Mary Magdalene, Apostle

Mary Magdalen is now a feast day (July 22) as with the apostles:
New Preface for the feast (unofficial translation by Anthony Ruff OSB):
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
that in all things we proclaim you, almighty Father,
whose mercy is not less than your power,
through Christ our Lord.
He appeared to Mary Magdalene openly in the garden,
for indeed she loved him while he was living,
she saw him dying on the cross,
she searched for him lying in the tomb,
and she was the first to worship him rising from the dead;
and he honoured her with the office of apostle
in the presence of the apostles,
so that the good news of new life
would reach the ends of the earth.

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  1. Soline Humbert says:

    Mary of Magdala,first witness and proclaimer of the Risen Christ may have been honoured by Christ with “the office of apostle”,
    but if she were alive today she wouldn’t be allowed to proclaim the Gospel nor preach at Mass at Easter, nor on her feast day or any other day….all because of her gender!…Action speaks louder than words(even pious ones!)and if women continue to be excluded from preaching and presiding at Eucharist,all the honouring of Mary of Magdala is no more than lip service. I am sure plenty of MEN will deliver beautiful homilies on her feast day…..

  2. That prayer is problematic, given that it is piously held by the Church that the risen Lord appeared first to His own mother. This prayer discards that idea. It’ll stick in my throat if that’s what I have to hear at Mass. I’m not sure about the apostle bit either!

  3. Joe O'Leary says:

    The prayer does seem to be a bit of a mess.

  4. Joe O'Leary says:

    Oh, I get it — he made her an apostle when she washed his head in Mt 25 — except that most scholars say that woman was not the Magdalene at all — nor, historically, did she meet the risen Christ — the most that can plausibly be claimed is that she and the two other women saw the empty tomb —

  5. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    Catholicism is too deeply seated in the past unfortunately. Those modern miracles needed (like a fair and equitable Church) can’t look to a clouded history to find their footing. Soline makes the best point one can, in my opinion by stating what a disgrace it is that Mary would not be seen as a true leader in our church if she were to somehow materialize today. I’d like to hear the Pope comment on that one. I’d like to hear any justification from anyone for that matter. That’s when you know there is something not right. Is there room for one separate standard for men and one distinct standard for women in our Church; a church that claims equality as the basis for its whole belief system, divine and canon? We are equal in God’s eyes but perhaps it was meant to end at him and only him. Created in his image, we certainly don’t create in his likeness, now do we? Against natural law, this yet again fails. Women know their place in this world and this, let’s just say, it’s not it. Recommendation : if civil authorities can’t make it unlawful for such discrimination to take place, then who can?

  6. Joe O'Leary says:

    Matthew 26:6ff.
    While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume, which she poured on His head as He reclined at the table…
    Jesus asked, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful deed to Me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have Me. By pouring this perfume on Me, she has prepared My body for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.””
    I don’t think this can be stretched to make it the conferring of an apostolic role on her.

  7. Padraig McCarthy says:

    Joe @ 4 & 6:
    As you say, that was not Mary Magdalen in Matthew 26.
    The relevant passages are:
    Mark 16:9-11 (the longer ending of Mark), where “Jesus appeared to Mary of Magdala”, and she went and told his companions, who did not believe her that he was alive and that she had seen him. This was her experience, whether it be defined as “historical” or not. Here she was a messenger of the Resurrection.
    John 20:11-18: Mary meets the “gardener”, whom she then recognises as Jesus. He sends her as an apostle: “go and find my brothers, and tell them …”
    This would seem the basis of what the Decree says: ““apostolorum apostola” a Sancto Thoma de Aquino appellate”:
    Commentary on the Gospel of John (c. 20, l. 3 [2519]):
    “Notice the three privileges given to Mary Magdalene. First, she had the privilege of being a prophet because she was worthy enough to see the angels, for a prophet is an intermediary between angels and the people. Secondly, she had the dignity or rank of an angel insofar as she looked upon Christ, on whom the angels desire to look. Thirdly, she has the office of an apostle; indeed she was an apostle to the apostles insofar as it was her task to announce our Lord’s resurrection to the disciples. Thus, just as it was a woman who was the first to announce the words of death, so it was a woman who would be the first to announce the words of life.”

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