After the Blessed Virgin Mary herself, there is perhaps no woman in the New Testament more intriguing than Mary Magdalene. She has figured prominently in art, the naming of churches, and even popular fiction. Pope Francis just elevated her feast day, July 22, to greater importance. Church holy days have three ranks: Memorial, Feast, and Solemnity. Mary Magdalene is moving from a Memorial to a Feast. The official decree explains why:
Given that in our time the Church is called to reflect in a more profound way on the dignity of Woman, on the New Evangelisation and on the greatness of the Mystery of Divine Mercy, it seemed right that the example of Saint Mary Magdalene might also fittingly be proposed to the faithful. In fact this woman, known as the one who loved Christ and who was greatly loved by Christ, and was called a “witness of Divine Mercy” by Saint Gregory the Great and an “apostle of the apostles” by Saint Thomas Aquinas, can now rightly be taken by the faithful as a model of women’s role in the Church.
Just what do we know about Mary Magdalene, and what can we learn from her?Read More