gospel accounts, she was the first person to encounter the risen Jesus after his crucifixion and burial. As depicted in the Gospels, on the morning of the third day following Jesus’ death, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to anoint his body. To her astonishment, she found the tomb empty and encountered the resurrected Jesus. This momentous event makes her a crucial figure in Christianity, as she was entrusted with the significant task of sharing the news of Christ’s resurrection with the other disciples, solidifying her role as the “Apostle to the Apostles.”

What is the legend of the first Easter egg and its connection to Saint Mary Magdalene?

The legend of the first Easter egg is a story often associated with Saint Mary Magdalene. According to the legend, after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Mary Magdalene approached the Roman Emperor Tiberius and presented him with a red egg as a symbol of the resurrection. She exclaimed, “Christ is risen!” The Emperor, perplexed by the notion of a man coming back to life, retorted that such an event was as improbable as the egg in her hand turning red. Instantly, the egg miraculously turned red, affirming the truth of Christ’s resurrection. This legend has since become part of Easter traditions, with red eggs symbolizing the resurrection and new life, and it also represents the beginning of the custom of Easter egg coloring and decoration.

How does Saint Mary Magdalene’s witness of the resurrection inspire Christians today?

Her role as the first witness of the resurrection serves as an inspiring reminder of the transformative power of encountering the risen Christ. Her unwavering faith and commitment to Jesus, even in the face of his crucifixion, exemplify the importance of steadfastness in one’s belief. Her willingness to share the Good News with others encourages Christians today to be bold in proclaiming their faith and spreading the message of hope and redemption brought about by Christ’s resurrection. Saint Mary Magdalene’s story continues to resonate, urging believers to embrace their encounters with the Divine and to bear witness to the transformative impact of Christ’s resurrection in their lives.

What is Saint Mary Magdalene’s legacy in the Catholic Church?

Her legacy in the Catholic Church is multifaceted. She is revered as a model of repentance, faith, and discipleship. Her life serves as a reminder that encountering Jesus Christ can lead to profound transformation and unwavering commitment to his teachings. She remains a patron saint for various groups, including penitent sinners, contemplatives, and women, inspiring believers to follow her example of seeking Christ and spreading the Good News.

How does the Catholic Church venerate Saint Mary Magdalene today?

The Catholic Church honors her as a saint of great significance. Masses, prayers, and devotions are held on her feast day, July 22nd, to celebrate her life and contributions to Christianity. Like the 12 apostles, her feast day is a solemnity. Her example of repentance and unwavering faith is often cited in sermons and spiritual teachings. Moreover, numerous churches, shrines, and religious communities are dedicated to her, serving as places of pilgrimage and reflection for those seeking inspiration from her life of faith and devotion.

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