Did you know that the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene is celebrated on July 22nd and has been celebrated since the 8th century on this day?
Mary Magdalene is usually thought of as the second most important woman in the New Testament, after the Virgin Mary. Also known also as Mary of Magdala, she was healed of seven demons by Jesus (Luke 8:2). Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ followers and was present at both of his most important moments; the crucifixion and resurrection. The Gospel describes her as courageous and brave enough to stand by Jesus in his last days. Mary stayed with Jesus at the cross after all but one other disciple had left. According to all four Gospels, Mary Magdalene was the first person to realize that Jesus has risen. John 20 and Mark 16:9 specifically states that she was the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection.
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
Jesus appears to Mary
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Tell us what Mary Magdalene means to you!