Thursday, August 4, 2011

St. Mary Magdalene

Joyous feast! Today we commemorate the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Mary of Magdala (modern day Mejdel) in the Galilee. Little is known about St. Mary's early life, but she became possessed by seven demons which the Lord expelled from her, after which St. Mary became one of the most fervent of the disciples and early Christians. When the Lord was crucified St. Mary was there and it was to her that the Resurrection was first revealed by her Lord.

After the Lord's Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost St. Mary together with the Apostles left Jerusalem to preach the Gospel, going to Italy and even to Rome to witness to the truth of the Christian Faith. It is to St. Mary's preaching in Rome before the Emperor Tiberias that the custom of dying red eggs for Pascha is credited, for the Saint used the egg as a symbol of the Lord's Resurrection in her preaching at the imperial court.

St. Mary remained in Rome until not long after St. Paul's arrival there, after which she moved to Ephesus to labor there with the beloved disciple. It is said that it was with her help that St. John wrote the first twenty chapters of his gospel. St. Mary was already old when she went to Ephesus and reposed there in peace. In the 800s her relics were translated to Constantinople by the East Roman emperors and then later to Rome and Marseille by the pillaging Crusaders.

More on St. Mary Magdalene's life can be found here. May her blessing and prayers be with us all!

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