Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Jesus. She was one of the witnesses to his Crucifixion and burial and was the first person to see him after his Resurrection. This led her to be called ‘The Apostle of Apostles’. She has been a symbol of penitents for nearly 2000 years. We celebrate her Feast Day on the 22nd of July.
Mary appears to have been a very independent woman, which suggests she may have had a high social status, and was potentially quite wealthy for her time, due to supporting Jesus financially during his years of public ministry. As a result of this, she was often belittled by men in power with an agenda.
All four Gospels agree that Mary was the first to know of Jesus’ Resurrection, and was the first to tell others about this event. This is an incredibly significant role in the Bible, which makes her more than just one of his followers, but potentially one of the first leaders of the Christian Religion.
According to the BBC, in Cairo in 1896, a German scholar came across a papyrus book written in Coptic. This turned out to be the Gospel of Mary. This is not officially recognised by the Church, so it is seen as one of the Apocryphal texts.
It tells a story that makes Mary’s role in the Bible even more significant. Jesus was asking his disciples to go and preach his teachings, but they feared that they would be persecuted. Mary is the one who reminds them the Jesus will always be with them.
On this feast day, reflect on the women in your life who inspired you to grow your faith.