Will the Real Saint Mary Magdalene Please Stand Up? | Word on FireThe Church commemorates the witness of Saint Mary Magdalene today. She has become a controversial figure, re-structured by some as an avatar of feminist aspirations and then rebranded in the fiction of popular culture as the subject of conspiracy theories that are intended to reveal how dastardly forces have labored to keep the “real” Jesus hidden from view. Sigh. Will the real Saint Mary Magdalene please stand up?

Confusion about the identity of Mary Magdalene antedates all the contemporary controversies. Ephraim the Syrian in the fourth century conflated Mary Magdalene with the unnamed sinful woman described in Luke 7:36-50, a mash up that gained even more traction from a homily delivered by St. Gregory the Great in the sixth century in which the pontiff seems to accept the association of Mary Magdalene with the sinful woman as well. Mary Magdalene is identified specifically in the eighth chapter of the Gospel of Luke as a woman “from whom seven devils had gone out.” Yikes!

Saint Gregory uses this terrifying description from the eighth chapter of Luke as a means… Click here to read more!

 

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