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On July 22, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Mary Magdala, apostle of the apostles.  She is one of the most prominent women mentioned in the New Testament.

Her name comes from the town of Magdala in Galilee, where she originated. Scripture introduces her as a woman “who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out” (Lk. 8:2).

Scholars identify Mary Magdalene with the sinful woman who anointed the feet of Christ with oil in the house of Simon the Pharisee (Lk. 7:36-50). Others associate her with Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Lk. 10:38-42, Jn. 11). Some believe the three figures to be one person, while others believe them to be three distinct individuals.

What the Scriptures make certain about Mary Magdala is that she was a follower of Christ, who accompanied and ministered to him (Lk. 8:2-3). The Gospels record her as being one of the women present at Christ’s crucifixion.

“The story of Mary of Magdala reminds us all of a fundamental truth: disciple of Christ is one who,in the experience of human weakness, has had the humility to ask for his help, has been healed by him and has set out following closely after him, becoming a witness of the power of his merciful love  that is stronger than sin and death.” ~ Pope Benedict  XVI, July 23, 2006