SAINT MARY MAGDALENE (1st century), holy woman and disciple of our Lord and Savior
Today, the universal Church honors and celebrates as a special Feastday in the liturgical calendar of the Church Saint Mary Magdalene.
Except for the Mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary, who was known to be from the village of Magdala, located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. In both Luke’s and Mark’s Gospels, they tell us that Jesus had cleansed Mary from a possession of seven demons (Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9).
And the Gospels also tell us that Mary was a faithful and loving disciple who assisted Jesus and His Twelve Apostles during His ministry on Earth; and that she was one of the few people who stood at the foot of the Cross on Calvary. And due to her unquestioning faithfulness in responding to all that our Lord asked of her, she became known as the “apostle to the Apostles”.
Over the years since the time of Christ, the identity of Mary has been blurred with other women of the same name, and this has led to a certain amount of confusion.
However, what we do know of Mary for certain is that – she was NOT Jesus’ wife or mistress, she was NOT the mother of His child, she did NOT found a royal dynasty or separate branch of Christianity, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam – as some of our contemporary books and movies would sadly lead us to believe!
Most importantly, however, Mary IS like one of us – human in every way and in need of God’s Love and Mercy. She is the true example of the faithful disciple for all of us to follow; for, even in the weakness of her human nature, she never left our Lord’s side, even when Jesus gave Himself completely on Calvary as the ultimate Sacrifice out of His Love for each one of us.
Is it any wonder that our Lord appeared to her before His chosen Apostles? Is it any wonder that He could not bear her sorrow any further when He responded to her pleas, “Mary!” To which she turned to Him with a relieved awareness and spoke the word “Rabbouni” (John 20:16).
May the discipleship of Mary Magdalene, and the great love which she lived deep within her heart and soul for her Lord and Savior, become a living example for each one of us, as we continue our journeys through life, growing in our loving, holy and intimate relationship with our Lord.
We commemorate this special Feastday of Saint Mary Magdalene on July 22.
(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)
(The following prayer is from the Collect of the Roman Missal from the Proper for Saint Mary Magdalene)
“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. Amen.”