St. Mary Magdalene - the Patroness of Utah


She is also a patron Saint of converts.

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.

Today is her feast day! :extrahappy: …and for those of us in Utah, a solemnity. If you’re in the SLC area: 6PM Mass in celebration of our Patroness at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Dinner and festivities afterward on the plaza.

w000t! :smiley:

She is one of my very favorite Saints! :thumbsup:

I’m not from Utah, but I do love the idea that she is the Patroness of Utah. She is very powerful because her heart was so very close to Jesus. She is one of the best examples in the Church for the absolute necessity of those who choose to devote themselves to a contemplative life of prayer. :cool:

[quote=“Luke 10:”][38] Now it came to pass as they went, that he entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha, received him into her house. [39] And she had a sister called Mary, who sitting also at the Lord’s feet, heard his word. [40] But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? speak to her therefore, that she help me.

[41] And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: [42] But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Amen! :wink:

I thought she was the patron saint of penitents? :confused:

I am a convert, and I was led to God by her. I chose her as my patron saint. I’m so excited for this evening!

I love this prayer, attributed to St. Anselm…

St. Mary Magdalene, Friend Of God, pray for us!

Yes, Mary Magdalene is Utah’s patron saint and of the episcopal, bishop seat.

Many blessings to the Catholics of Utah, and to all those who benefit from the prayers of the Utah Catholic church!!!

Yes, she is. :slight_smile:

A diocese and parish can have a patron saint who is also universally designated for particular needs…St. Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of penitents, and she is also patron saint of churches named in her honor. She also prays for them from heaven.

Who assigned her patron saint of Utah? Do all states have a patron saint?

I love Mary Magdelene too. She so loved our Lord.

Every diocese has a patron saint. She is the patron saint of the Salt Lake Diocese. So, that makes her the patron saint for all of Utah because we are all in one and the same diocese. :slight_smile: The borders of our diocese being the borders of the state of Utah.

Aha - that makes sense. Ours is St. James in the Seattle Diocese. That’s pretty cool that you have Mary Magdelene!

I’ve been hearing of the Seattle diocese a lot lately. :slight_smile: A few people at our Cathedral parish have tight ties to people in Seattle. :slight_smile: …and KathleenGee too!

OMG, that’s beautiful! I’ve never seen that before. Thanks for making me blubber like a fool! :bighanky: :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes!! I became an infant Christian at St. James…those steep hills…and the sea air coming up…miss Seattle!

I always have been confused re Mary Magdalene. She usually is associated with the “woman in the city who was a sinner” (Luke 7:37) who washed Jesus’ feet. Scholars I have read say that there is no scriptural basis for this common belief. It’s an assumption not specifically supported by the gospels.

 This matter of assigning patron saints to this or that state, this or that career, this or that malady, etc. - how is that determined and by whom? Is there some suggestion that Utah has more sinners? Or, because it is a Mormon stronghold perhaps it needs conversion so badly?

  I've seen lists of saints and confess that this whole 'saintology' troubles me some. It can seem like a holdover from polytheism. Do we really have to believe that certain saints have special pull with Christ? Does St. Anthony of Padua, for example, really help us find lost items? I watch the Lords on EWTN as they tell about saints, and some of the tales they relate strike me as well beyond belief. 

  When I pray I go to God. No intermediary needed. It strikes me - in reading of saints - that some were canonized more for political than spiritual reasons.

  It's one thing to lift up folks like Mother Theresa who can inspire us. But this whole saint emphasis can become dangerously cultic. Reminds me some of my time in India when Hindus had their favorite gods and goddesses.


If you are on the outside…that is what it looks like.

On the inside, we are celebrating the communion of saints who face the Lord…they can see Him now, but we can’t. … I hope some day we all can. A true saint has his or her own charism…and the fruit must always be Jesus Christ.

The faith of the saints build up their own spirituality and theology…it is faith in action, not the intellectual kind. And their spirituality and theology are found in Sacred Scriptures.

But I do like your universal vision, and how you are travelling by studying so many religions…I pray some day you will come to the belief in God as the Unmoved Mover…and stay awhile the fruits of the Lord. St. Mary Magdalene is certainly enjoying hers.

Roy5 said: “When I pray I go to God. No intermediary needed. It strikes me - in reading of saints - that some were canonized more for political than spiritual reasons.”

Saints pray for us just as you would if I asked you to pray for me.

To the politicization, it may seem that way, but you one thing to keep in mind is that Catholicism is not like a business corporation, where we view the hierarchy as the singular point of authority, that is, the only possessors of guidance by the Holy Spirit. The entire Body of Christ is led by the Holy Spirit, and there are many instances where that guidance guides the Church itself.

Saints, in the oldest sense, were local to communities. It is still this way in many parts of western Europe. Local Saints were people who lived, worked and worshiped in the community. Their canonization is because of the people, the Body of Christ, who knew the person(s) while alive and understood who these people were/are.

So in the decision making process for local saints most often it is the faith of the people who decide the patron saint. This can appear political, ie, appeasing the locals sort of thing, but that is not what it is. It is the Holy Spirit acting in and through Christ’s Church, which consists of ALL The faithful.

However, that being said, sometimes people can perceive political activism as charitable acts. This can and does occur, though I believe usually with the best of intent. I think that is what your comment is re: Mary Magdalene being the patron Saint of UT…that it is political activism, relevant to the dominant Utah culture.

A book I have on the history of Catholics of UT only states that the first Catholic church dedicated in UT was in 1871, and was named in honor of St. Mary Magdalene. Could be she was a favored saint of the current priest or Archbishop of San Francisco, or who knows. At the time, there wasn’t much more of a backwater Catholic place to be than UT, and very few Catholics were living in Utah. Most were miners, soldiers or working for the railroad companies. I would think the selected patronage would be more for the benefit of the faithful, not for Mormons.

Since she is associated to contemplatives, which is often associated to desert monasticism, it could be the local desert climate or the “spiritual desert” of UT.

When that small church was replaced in the early 20th century by the current cathedral, it retained the patronage of St. Mary Magdalene.

By the way, everyone, today is St. James day (patron saint of Seattle, WA Diocese)!

This James is the brother of John the Evangelist. The two were called by Jesus as they worked with their father in a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had already called another pair of brothers from a similar occupation: Peter and Andrew. “He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him” (Mark 1:19-20).
James was one of the favored three who had the privilege of witnessing the Transfiguration, the raising to life of the daughter of Jairus and the agony in Gethsemani.
Two incidents in the Gospels describe the temperament of this man and his brother. St. Matthew tells that their mother came (Mark says it was the brothers themselves) to ask that they have the seats of honor (one on the right, one on the left of Jesus) in the kingdom. “Jesus said in reply, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We can’” (Matthew 20:22). Jesus then told them they would indeed drink the cup and share his baptism of pain and death, but that sitting at his right hand or left was not his to give—it “is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father” (Matthew 20:23b). It remained to be seen how long it would take to realize the implications of their confident “We can!”
The other disciples became indignant at the ambition of James and John. Then Jesus taught them all the lesson of humble service: The purpose of authority is to serve. They are not to impose their will on others, or lord it over them. This is the position of Jesus himself. He was the servant of all; the service imposed on him was the supreme sacrifice of his own life.
On another occasion, James and John gave evidence that the nickname Jesus gave them—“sons of thunder”—was an apt one. The Samaritans would not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to hated Jerusalem. “When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?’ Jesus turned and rebuked them…” (Luke 9:54-55).
James was apparently the first of the apostles to be martyred. “About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also” (Acts 12:1-3a).
This James, sometimes called James the Greater, is not to be confused with James the Lesser (May 3) or with the author of the Letter of James and the leader of the Jerusalem community.
The way the Gospels treat the apostles is a good reminder of what holiness is all about. There is very little about their virtues as static possessions, entitling them to heavenly reward. Rather, the great emphasis is on the Kingdom, on God’s giving them the power to proclaim the Good News. As far as their personal lives are concerned, there is much about Jesus’ purifying them of narrowness, pettiness, fickleness.
“…Christ the Lord, in whom the entire revelation of the most high God is summed up (see 2 Corinthians 1:20; 3:16–4:6), having fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips the Gospel promised by the prophets, commanded the apostles to preach it to everyone as the source of all saving truth and moral law, communicating God’s gifts to them. This was faithfully done: it was done by the apostles who handed on, by oral preaching, by their example, by their dispositions, what they themselves had received—whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or by coming to know it through the prompting of the Holy Spirit” (Constitution on Divine Revelation, 7).

(This entry appears in the print edition of Saint of the Day.)

Thanks, Rebecca and Christine, for your posts…They are much appreciated…

Most of all faith is mystery…God is mystery…but in it, we finally find ‘the fulfillment of all desire…’

True. God is mystery. And many articles of faith, too. I think that should help others understand why some of us. with a Catholic heritage. have trouble believing various mandatory doctrines that seem so precise about matters that are mystery. Somehow, at least in my view, they try to unveil these mysteries when they should remain subjects about which there can be free and open discussion.

Like the Eucharist or Mary. Why can't there be various interpretations of the Eurcharist -transubstantiation, but also, for example, the spiritual presence and enrichment of Christ that does not impact the physical bread and wine? Or, Mary? Why must be believe that she was the only human being born immaculately? Why is that necessary for her to be honored? This can seem to be a gradual development growing out of Catholic theology, not defined until 1864 and Pius IX, and not clearly substantiated by scripture. The same may be said about her perpetual virginity ('purity' - as though marital sex is impure). And about her Assumption as well, not defined until 1950.

 Mary Magdalene is an admirable figure in the scriptures. I guess I have a problem that goes beyond her to this whole focus on saints. I admire many, but some of the stories about certain saints strike me as preposterous. What is the one about Loreto??? I forget the details, but something to the effect that the childhood home of Jesus was moved by angels from the Holy Land to Italy??? And people looked up and saw Mary and the Baby Jesus on/in that house. Really, now!

 But faith is important, and God bless all people of faith who embrace and practice the gospel of love. What troubles me is that there are those devout people - even here on CAF - who seem to feel somewhat like that crazy man in Norway who wanted to return to the 'good old days' of medievalism with its serfdoms, divine-right monarchies, ignorance, superstitions, diseases, and bigotry.

Roy…believe it or not…there are people out there that need explanations for everything. I mean, everything.

Like limbo…I ignored it. About how many days of indulgences, I ignore it.

There was a tendency to hyper define everything. Alot of Catholics take in what they need, and the Holy Spirit will make other things clear later. That is how I handled the Assumption of Mary into heaven. I studied spirituality through various sources, and then I got it…now my understanding continues to grow by attending Mass, learning about more feastdays of the saints and how they lived out their lives seeking greater unity with God, and so on.

Always, what is learned brings us that much closer to Christ, but not alone in isolation, but in communion with those living and those who rest in the Lord.

We are now starting a new impetus within the Church in response to the loss of vocations by priests and religious. Among the most generous souls to the Catholic Church and evangelization is the married laity, especially those with families…they are finding the time to pick up the slack and bring about a new teaching dynamism to the Church.

Now is the time for the laity to do their part in building the Church, not just priests and religious. You won’t get too much hyper defining, but solid teachings, alot of congeniality, and talk about family…and the Church a family with God.

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