Monday, July 22, 2013

Feast Day of "The Apostle to the Apostles"

A Pre-Raphaelite apostle!
"Mary Magdalene" by Frederick Sandys.
Today (July 22) is the feast day of Mary Magdalene. When I visited Israel thirty years ago, our tour guide pointed out the traditional site of her tomb.

I found a website (1) that gives quite a lot of interesting information about her, including some of the sexism directed at her. For instance, since she is introduced in Luke 8 right after the story of the sinful woman in Luke 7, she has tended to become conflated with that woman as “sinful,” and thus (noted by this website) she tends to be a contrast to the pure Virgin Mary. But as important as is the Blessed Mother, we can honor Mary as a very key figure in her own right.

Her story is found in several places, as this site notes: she was a disciple of Jesus (Luke 8:1-3); she was present at the crucifixion (Mark 15:40-41, Luke 23:49, Matthew 27:55-56, John 19:25); she prepared Jesus’ body for burial (Luke 23:55-56, Matthew 27:61); and she witnessed the resurrection (Mark 16:1-11, Luke 24:1-11, Matthew 28:1-10, John 20:1-18). “She is called 'Apostle to the Apostles', since the risen Jesus told her to ‘go and tell’, apostellein in Greek.”



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