I’ve always found the life of Saint Mary Magdalene especially moving. She first meets Christ while demon possessed. But, when he speaks, she is healed. Unlike so many other people mentioned in the Holy Scriptures who then move out of its narrative, this is only the beginning of her story.
Being from a wealthy family, she supplies for Christ’s earthy needs within the church’s tradition. In doing so, she maintains a key role throughout the background of his ministry. But, at his crucifixion, Mary again steps into the foreground, standing at the foot of the cross. As almost every other disciple flees in fear, Mary is present and witnesses Christ’s death with her own eyes.
But, even that can’t compare with her presence come Easter morning. Going to the tomb of Christ in the darkness, she brings myrrh to anoint his body. But, at its entrance, she finds two angels who try to comfort her with the good news of his resurrection. Although the same experience sends Saints Peter and John running back to proclaim the good news to the other disciples, Mary doesn’t leave the gardens around the graves. Her love isn’t satisfied in the idea that Christ has been raised from the dead. This is one of the reasons that she’s sometimes written about as, “understanding the ways of love.” She needs to find him in the flesh. She keeps looking, and Christ appears to her in person, and says her name. Only then does she run to the other Apostles and exclaim, “I have seen the Lord!”
In this way, it’s because of her deep love for Christ that she bears her title, “Saint Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles”.
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This icon of Saint Mary Magdalene is in the Conestoga style and created primarily out of that region’s local colours and materials. The original icon was commissioned by Guy Mommaerts for the church of St. John the Evangelist in Elora, Ontario.