St. Mary Magdalene
Apostle to the Apostles (First Century)
Mary Magdalene was one of the original Galilean disciples
of Jesus and the most eminent among the many women who
followed in his itinerant ministry. Little can be said about her
origins; she is characterized simply as a “woman from whom
seven demons had gone out.” There is no scriptural basis for
the later tradition that depicted her as a penitent prostitute.
The Gospels name her among the women who followed Jesus
to Golgotha and there witnessed his passion and death. While
all the male disciples fled, it was these women who remained
faithful to the end. It was also they who went to his tomb on
the third day hoping to anoint his body.
Instead they found an empty tomb, guarded by an angel
who revealed the news that Jesus was risen. The women were
charged to tell the disciples to meet the Lord back in Galilee.
In the Gospels of John and Matthew (and the longer ending
of Mark), Mary actually sees the Risen Lord. According to
John, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb when she saw
Jesus, though without recognizing him. When he addresses
her with a single word, “Mary,” she calls out, “Rabboni!
Teacher.” He instructs her to go to the disciples and tell them,
“I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God
and your God.”
It was Mary Magdalene, the faithful disciple, who first pro-
claimed the good news to the Twelve. Thus she has often been
called the “Apostle to the Apostles.” Her feast is on July 22.
“I have seen the Lord.”
—St. Mary Magdalene (John 20:18)
Written in Give Us This Day for Blessed Among Us