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Saint Mary Magdalen
Fresco, 166 x 125 cm
Convento di San Marco, Florence
Oil on oak panel, 46 x 37 cm
Galleria Franchetti, Ca’ d’Oro, Venice
Oil on canvas, 300 x 198 cm
Oratorio di Santa Maria Maddalena, Laigueglia
Image: Saint Mary Magdalene, Head hands and feet | photo by Simon Webster | flicker
Saint Mary Magdalene
Saint of the Day for July 22
(d. c. 63)
Saint Mary Magdalene’s Story
Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50.
Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, “of Magdala,” was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2)—an indication at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or possibly, severe illness.
Writing in the New Catholic Commentary, Father Wilfrid J. Harrington, O.P., says that “seven demons” “does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life—a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36.” In the Jerome Biblical Commentary, Father Edward Mally, S.J., agrees that she “is not…the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her.”
Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means.” She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the “official” witnesses who might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given. She is known as the “Apostle to the Apostles.”
Mary Magdalene has been a victim of mistaken identity for almost 20 centuries. Yet she would no doubt insist that it makes no difference. We are all sinners in need of the saving power of God, whether our sins have been lurid or not. More importantly, we are all with her “unofficial” witnesses of the Resurrection.
Saint Mary Magdalene is the Patron Saint of:
Mary Magdalene’s Journey out of Fear to Easter Faith
Relic of Saint Mary Magdalene…Makes First North American Tour
St. Mary Magdalen
Scholars seek to correct Christian tradition on Mary Magdalene
Christ Transforms Those He Meets, Says Pope – Speaks of Mary Magdalene
Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
Straight Answers: Who Was Mary Magdalene?
Saint Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene, a chaste, virgin, the hand maid of the Lord!
Saint Mary Magdalene,The Beautiful Penitent
Information: St. Mary Magdalene
Feast Day: July 22
Born: 1st century AD, Magdala
Died: 1st century AD, Ephesus, Asia Minor or Marseilles, France
Patron of: apothecaries; contemplative life; converts; glove makers; hairdressers; penitent sinners; people ridiculed for their piety; perfumeries; pharmacists; reformed prostitutes; sexual temptation; tanners; women
Saturday, July 22
Liturgical Color: Green
Today is the Memorial of St.
Peter of Alcantara, priest. He
was the founder of the Spanish
Discalced Franciscans and a
much loved and trusted advisor
to St. Teresa of Avila. He died in
1562. (Franciscan Calendar)
Ordinary Time: July 22nd
Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
July 22, 2017 (Readings on USCCB website)
O God, whose Only Begotten Son entrusted Mary Magdalene before all others with announcing the great joy of the Resurrection, grant, we pray, that through her intercession and example we may proclaim the living Christ and come to see him reigning in your glory. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
- Magdalenas I
- Magdalenas II
- Nun’s Lemon Layer Cake
- Rindsbraten St. Magdalena Mit Kartoffelnudeln
- Scripture Cake I
- Scripture Cake II with translation
- Scripture Cake III
Old Calendar: St. Mary Magdalen, penitent
Mary Magdalene wasted the great beauty that God had given her in a life of sin, but one day she saw Christ and was touched by grace. On the day of our Lord’s crucifixion, she stood with the Mother of Jesus at the foot of the cross. At early dawn on the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene and other women who had ministered to Jesus went to the Lord’s sepulcher. Two angels said to them, “He is not here, but is risen….Go, tell his disciples.” Mary Magdalene ran to tell the Apostles what she had seen and heard. Then Peter and John, hastening to the sepulcher, saw and believed.
St. Mary Magdalene
The feast of St. Mary Magdalene is considered one of the most mystical of feasts, and it is said that of all the songs of the saints, that of Mary Magdalene is the sweetest and strongest because her love was so great. That love was praised by Jesus Himself who said that because much was forgiven her, she loved much. Where she is buried, no one knows. Legend has her dying in Provence, France, in a cavern where she spent her last days, and her body resting in the chapel of St. Maximin in the Maritime Alps. Another has her buried in Ephesus where she went with St. John after the Resurrection. This latter view is more likely, and St. Willibald, the English pilgrim to the Holy Land in the eighth century, was shown her tomb there.
The true identification of St. Mary Magdalene is not quite clear. The Greek Fathers gave her a separate identity than Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus, but most Latin Fathers say she is the same Mary. From Dictionary of the Bible by Scott Hahn (Doubleday, 2009):
Tradition often identifies Mary Magdalene either with the sinful woman who anointed Christ’s feet in Luke 7:36-50 or with Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus and Martha mentioned in Luke 10:38-42 and John 11-12. By the sixth century A.D., figures such as Gregory the Great had begun to advance the notion that these two women mentioned in Scripture were one and the same person: Mary Magdalene, who hailed from Bethany and who had become a disciple of Jesus after leading a notoriously sinful life. This tradition explains why Mary Magdalene was revered for centuries as the “model penitent.” From a biblical standpoint, it is not impossible that Mary Magdalene could be identified with either one or both of these two women, but decisive evidence is lacking and so it must remain uncertain.
She was the first recorded witness to the resurrection of Jesus, His most ardent and loving follower. She had stood with Mary at the foot of the Cross on that brutal Good Friday afternoon and had been by the side of Mary during these difficult hours. On Easter morning, she went with the other women to the tomb and it was there, in the garden near the tomb, that Jesus appeared to her. It was she who brought the news of the Resurrection to the Apostles, and Peter and John raced to the tomb to see what had happened.
She was from Magadala, a small fishing town on the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Tiberias. She was known to be a “great sinner,” a woman of the streets who heard Jesus speak of the mercy and forgiveness of God and changed her life completely. Her matter-of-fact witness to the Resurrection moved Peter and John to go and see for themselves: “I have seen the Lord and these things he said to me.” Jesus had chosen her to bring the news to them and she simply told them what had happened.
She has always been the example of great love and great forgiveness, one of those close to Jesus who grasped the truth of God’s love for human beings and spent her life bearing witness to that love.
Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens
Patron: Apothecaries; Casamicciola, Italy; contemplative life; contemplatives; converts; druggists; glove makers; hairdressers; hairstylists; penitent sinners; penitent women; people ridiculed for their piety; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; reformed prostitutes; sexual temptation; tanners; women.
Symbols: Rich raiment; box of ointment; skull; book; vase of sweet spices; crucifix; open book; boat.
Things to Do:
- From the Catholic Culture library: Who Really Was Mary Magdalene? by Father William Saunders
- Witnesses to Calvary: Reflections on the Seven Last Words of Jesus by Fr. Richard C. Antall is an interesting and thoughtful look at St. Mary Magdalene’s place at the foot of the cross. He contrasts her deliverance from seven demons with the symmetry of the Seven Words.
Meditation: John 20:1-2, 11-18
Saint Mary Magdalene (Feast)
I have seen the Lord. (John 20:18)
Mary Magdalene, whose feast we celebrate today, was a close follower of the Lord—and for good reason. Jesus had delivered her from not one, but seven, demons! In gratitude for her healing, she joined the band of women who helped provide for Jesus on his journey from Galilee to Jerusalem (Luke 8:2-3). Imagine how she must have felt seeing him perform miracles and hearing him preach every day. Imagine too the degree of loyalty it took for Mary to stand by his cross on Good Friday. Most of the other disciples had fled in fear at his arrest, but she stood by him, a true disciple to the end (John 19:25).
Mary’s devotion continued even after Jesus died. While everyone else remained hidden, she went to the tomb to perform one last act of love: to anoint his body according to Jewish tradition. She was grief-stricken, but she wanted to honor the memory of all Jesus had done for her. Then her sorrow was turned into joy when she discovered, first, an empty tomb, and then, Jesus, risen from the dead!
Calling her by name, Jesus freed Mary again—this time from grief. He revived her with a single word, “Mary.” Her single-word reply, “Rabboni,” contained not only relief and joy but also a pledge of undying faith.
Jesus is full of surprises, isn’t he? He first appeared, not to the rulers of Israel and not to the twelve apostles, but to a woman with a troubled past. He chose her as the first witness of the resurrection, the one who would have the honor of being the “apostle to the apostles.” He chose someone unexpected, someone many would have disregarded, for one of the greatest honors of history.
Whatever bondage Mary had suffered and whatever sins she may have committed, none of this disqualified her in Jesus’ eyes. You aren’t disqualified either, whether by your past sins or your current weaknesses. After all, this is why Jesus came: to free us from everything that binds us and to fill us with joy. He calls us each by name and seeks to fill us with hope so that we, too, can become his witnesses.
“Jesus, you are my hope! My heart rejoices at the sound of your voice. Make me a witness of your resurrection.”
Psalm 136:1, 23-24, 10-15
Marriage = One Man and One Woman Until Death Do Us Part
Daily Marriage Tip for July 22, 2017:
(Reader’s Tip) In each challenging situation I strive to remember that this man [my husband] is God’s amazing gift to me, and that God trusts me to love him with the same love God has for us.
Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene
John 20: 1-2; 11-18
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come before you wanting to grow in my knowledge of you and wanting to grow in love for you. I want to show my love by truly loving others as you have loved me. My falls are many, yet I trust in your grace never to stay down and always to get up. I trust that your mercy will change my heart. So I stand before you, ready to listen to your words and ready to unite myself more perfectly to your most holy will.
Petition: Lord, grant me a love similar to Mary Magdalene’s passionate love for Christ.
- The Lone Guard: How sad Mary Magdalene must have been as she sat and wept outside our Lord’s tomb! Our Lord had healed her soul; he had cast seven demons from her heart. She had stood at the foot of our Lord’s cross, along with the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John. She had washed our Lord’s feet with her tears; now her tears flow down her face. She’s alone. Or rather she experienced an existential loneliness in the face of the bitter events of Good Friday. But she wasn’t alone. We are never alone in our suffering. Do I suffer alone, or do I open my heart to Our Lord in all my trials?
- “Mary!” – How Mary Magdalene must have endeared herself to our Lord. The other followers were locked up in their rooms. Yet here was this simple, humble woman, trying to accompany our Lord in the only way she knew. We have much to learn from this beautiful soul. How she moved the heart of Jesus! She’s the first one he appears to after his resurrection. What a gift. What a gift to have the Risen Lord say your name. Despite her anguish she wishes to honor her Lord who she is about to discover is God. In moments of trial and pain, do I remember to honor God with my thoughts, desires, intentions and actions? Does he remain number one for me no matter what I’m going through?
- The Ultimate Message: As Mary Magdalene touched our Lord’s heart, he would now touch hers, and she would become the apostle to the apostles. She’s the first one to announce to the world that our Lord has risen from the dead. Jesus is the Lord of life. What was moving through her heart as she hurried towards the apostles? Let’s ask Christ for that gift – to have the same zeal as Mary Magdalene did as she went to proclaim that she had met the Risen Lord! Am I a witness to the saving message of Our Lord including, or especially, in the midst of great personal suffering?
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I want to endear myself to you just as Mary Magdalene did at your tomb. Then, fill me with the joy you instilled in her heart on that first Easter morning.
Resolution: Today I will see how I can help at my parish, in imitation of Mary Magdalene’s assistance to our Church 2,000 years ago.
One Bread, One Body
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