She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept. Burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. Mary Magdalen first century was a witness of the Resurrection and is patron saint of repentant sinners, hairdressers, and the contemplative life.
Known also as Mary of Magdala, she was, according to Luke healed of seven demons by Jesus. She was also among the women who accompanied and supported Jesus and the twelve apostles and was present at the Crucifixion and burial Matt. He is not mentioned in Matthew 28, the chapter that announces both the Resurrection and the post- Resurrection command to evangelize the world. Peter is the primary witness in the tradition of Paul and Luke 1 Cor. These facts do not undermine the authority of Peter in any way, but they do underscore the complementary roles of women, Peter, and the other disciples as witnesses to the Risen Christ.
Among the women, Mary Magdalen is clearly portrayed in Scripture as having the primary role. Later traditions erroneously equated Mary with both the sinful woman of Luke , who anointed Jesus, and with Mary of Bethany who also anointed Jesus John ; Luke Her feast, which has been observed in the West since the eighth century, is one on the General Roman Calendar and is celebrated on this day across the ecumenical spectrum: by the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches, the Church of England, the Episcopal Church in the USA and the Evangelical Lutheran church in America.
Mary Magdalene: Beyond the Myth. Translated by John Bowden. Harrisburg, Pa.
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De Boer revisits the tradition of Mary Magdalene as a redeemed prostitute. She examines both the canonical literature and the Gospel of Mary , placing the accounts in their historical, social, cultural, and theological contexts within formative Christianity. De Boer's work concludes that Mary was not a penitent whore, but a courageous and persistent disciple. Brock, Ann Graham.
Cambridge, Mass. This revised doctoral dissertation argues that the Magdalene fulfills the criteria of an apostle.
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Brock carefully and persuasively reexamines the canonical gospel portraits, particularly those of Luke and John, before turning to the Gnostic literature. Her treatment of a frequently hypothesized rivalry between proponents of the Magdalene and a Petrine group is especially instructive. Brock provides a comprehensive bibliography of the literature in French, German, Italian, and English. Haskins, Susan. Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor. London, Haskins explores how the story of the Magdalene has been transmitted through Christian history not only by means of biblical and early Christian texts, but also through visual representations from the mid-third century through the last decade of the twentieth century.
Haskins's analysis of the texts seems rudimentary compared to subsequent studies, but as one of the first scholarly works on Mary Magdalene, her book remains an important contribution. It is particularly valuable for its medieval representations. Jansen, Katherine Ludwig.
Mary Magdalene - Wikipedia
Walker, pp. Berkeley, Calif. Jansen notes that between the eleventh and sixteenth centuries medieval preaching circulated the story of the Magdalene as apostola. She looks at examples that draw upon pious traditions presenting Mary as a model missionary. King, Karen. Santa Rosa , Calif. A scholar of Gnosticism, King argues the Gospel of Mary privileges inner spiritual knowledge over externally acquired knowledge.
She examines the Gospel' s teaching on various topics such as the body, women's authority, and visionary experiences, pointing out that the writing rejects Jesus' suffering and death as a path to eternal life. Marjanen, Antti. Leiden, This study, a revised dissertation, evaluates the descriptions of Mary Magdalene found in Gnostic literature.
It concludes that she is presented as a prominent, even intimate, disciple of Jesus, who is a role model for women in early Christian communities. Marjanen observes a tension, however. Although Mary Magdalene is commended, the language subversively reflects a patriarchal culture that connects the male with the spiritual, perfect, and transcendent and the female with the sensual, incomplete, and mundane. Robinson, James M. The Nag Hammadi Library in English.
San Francisco , Schaberg, Jane. New York , Drawing on canonical and extra-biblical literature, this feminist study approaches its subject through an analysis of legend, archaeology, and Gnostic traditions, employing Virginia Woolf's insights into structures of domination and communality. Mary Magdalene Mary of Magda, currently Mejdel in Israel is mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew, appearing at the scene of the Crucifixion: "There were also many women there, looking on from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee" Matthew Mary Magdalene is also the most notable witness to the Resurrection, together "with the other Mary": "Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher …" Matthew The women are told by the Angel of the Lord that Jesus has been resurrected, and they inform the Apostles.
Mary Magdalene is present at the Crucifixion in all three synoptic Gospels and in the Gospel of John, which stresses the importance of this woman disciple by describing her as the first person to whom the risen Jesus appears in the garden and addresses: "But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb … she turned around and saw Jesus standing…. Thus, Mary Magdalene was recognized as the first witness to the most important tenet of Christian dogma: the Resurrection. After the Church began combining the various women named Mary and pronounced without evidence that Mary Magdalene was the sinner who washed and anointed the Lord's feet in the Gospel of Luke, her figure became distorted.
Thus, Gregory the Great declared in that Mary was the sinful woman in Luke, the same one whom John calls Mary of Bethany and the one who in Mark is exorcised by Jesus. Many Latin Church fathers adopted that version and identified her with Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, and also with the anonymous sinner in Luke 7: The Greek Church Fathers, starting with Origen, ascribed a different identity to each of the three Maries, but throughout the centuries in Europe and America, the world Mary Magdalene became associated with the prostitute who washed Jesus's feet and dried them with her hair.
Popular religious legends and traditions, starting from the ninth century with the Miracula of Mary Magdalene and continuing with the Legenda Aurea of Jacobus of Voragine born dated around , have direct bearing on her iconography, and Mary Magdalene has been depicted as the repentant and penitent Magdalene with loose long hair, a symbol of abandonment to God. The Legenda , moreover, records the legend that Mary Magdalene ended up in Marseilles, France, pregnant with a child, perhaps from John, from whom ultimately descends the French royal line.
It also is said of Mary Magdalene, whose second name means remaining guilty and whose first name means marum mare , or bitter sea : "[S]he was magnificent in the superabundance of grace, because where trespass abounded, grace was superabundant. According to the same legend, Mary died at Aix-en-Provence after having spent thirty days in the desert. In new remains of relics were discovered at Aix in the crypt of Saint Maximin, who had been Mary's protector from her time in Palestine and to whom Peter had entrusted her Legenda Aurea , pp.
Mary Magdalene has become the patron saint of prostitutes, perfume makers, gardeners, and barrel makers. In France she is associated with the ripe fruits of late summer. According to the ethnologist Claude Gaignebet, the wild man of winter in European popular tradition is a companion of Mary Magdalene and is dressed with her hair Gaignebet and Lajourx She also is connected with the Apostle James, who, like her, is a Saint of the Canicula dog days , stone cutters, the guarding dog, and the shell of Venus. It is apparent that Mary's reputation has been affected by this characterization, though in a melancholy way, and this image has obscured her other side as an exemplar of the contemplative life, in contrast to her sister Martha, as she is seen by Dante Convivio , IV, xvii, The figure and role of Mary Magdalene are complicated further if one considers the Gnostic Gospel of Mary Magdalene , discovered in Egypt in , in which Mary assumes a leading and principal role, more important even than that of Peter Pagels This text establishes Mary Magdalene as a true disciple of Jesus and the one to whom the Risen Christ appeared and imparted things unknown to the others.
Thus, Mary becomes, as Ann Graham Brock states, the "apostle of the apostles," and her figure is a direct challenge to the doctrine of the Catholic Church with respect to the ordination of women in the priesthood. The importance of the various Gnostic texts, including the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Jude, is accepted by feminist scholars who seek to bring back the figure of the historical Magdalene that the Church has chosen to distort.
St. Mary Magdalene
Jane Schaberg, a feminist biblical scholar, does that in The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene by showing that Mary was a powerful woman who was very close to Jesus and even John but whose legitimacy was undermined by the Church in its desire to bury the true image of an important female disciple. Schaberg's contention has been accepted and transmitted in the work of feminist scholars such as Karen L. Since the Catholic Church has made a distinction between the sinner described in Luke, Mary of Bethany, and the Mary Magdalene, who was present at the Cross and the Resurrection.
In the canonic Gospels, Jesus is shown to have broken the taboo of talking to women in public, as in the case of the Samaritan woman, but the Gnostic Gospels show that Peter and the disciples could not accept the idea that a woman had received preeminence from the Lord, as in the case of Mary Magdalene. The power of popular beliefs and the iconography of the repentant woman implanted and exploited over the centuries made it impossible to dissociate the figure of Mary from the penitent whore. That characterization remained a constant until the work of feminist scholars as well as other biblical scholars raised serious questions about the figure of Mary Magdalene as a sinner or a saint see Time , August 11, , and The New Yorker , February 13 and 20, and the issue of whether she was one of the first apostles.
Although there is no evidence that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, that she was the lover of Jesus, or that they were married and had a child, there is evidence in both the canonical and Gnostic Gospels that she was an apostle like the others, perhaps one who was even closer to Jesus. The myths and the legends surrounding Mary Magdalene and the popularity of contemporary films and novels such as Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code have reopened the debate and perhaps will give Mary Magdalene her proper historical meaning as one of the closest and first apostles to Jesus.
Brown, Dan. New York : Doubleday.
Brown, Raymond E. Fitzmyer; and Roland E. The Jerome Biblical Commentary. La Religion du quotidien: Rites et croyance populaires de la fin du moyen age.
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Florence, Italy: Leo S. Chilton, Bruce. Mary Magdalene: A Biography. Gaignebet, Claude, and Jean-Dominique Lajoux. Art profane et religion populaire au moyen age. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Hearon, Holly E. Collegeville, MN: Lithurgical Press. King, Karen L. Mary Magdalen zealously fulfilled the first and greatest commandment: Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind and with all thy strength. Her life is an example for us to love and serve God above all, not fearing what others may say or do to us.
Let us, too, be apostles of the faith and tell everyone the good news which St.
Mary Magdalene was first to proclaim: "Christ is Risen! In Truth He is Risen! Orthodox America. Asceties of Piety. Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian. Enter through FaceBook. Your name:. Your e-mail:. Enter the digits, seen on picture:. Characters remaining: Send comments.