Friday, October 22, 2021

Saint Mary Magdalene – Feast Day – July 22

Saint Mary Magdalene was also known as Apostle to the Apostles or Mary of Magdala. She was the woman who is outlined in the four Gospels as the one who witnessed the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and helped Jesus and His Apostles with resources as they were traveling around preaching.

Saint Mary Magdalene

Saint Mary Magdalene

Place of Birth Israel
Profession Disciple of Jesus Christ
Feast Day July 22
Canonization Pre-congregation
Patron Saint of
  • Women
  • Tanners
  • Sexual temptation
  • Provence Region, France
  • Pharmacists
  • Perfumeries
  • People ridiculed for their piety
  • Penitent sinners
  • Order of Preachers
  • Municipality of Pililla, Rizal, Philippines
  • Municipality of Magdalena, Laguna, Philippines
  • Municipality of Kawit, Cavite, Philippines
  • Municipality of Amadeo, Cavite, Philippines
  • Haird Stylists
  • Glove makers
  • Converts
  • Contemplative life
  • Casamicciola Terme, Ischia, Italy
  • Atrani Town, Italy
  • Arahal Municipality in Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Saint Mary Magdalene Life History

The name Magdalene means that she hailed from the town of Magdala, located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Judea.

The name Mary was a very common female name among the Jewish and so, it was important for the authors of the Gospels to add the word Magdalene to her name to distinguish her from the many other women called Mary. 

Mary Magdalene and her family were well-to-do and she used to support Jesus’s ministry financially. She accompanied Jesus throughout His public ministry and she is often referred to as Apostle to the Apostles.

The four Gospels indicate that Mary Magdalene was among the first people to discover the empty tomb of Jesus and therefore witness the resurrection of Christ.

It is said that Jesus loved His disciples very much. It is this same love that Jesus accorded Mary Magdalene to the chagrin of Saint Peter the Apostle who used to ask Jesus why He loved her more than them.

There are several instances in the Gospels where Mary Magdalene is mentioned. Some of them are;

Mary had been possessed by seven demons as illustrated in the Gospel of Luke and Mark

1 Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve
2 and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
3 Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.

Luke 8:1–3

9 When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.
10 She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.
11 When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

Mark 16:9-11

There were also women looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome.

Mark 15:40

Mary Magdalene was a witness to the burial of Jesus as illustrated in Mark 15:47 and Matthew 27:61

46 Having bought a linen cloth, he [Joseph of Arimathea] took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.
47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses watched where he was laid.

Mark 15:46-47

59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen
60 and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.
61 But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

Matthew 27:59-61

1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.

Matthew 28:1-2

25 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.
26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

John 19:25-27

15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
17 Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.

John 20:15-18

Because of these first-hand encounters with Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene came to be known as the “apostle to the apostles” in some Christian traditions.

In the earlier life of Mary Magdalene, we know only that she was “a woman who was a sinner.” She stood with The Blessed Virgin Mary and St John the Apostle at the foot of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and revealed Himself to her when He resurrected.

Mary Magdalene is usually confused with Mary of Bethany. Mary of Bethany is the sister of Martha and Lazarus and who washed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfumed oil. This is well explained in the Gospel of John 11:1-3 which States;

1 Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and dried his feet with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.
3 So the sisters sent word to him, saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.”

John 11:1-3

St Mary Magdalene Feast Day

The memorial of St Mary Magdalene was elevated to a feast on June 10 2016. This recognized her in the same status as the other apostles of Jesus. The feast day remained on July 22 and a preface to be read during the feast day’s mass was added on September 21 2019.

The first time it was used was in July 22 2020. This is the preface that was added.

Priest: The Lord be with you.

Response: And with your spirit.

Priest: Lift up your hearts. 

Response: We lift them up to the Lord.

Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. 

Response: It is right and just.

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, to glorify you in all things, almighty Father, whose mercy is not less than your power, through Christ our Lord.

He appeared in the garden and revealed himself to Mary Magdalene, who had loved him in life, witnessed him dying on the Cross, sought him as he lay in the tomb, and was the first to adore him, newly risen from the dead.

He honored her with the office of being an apostle to the Apostles so that the good news of new life might reach the ends of the earth.

And so, Lord, with all the Angels and Saints, we, too, give you thanks, as in exultation we acclaim:

Saint Mary Magdalene is the Patron Saint of

  • Women
  • Tanners
  • Sexual temptation
  • Provence Region, France
  • Pharmacists
  • Perfumeries
  • People ridiculed for their piety
  • Penitent sinners
  • Order of Preachers
  • Municipality of Pililla, Rizal, Philippines
  • Municipality of Magdalena, Laguna, Philippines
  • Municipality of Kawit, Cavite, Philippines
  • Municipality of Amadeo, Cavite, Philippines
  • Haird Stylists
  • Glove makers
  • Converts
  • Contemplative life
  • Casamicciola Terme, Ischia, Italy
  • Atrani Town, Italy
  • Arahal Municipality in Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Today’s Catholic Quote:

“Compunction of heart is a treasure infinitely to be desired, and an unspeakable gladness to the heart. It is healing to the soul; it is remission of sins; it brings back again the Holy Spirit into the humble and loving heart.”

Saint Mary Magdalene
Saint Mary Magdalene

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