Saints & Martyrs

Saint Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene (ca. 1st c.), an early follower of Jesus. According to the New Testament, the resurrected Christ appeared to her on Easter morning. Traditionally, she has been confused with Mary of Bethany and with the sinner who washed Christ's feet in the house of Simon. One popular legend claims that, following the Resurrection, she moved to Marseille, where she spent the rest of her life as a hermit.

Excerpt from The Golden Legend

[T]he blessed Mary Magdalene, desirous of sovereign contemplation, sought a right sharp desert, and took a place which was ordained by the angel of God, and abode there by the space of thirty years without knowledge of anybody. ... And every day at every hour canonical she was lifted up in the air of angels, and heard the glorious song of the heavenly companies with her bodily ears. ... It happed that a priest, which desired to lead a solitary life, took a cell for himself a twelve-furlong from the place of Mary Magdalene. On a day our Lord opened the eyes of that priest, and he saw with his bodily eyes in what manner the angels descended into the place ... And then he came trembling unto the half way, and she said to him: ... [B]ecause it is showed to me of our Lord that I shall depart out of this world, go to Maximin, and say to him that the next day after the resurrection of our lord, in the same time that he is accustomed to arise and go to matins, that he alone enter into his oratory, and that by the ministry and service of angels he shall find me there. ...

[A]nd then anon he went to [St.] Maximin, and told to him all by order. Then St. Maximin was replenished of great joy, and thanked greatly our Lord. And on the said day and hour, as is aforesaid, he entered into his oratory, and saw the blessed Mary Magdalene standing in the quire or choir ... And then all the clerks and the priests aforesaid were called, and Mary Magdalene received the body and blood of our Lord of the hands of the bishop with great abundance of tears, and after, she stretched her body [be]fore the altar, and her right blessed soul departed from the body and went to our Lord. And after it was departed, there issued out of the body an odour so sweet-smelling that it remained there by the space of seven days to all them that entered in.

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