A question about Mary...

Magdalene that is.

What does the Eastern Orthodox church think of her? Is she revered as a great saint or seen as a sinning prostitute and ignored? Just curious



St. Mary Magdalene, called by the Orthodox Church both Myrrh-bearer and Equal-to-the-Apostle, is commemorated on July 22/August 4, as well as with the other Myrrh-bearers on the second Sunday after Easter. Born in the seaport town of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee, she played an important role during Christ’s ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection.’

The Gospels provide the little that we know about St. Mary Magdalene, from whom Christ cast out seven demons. St. Mary and other wealthy women followed Christ and “provided for them out of their means” (Luke 8.1-3). According to the Gospel accounts (Matthew 27:55056; Mark 15.40; Luke 23.49; John 19.25), she and other women followers were present at the crucifixion. They watched where Christ was laid, and maid plans to come to the tomb on the following day to perform the ritual for anointing the dead and preparing the body for burial.

In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, St. Mary and the women with her are instructed by the angel at the tomb to go and proclaim the good news of the resurrection to the male disciples. St. Mark, in his Gospel, recounts that St. Mark, in his Gospel, recounts that St. Mary was the first to see and speak with the risen Christ. In the Gospel of John, Jesus Himself tells her to go to the apostles with the gospel; (thus, many call her the “Apostle to the Apostles”). Her meeting with the risen Christ outside His tomb is one of the most touching scenes in the Gospel of St. John:

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). (John 20.15-16)

St. Gregory the Dialogist (Pope Gregory the Great) is believed to have begun the tradition in the Western Church, not accepted in the Eastern Church, which identified St. Mary with the “sinful woman” in the seventh chapter of Luke. There are two possible reasons for this misidentification: (1) St. Mary was from Magdala, a port city that had a reputation for unsavory goings-on, and the reputation of the city may have been transferred to St. Mary; or (2) St. Mary is first mentioned in the Gospel of Luke directly following the account of the sinful woman (Luke 7.36-50) and so was associated with her. Further parallels can be drawn from the fact that the sinful woman is sometimes called a myrrh-bearer, because she anointed Christ’s feet with ointment and wiped them with her hair. St. Gregory also supposed that Mary of Bethany was the same person as St. Mary Magdalene.**

Well, I have been greatly upset lately that the Catholic church does not recognize this woman as she should be respected and revered. But I have to then realize the church is full of sinners. I also think there needs to be more of a female voice with decision making at the vatican. But I must understand that the church is not perfect. I just think women can do more than being stashed away in cloisters. They can have a voice such as in the early church and I believe the vatican is missing that feminine view on topics.

It was only one of the 23 Churches within the Catholic Communion that partially took the mistaken notion of St. Mary Magdelene as the sinful woman, and only for a time in the late middle ages by some theological scholars. It was never the entirety of Catholic thought

Well it seems strange I never hear about her in the Catholic church and never see her revered. Its frustrating. I pray for her to forgive us

Considering that the Byzantine Catholics, Chaldean Catholics, Maronite Syriac Catholics, SyroMalabar Catholic, Malankara Syrian Catholics, etc, etc… all revere and most even celebrate the same feast day as the Orthodox, the vast majority of Catholic sui iuris Churches DO venerate Mary Magdelene liturgically. In fact, during Lent and Good Friday, per the Syriac Tradition, she is mentioned many times; in addition, throughout the Liturgical Cycle. One thing I notice that Latin Churches in the US are hyper focused on Mass, to the exclusion of The Hours or other Liturgical and quasi-liturgical celebrations - because the Latin Church’s Eucharistic Liturgy has very little festal changes - especially as celebrated by the vast majority of Novus Ordo US parishes, there is hardly a mention of any Saints or commemorations. One needs to recover the Hours in public celebrations to see the full depth and theology of the Latin Rite, most Ordinariate parishes do accomplish this.

I have a wood picture of Mary Magdalene washing
the feet of Jesus with her hair, I look at it every day
during my Rosary. It proved a great help to my devo-
tion to the Rosary, and I think you are RIGHT, Mary
Magdalene is THE Apostle we need to venerate

She is recognized as a Saint. The only higher honor would be Doctor, but she left no writings. Her feast day in the West and in the Byzantine is July 22nd.


All of them combined make up less than 1% of the Catholic Church, the Latin rite makes up slightly more than 99%. If you are going to make an argument based on numbers, you best ppresent all the facts.

St. Mary Magdalene has always been one of the top ten favorite saints in the Latin Church. She has zillions of hymns written about her. She has zillions of churches dedicated to her. I don’t really see how anybody could think she’s obscure or unhonored.

Since the argument was based not on number of population, but number of Churches within the Communion. Besides, even if Eastern Orthodox as a whole were included in a population count, Latins would still outnumber by 80%. That does not diminish the significance of your Church, nor mine

In the Byzantine tradition, both Catholic and Orthodox, she is Equal-to-the-Apostles. An extremely high honour.

She is NOT ignored. If anything, the whole misconception of her being a prostitute and all that has been corrected in the revision to the Calendar, where July 22nd is St. Mary Magdalene, Disciple of the Lord and is remembered first and foremost for bringing the news of Christ’s resurrection to the Apostles, not for being some prostitute.

And further, Pope Francis elevated her celebration from that of an Obligatory Memorial to that of Feast.

What else do you want?

Speak for yourself. The Church celebrates her in many Catholic countries. For example, in France, where the saint is buried, she commands great popular devotion and Madeleine is a very popular name.

I’m not sure where you are getting this. I am in USA and there are not one, but two separate, St. Mary Magdalen R.C. Churches located within about 20 miles from my house.

There are also prayers and spiritual writings about her that I have seen going back to the early 1900s. (There are probably earlier ones too that I haven’t myself seen.) You would likely object to those as referring to her as a penitent or conflating her with one of the two “other Marys” with whom she has sometimes been associated but who historians now believe are different people. However, the intent was there to “revere” her or else there wouldn’t be prayers, litanies, and writings, even if the previous view of her may not have been 100 percent accurate.

Don’t forget also the majestic Cathedral of the Madeleine, in Salt Lake City.

Yep, “ignored” is not a term I would use to describe St. Mary Magdalene, Disciple of the Lord, Equal to the Apostles.

That’s probably one of the most impressive, if not the most impressive, US cathedrals I have been in. I feel like the Church was sending a message to the LDS up the street :slight_smile:

My opinion is that she was the person who anointed Jesus while he was at the house of Simon the Pharisee.

I would agree, but I’m curious, is this not the case with Latin churches outside of the US?

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