Who is Mary Magdalene?

Steven PutmanQandALeave a Comment

Question:  July 22 is the feast of Mary Magdalene. I’ve heard a lot of stories about her, but who was she really?

Answer: Mary Magdalene has been the subject of speculation and scholarship over the last 2,000 years. Mary Magdalene makes her first named appearance in Luke 8:2. She is one of several women following Jesus. Luke specifically mentions that Mary had previously been delivered from demonic possession. Whatever her life looked like before she met Jesus, it wasn’t good! Because of this association with being a repentant sinner, Mary Magdalene has been associated with other similar stories in the Gospel, such as the woman caught in adultery or the woman who bathes Jesus’ feet with her tears.

Mary Magdalene shows up again by name at the end of the Gospels, when she stands with the Blessed Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross. Mary is also present in the garden of the resurrection. She is one of the woman who goes to bring spices to Jesus’ tomb, where they find the stone rolled away. Mary stays in the garden weeping, believing his body has been stolen. Jesus approaches her and calls her by name, and she becomes the first witness to the resurrection! While many of the details of Mary Magdalene’s life have been lost to time, she is an example of powerful conversion, deep faith, and intimate love for Christ.

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