Fri 22 Jul, 2011
Tags: Apostles, Benedictine Sisters, Magdala, Magdalen, Mary Magdalene, Sister Lynn Marie
The Magdalen by Bernardino Luini (courtesy of Haverford College)
Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene (also spelled Magdalen or Magdalena).
She is honored as The Penitent one and is the patron saint of our Sister Lynn Marie who shares her thoughts on this beautiful and iconic woman from the time of Christ:
There has been much debate throughout the life of the Church as to who exactly she was. Was she the woman caught in adultery, was she the repentant sinner that bathed Jesus’ feet with her tears, could she be the sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany, was she – as Dan Brown would have us believe – Jesus’ mistress???
Well, that last piece we know is NOT true, but for the others we don’t really know. Scripture and tradition leave us without definite answers to these questions. We do know from Scripture that Mary Magdalene had seven demons cast out from her. She was a woman of some means for she, along with several other women, helped provide for the needs of Jesus and the disciples (Luke 8:1-3). Aside from that brief mention in Luke, the reason for Mary Magdalene’s prominence in the hearts and minds of believers, what has caused her to be the subject of countless works of art, has been her presence at the crucifixion of Christ and the fact that all four Gospels list her as one of the first witnesses to the Resurrection. She is sent by Christ to tell the Apostles of His resurrection, thereby earning her the title of “the Apostle to the Apostles.”
I love St. Mary Magdalene, so much so that I chose her as my patron saint when I professed my vows nine years ago. Here are the top three things I love about Mary Magdalene
- I love her fidelity. From her steadfast support of Jesus and his ministry, to her abiding presence during the Passion at the foot of the Cross, she didn’t shirk away from the painful part of love.
- I love her passion. She doesn’t hold anything back after Jesus’ death. She goes to the tomb the first chance she gets and is ready to carry off Jesus’ body if they would just tell her where it is.
- I love how she loves Jesus – boldly, deeply and with her whole being. When Christ calls her name and she recognizes him, she unhesitatingly throws herself upon him, her joy is unbounded! And with that same joy and love she races to tell the Apostles “I HAVE SEEN THE LORD!”
As we celebrate the feast of St Mary Magdalene, I pray that we may love Jesus fearlessly, faithfully, and fully as did this beloved disciple. St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us!