Saint Mary Magdalene
(Feast Day 22 July)

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Detail from the Anointing of Jesus at a Pharisee's home - by POUSSIN, Nicolas - from National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK

 

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene


crucifixion3.jpg (1600 bytes)Mary Magdalene was well known as a sinner when she first saw Our Lord. She was very beautiful and very proud, but after she met Jesus, she felt great sorrow for her evil life. When Jesus went to supper at the home of a rich man named Simon (Luke 7:36-50), Mary came to weep at His feet. Then with her long beautiful hair, she wiped His feet dry and anointed them with expensive perfume.

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Detail from Christ's Crucifixion -
by Andrea MANTEGNA,
from Musée du Louvre, Paris
 

Some people were surprised that Jesus let such a sinner touch Him, but Our Lord could see into Mary's heart, and He said: "Many sins are forgiven her, because she has loved very much." Then to Mary He said kindly: "Your faith has made you safe; go in peace". From then on, with the other holy women, Mary humbly served Jesus and His Apostles.

When Our Lord was crucified, she was there at the foot of His Cross, unafraid for herself, and thinking only of His sufferings. No wonder Jesus said of her: "She has loved much."

After Jesus' Body had been placed in the tomb, Mary went to anoint it with spices early Easter Sunday morning. Not finding the Sacred Body, she began to weep, and seeing someone whom she thought was the gardener, she asked him if he knew where the Body of her beloved Master had been taken. But the person spoke in a voice she knew so well: "Mary!" It was Jesus, risen from the dead! He had chosen to show Himself first to Mary Magdalene, the repentent sinner.