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St. Mary Magdalen

Eleanor McCloskey, CND

This month we learned that the July 22 memorial observance of St. Mary Magdalene is now a major feast in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. In recent years, the feast day has been promoted and celebrated as a significant way to help us learn about women leaders in our church history and to promote gender balance in scripture proclamation. According to Future Church (http://ncronline.org) every year 200 – 300 Magdala Day celebrations are organized around the world. We are fortunate in our area to have experienced this for several summers, on or close to July 22 in different churches close by. Rosemary Radford Ruether wrote in a 2001 article in NCR that “for the first five centuries no writer misinterpreted Mary Magdalene as a prostitute. Rather she was seen as a leading disciple and image of the church.” Deborah Rose-Milavec, Executive Director of Future Church writes: “It is gratifying and heartening to learn that this message is now echoing from the Vatican and that they now recognize her for her role as the primary witness to the Resurrection and a key figure in our salvation history with equal standing to her male counterparts.”

 

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