St. Mary Magdalen was a friend and devoted follower of Jesus Christ, a reformed woman of once ill repute, out of whom He exorcised seven demons (which theologians have connected with the seven deadly sins). Mary Magdalene has a special place among Jesus’ disciples, and she is mentioned several times in all four Gospels.
It is believed that she is the same penitent woman, Mary of Bethany, who anointed the feet of Jesus before his Passion, and the sister of Lazarus and Martha. According the revelations of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, St. Mary Magdalene once lived in the town of Magdala, where she led an infamous and sinful life (as a wealthy woman with many lovers, not as a prostitute per se); however, after her conversion to Christ, she adopted a chaste life and went to live with her brother and sister, who were among Jesus' inner circle of followers, in Bethany.
St. Mary Magdalene stood by Our Lord at the foot of the Cross, alongside St. John and the Blessed Mother, and early the next morning went to Christ's tomb to anoint his body. As a reward for her great love and faithfulness, she is the first recorded witness of Jesus' Resurrection. It was Mary Magdalene who informed the twelve Apostles that Jesus rose from the dead, and for this she is called “Apostle to the Apostles.”
After Jesus’ Ascension into heaven, Mary Magdalene continued her mission as an evangelist, contemplative, and mystic in the heart of the Church. According to the Eastern tradition, she went to Ephesus with the Virgin Mary and died there. According to the Western tradition, she, along with her siblings Martha and Lazarus, were exiled from Israel and shipped out to sea, landing in Marseilles, France. Mary Magdalene evangelized and converted the region of Provence, and lived a solitary life of mystical prayer and penance in a cave for thirty years until the time of her death.
St. Mary Magdalene, with one of the most dramatic sinner-to-saint conversion stories in the history of the Church, followed by her extremely bold public acts of faith, has become—after the Blessed Mother—the model of passionate love for Jesus Christ.
HER PATRONAGESt. Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of druggists, pharmacists, apothecaries, perfumers, and perfumeries because of the costly alabaster jar of perfume with which she anointed the feet of Jesus; of hairdressers and hairstylists for drying the precious ointment from Our Lord's feet with her long, flowing hair; of reformed prostitutes, penitent sinners, penitent women, and against sexual temptation for the sinful life she abandoned in order to follow Christ; and of women, converts, contemplatives, and the contemplative life for her remaining years which she solely dedicated to evangelism and prayerful contemplation of Our Lord. Her feast day is July 22nd.
LITANY TO ST. MARY MAGDALENELord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us.
Sister of Martha and Lazarus, pray for us.
Who didst enter the Pharisee's house to anoint the feet of Jesus, pray for us.
Who didst wash His feet with thy tears, pray for us.
Who didst dry them with thy hair, pray for us.
Who didst cover them with kisses, pray for us.
Who wast vindicated by Jesus before the proud Pharisee, pray for us.
Who from Jesus received the pardon of thy sins, pray for us.
Who before darkness wast restored to light, pray for us.
Mirror of penance, pray for us
Disciple of Our Lord, pray for us.
Wounded with the love of Christ, pray for us.
Most dear to the Heart of Jesus, pray for us.
Constant woman, pray for us.
Last at the Cross of Jesus, first at His tomb, pray for us.
Thou who wast the first to see Jesus risen, pray for us.
Whose forehead was sanctified by the touch of thy risen Master, pray for us.
Apostle of apostles, pray for us.
Who didst choose the "better part," pray for us.
Who lived for many years in solitude being miraculously fed, pray for us.
Who wast visited by angels seven times a day, pray for us.
Sweet advocate of sinners, pray for us.
Spouse of the King of Glory, pray for us.
V. Saint Mary Magdalene, earnestly intercede for us with thy Divine Master
R. That we may share thy happiness in heaven.
Let us pray.
May the glorious merits of blessed Mary Magdalene, we beseech Thee, O Lord, make our offerings acceptable to Thee: for Thine only-begotten Son vouchsafed graciously to accept the humble service she rendered. Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever.
May the prayers of blessed Mary Magdalene help us, O Lord : for it was in answer to them that Thou didst call her brother Lazarus, four days after death, back from the grave to life. Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, Unity in Trinity, world without end.
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