St. Mary Magdalen

MaryMagdalenaThe Latin writers, beginning with Tertullian, have generally and with great probability identified Mary of Magdala as the sister of Lazarus, and as the sinner who anointed the feet of Jesus. The Greeks on the other hand, distinguish three Marys.


Her brother Lazarus, died in the island of Cyprus. His body was brought to Constantinople by the Emperor Leo VI and laid in the Laxarion, (899). The body of Mary, his sister, who, according to a tradition dating from the Sixth Century, had been buried at Ephesus, was soon brought and laid beside him in the new sepulchral basilica of Byzantium. The Greeks give to her the title of “like unto an apostle” because she first announced to the world and to the apostles themselves the resurrection of the Lord. For this reason the Credo is said in the Mass today, as in the Masses of the apostles.

The scene of the conversion of Mary of Magdala is perhaps on of the incidents in the Gospel, which best reveal, the gentleness of the heart of the Redeemer. To May much is forgiven, because she loved much; this is the remedy for sinners; this is the spirit which sustains the Church Militant, wherein we may indeed see many sins caused by human frailty, but in which there may be found also a great love ready to pardon all.

(Source: The New Roman Missal, Rev. F. X. Lasance)