The Catholic Defender: St. Mary Magdalene Found The Lord
Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50.
St. Mary Magdalene was one of my favorite Saints as a child because of her strong desire to follow Jesus. I remember my Mother having a holy card with her image on it. Her story would become a great example of God's mercy and grace.
Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, “of Magdala,” was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2)—an indication at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or possibly, severe illness.
Traditionally she has been identified as a women that lived as a prostitute, but scripture does not reveal such a background. What ever her background, she had serous spiritual issues. Luke 8:1-3 says:
"Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources."
St. Mary Magdalene was a lapse Jewish woman who lived side by side with a Gentile population which had a great influence over her. It is believed that Mary Magdalene is the Sister of Martha and Lazarus. Jesus does cast out seven demons showing that He has power to heal anyone held in bondage. Talk about being delivered from captivity!
What is most important in the life of St. Mary Magdalene was her encounter with Jesus Christ. Like her, we too can have this encounter with Chris! This event changed her life forever.
Jesus prepared His Apostles for three years establishing a New Covenant, Mary Magdalene also served Jesus and His Apostles. She witnessed many of the signs and wonders worked by Jesus.
The most noticeable scene the Bible depicts of St. Mary Magdalene is at the crucifixion of Jesus along with the Mother of Jesus and Mary, the wife of Clopas, a close Relative of Jesus.
On the morning of the Third day, Jesus had been raised from the dead, it was Mary Magdalene who first went to the tomb where she witnessed the Resurrected Jesus.
St. Mary Magdalene continued to support the Apostles living the Gospel in the infant Catholic Church. Based from tradition, following the martyrdoms of St Stephen and St. James the brother of St. John, Mary Magdalene was placed in a boat along with other Christians. Some traditions include Martha and Lazarus as being set adrift without any sail or oars.
This was suppose to be a form of Capital Punishment to exterminate Christians. Miraculously, the boat traversed through the Mediterranean Sea until they landed in Southern France.
France became a home for St. Mary Magdalene where she lived out the rest of her life in a cave in solitude protected by God from wild animals. She lived for another 30 years without food and water except the Eucharist. St. Mary Magdalene received Jesus in Holy Communion for the last time on July 22, 72 A.D. where she breathed her last near the Altar passing from this life and entered into eternity in Heaven. The Catholic Church recognizes St. Mary Magdalene a Saint by popular acclamation whose feast day is July 22.
She is Patron of converts, repentant sinners, sexual temptation, pharmacist, women and tanners. Saint Mary Magdalen was one of the few who remained with Christ during His agony on the Cross.
She visited His tomb with two other women and found it empty. It was to her that our Lord first appeared after His Resurrection. He asked her to announce His Resurrection to the Apostles.
St. Mary Magdalene, woman of many sins, who by conversion became the beloved of Jesus, thank you for your witness that Jesus forgives through the miracle of love. You, who already possess eternal happiness in His glorious presence, please intercede for me, so that some day I may share in the same everlasting joy.