Spirituality for Today – July 2015 – Volume 19, Issue 12

Saint of the Month
St. Mary Magdalene

July 22

A painting of Mary Magdalene from Penitent Magdalene by Guido Reni

According to the Gospels, Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus' most faithful disciples. The Gospel of Luke says that their relationship began when Jesus miraculously rid Mary of demons. Devoted to Him, Mary traveled with Jesus and the 12 Apostles throughout the countryside, caring for their needs.

Mary was one of the few who stayed with Jesus until the end. She wept as He suffered and died on the cross and quietly watched as He was buried. Three days later, she returned to the tomb only to find it empty. Thinking His body had been stolen, Mary was grief-stricken, until angels suddenly appeared and told her Jesus had rise, as He had promised. Minutes later, Jesus comforted Mary and sent her to tell His other followers of His Resurrection.

According to Eastern tradition, Mary Magdalene then went to Ephesus with the Apostle John and the Virgin Mary. Mary Magdalene supposedly died there, and her body was venerated for centuries in Constantinople. A legend also says Mary married John.

Western tradition holds that Mary Magdalene, Martha, Lazarus and others were cast out to sea from Palestine, in a boat with no oars. They eventually drifted to the coast of southern France, and laid the groundwork for the establishment of Christianity there.

The feast of Mary Magdalene has been observed in the West since the eighth century. She is honored in England with two colleges named for her at Oxford and Cambridge universities.

Your Son first entrusted to Mary Magdalene
the joyful news of His Resurrection.
By her prayers and example
may we proclaim Christ as our living Lord
and one day see Him in glory for He lives
and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives