Feastday: July 22nd
Patron of: Patron of contemplative life, converts, glove makers, hairdressers,
penitent sinners, people ridiculed for their piety, perfumeries,
pharmacists, sexual temptation, tanners, women
St. Mary Magdalene is one of the greatest saints of the Bible and a legendary example of God's mercy and
grace. The precise dates of her birth and death are unknown, but we do know she was present with Christ
during his public ministry, death and resurrection. She is mentioned at least a dozen times in the Gospels.
Mary Magdalene has long been regarded as a prostitute or sexually immoral in western Christianity, but this is
not supported in the scriptures. It is believed she was a Jewish woman who lived among Gentiles, living as
The Gospels agree that Mary was originally a great sinner. Jesus cast seven demons out of her when he met
her. After this, she told several women she associated with and these women also became followers.
There is also debate over if Mary Magdalene is the same unnamed women, a sinner, who weeps and washes
Jesus' feet with her hair in the Gospel of John. Scholars are skeptical this is the same person.
Despite the scholarly dispute over her background, what she did in her subsequent life, after meeting Jesus, is
much more significant. She was certainly a sinner whom Jesus saved, giving us an example of how no person
is beyond the saving grace of God.
During Jesus' ministry, it is believed that Mary Magdalene followed him, part of a semi-permanent entourage
who served Jesus and his Disciples.
Mary likely watched the crucifixion from a distance along with the other women who followed Christ during
His ministry. Mary was present when Christ rose from the dead, visiting his tomb to anoint his body only to
find the stone rolled away and Christ, very much alive, sitting at the place they laid Him. She was the first
witness to His resurrection.
After the death of Christ, a legend states that she remained among the early Christians. After fourteen years,
she was allegedly put into a boat by Jews, along with several other saints of the early Church, and set adrift
without sails or oars. The boat landed in southern France, where she spent the remaining years of her life
living in solitude, in a cave.
St. Mary Magdalene's feast day is July 22. She is the patroness of converts, repentant sinners, sexual
temptation, pharmacists, tanners and women, and many other places and causes.
Prayer to St. Mary Magdalene
Saint Mary Magdalene,
woman of many sins, who by conversion
became the beloved of Jesus,
thank you for your witness
that Jesus forgives
through the miracle of love.
You, who already possess eternal happiness
in His glorious presence,
please intercede for me, so that some day
I may share in the same everlasting joy.