21 April 2022

S Mary of Magdala

Reading Gueranger for today, I was struck by the fact that he gives us the 'feminist' topos that she is the 'Apostle of the Apostles'. Indeed, Dom G makes today a sort of Day of the Magdalene.

One mustn't let trendy fashions blind one ...

I do, however, wonder whether devotion to this interesting woman has increased or diminished since she was so comprehensively revised in the 1960s.


Fr Edward said...

And in Holy Orthodoxy one of her titles is "Equal to the Apostles".
Yet I've never heard that she put on even a dalmatic over rochet and amice for the most solemn services.

So much mystery, so much perception, so much theological richness,
and for those who like that sort of thing, so many eggshells.

Stephen said...

Can you imagine seeing and talking with Jesus during just that one incredible encounter, as Mary Magdalene, did? The English language has no words to approach an adequate description. Awestruck perhaps comes closest. Would you not carry that experience with you for the rest of your life, seeing the world in a way afforded to so very, very, very few others? It could only leave one perpetually full of joy forever. Talk about Theosis. That she was the first to bring anybody the good news of the resurrection, she is rightly acclaimed the Apostle to the Apostles.

That people in the modern era may somehow be only just discovering her now can be a good thing, in the hope that they also ask themselves, why in my own personal history was I never told about her, how is it that I am only hearing about her now, what is it about her that I find so distinctive, and if what I find about her is so compelling, what was the deficiency in my life, my culture, my awareness that I was denied or denied myself access to this great person?

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father, The Great Gueranger is always a blast to read and what he has to say is often eye-opening.

Here he is on Whit Monday: We repeat it: the first preaching of the Christian Law was an honor due to the children of Abraham, Issac and Joseph; hence our first Pentecost is a Jewish one, and the first ones to celebrate it are Jews. It is upon the people of Israel that the Holy Spirit first pours forth His divine gifts

GOR said...

The term “The Apostle to the Apostles” predates modern feminism by a few centuries… Cornelius A Lapide (1567-1637) in his commentary on John’s gospel: “Behold, thanks to Christ, Mary Magdalen becomes an apostle and evangelist to the Apostles.”

Stephen said...

GOR, indeed. This from the Online Chapel of the GOA website. What a great saint.
Mary Magdalene, Myrrhberer & Equal-to-the-Apostles

Saint Mary was from Magdala in Galilee on the Sea of Tiberias, and for this was named Magdalene. When the Lord Jesus cast out seven demons from her, from which she had been suffering, she became His faithful and inseparable disciple, following Him and ministering unto Him even to the time of His crucifixion and burial. Then, returning to Jerusalem together with the rest of the Myrrh-bearers, she prepared the fragrant spices for anointing the body of the Lord. And on the Lord's day they came very early to the tomb, even before the Angels appeared declaring the Resurrection of the Lord. When Mary Magdalene saw the stone taken away from the tomb, she ran and proclaimed it to Peter and John. And returning immediately to the tomb and weeping outside, she was deemed worthy to be the first of the Myrrh-bearers to behold the Lord arisen from the dead, and when she fell at His feet, she heard Him say, "Touch Me not." After the Lord's Ascension, nothing certain is known concerning her. Some accounts say that she went to Rome and later returned to Jerusalem, and from there proceeded to Ephesus, where she ended her life, preaching Christ. Although it is sometimes said that Saint Mary Magdalene was the "sinful woman" of the Gospel, this is nowhere stated in the tradition of the Church, in the sacred hymnology, or in the Holy Gospels themselves, which say only that our Lord cast seven demons out of her, not that she was a fallen woman. "Madeleine" is a form of Magdalene.

Apolytikion of Mary Magdalene
First Tone

When Christ God had been born for our sakes from the Virgin, thou faithfully didst follow him, keeping His statutes and heeding His sacred laws, O august Mary Magdalene. Hence, as we today observe thy holy remembrance, we receive the loosing of our sins and transgressions through thy holy prayers for us.

Kontakion of Mary Magdalene
Fourth Tone

When God, the Mighty, the Transcendent in essence, came in the flesh into the world, He received thee, O Mary, as His true disciple as was meet. For thou hadst thy whole desire and thy love set upon Him; wherefore, thou didst bring to pass many cures for the ailing; and now translated to the Heavens' heights, thou ever fervently prayest for all the world.