Sub-Saharan Africa, 22 July, 2021 / 10:15 am (ACI Africa).
On July 22, the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Mary Magdelene, one of the most prominent women mentioned in the New Testament.
Her name comes from the town of Magdala in Galilee, where she was born. Scripture introduces her as a woman “who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out” (Lk. 8:2).
Some scholars identify Mary Magdalene with the sinful woman who anointed the feet of Christ with oil in the house of Simon the Pharisee (Lk. 7:36-50). Others associate her with Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Lk. 10:38-42, Jn. 11). Some believe the three figures to be one person, while others believe them to be three distinct individuals.
What the Scriptures make certain about Mary Magdalene is that she was a follower of Christ, who accompanied and ministered to him (Lk. 8:2-3). The Gospels record her as being one of the women present at Christ’s crucifixion.
In addition, she was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection. The Gospels all describe Mary Magdalene going to the tomb on Easter morning. When she saw that the tomb was empty, she stood outside, weeping. Jesus appeared to her and asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” (Jn. 20:15)