Saints Bio: St. Mary Magdalene, July 22
Mary Magdalene is mentioned in the Gospels as being among the women of Galilee who followed Jesus and His disciples, and who was present at His Crucifixion and Burial, and who went to the tomb on Easter Sunday to anoint His body. She was the first disciple to see the Risen Lord, and to proclaim His Resurrection to the Apostles. Accordingly, she is referred to in early Christian writings as “the apostle to the Apostles.” Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany (sister of Martha and Lazarus), and the unnamed penitent woman who anointed Jesus’s feet (Luke 7:36-48) are sometimes supposed to be the same woman. From this, plus the statement that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2), has risen the tradition that she had been a prostitute before she met Jesus. But, as we all well know, spectacular sinner may be bankers, real estate agents, lawyers, or scribes and pharisees. Whatever Mary’s notorious sin happened to have been Jesus saved her from it and make out her life a thing of beauty for which she was ever devoted to him. It is perhaps because of her great love and devotion to Jesus evidenced as she stood weeping at the tomb on the Resurrection morning, that she is often portrayed in art as weeping, or with eyes red from having wept. From this appearance we derive the English word “maudlin”, meaning “effusively or tearfully sentimental.” There is a Magdalen College at Oxford, and a Magdalene College at Cambridge (different spelling), both pronounced “Maudlin,” both dedicated to the apostle to the Apostles.