In Luke 8:2-3 Mary Magdalen is mentioned as one of the women who ministered to Jesus. The same passage also refers briefly to an act of exorcism performed on her, when seven demons were cast out. In Jesus' time, illness was commonly known as a "demon". Although we don't know exactly what "seven demons" means, this could be interpreted as Mary Magdalen being seriously ill. These women later accompanied Jesus on his last journey to Jerusalem and were witnesses to the Crucifixion. Mary remained there until the body was taken down and laid in a tomb prepared for Joseph of Arimathea. In the early dawn of the first day of the week Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, came to the tomb with sweet spices to anoint the body. They found the tomb empty but saw the "vision of angels" (Matthew 28:5). As the first witness to the empty tomb, Mary Magdalen went to tell Simon Peter and "the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved" (gaining her the title "apostle to the apostles"), and again immediately returned to the tomb. She remained there weeping at the door of the tomb. According to John she was the first witness of the Resurrection appearances of Jesus, though at first she did not recognize him. When he said her name she recognized him, and cried, "Rabboni", which means "teacher". She wanted to cling to him, but "Jesus said to her, 'Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to the others and say to them, "I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God." This is the last mention in the canonical Gospels of Mary Magdalen, who now returned to Jerusalem. She is probably included in the group of women who joined the Apostles in the Upper Room in Jerusalem after Jesus' ascension.

Saint Mary Magdalen, is described both in the canonical New Testament and in the New Testament apocrypha, as a devoted disciple of Jesus. Her feast day is July 22.

Mary Magdalen's name may identify her as "of Magdala" - the town some believe she came from, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee - and thus distinguishes her from the other Marys referred to throughout the New Testament. Gregory of Tours, writing in Tours in the sixth century, supports the tradition that she retired to Ephesus.

Mary as a Penitent:
The traditional Roman Catholic feast day dedicated to Mary Magdalen celebrated her position as a penitent. This was changed in 1969, with the revision of the Roman Missal and the Roman Calendar, and now there is no mention in either of Mary Magdalen the sinner.

Easter Egg Tradition:
For centuries, it has been the custom of many Christians to share dyed and painted eggs, particularly on Easter Sunday. The eggs represent new life, and Christ bursting forth from the tomb. Among Eastern Orthodox this sharing is accompanied by the proclamation "Christ is risen!", and the person being addressed would respond "Truly He is risen!"

One tradition concerning Mary Magdalen says that following the death and resurrection of Jesus, she used her position to gain an invitation to a banquet given by Emperor Tiberius. When she met him, she held a plain egg in her hand and exclaimed "Christ is risen!" Caesar laughed, and said that Christ rising from the dead was as likely as the egg in her hand turning red while she held it. Before he finished speaking, the egg in her hand turned a bright red, and she continued proclaiming the Gospel to the entire imperial house.

Another version of this story can be found in popular belief, mostly in Greece. It is believed that after the Crucifixion, Mary Magdalen and the Virgin Mary put a basket full of eggs at the foot of the cross. There, the eggs were painted red by the blood of the Christ. Then, Mary Magdalen brought them to Tiberius Caesar.


MARY OF MAGDALA

saintmarymagdalen