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St. Mary of Magdala Finally Gets Due Honor
Release date: 
Friday, June 10, 2016

For Immediate Release

June 10, 2016

Contact:

Deborah Rose-Milavec, 513.673.1401 (cell), debrose@futurechurch.org

Rita Houlihan, 914.319.1979 (cell), nycrlh@gmail.com

St. Mary of Magdala Finally Receives Due Honor

Catholics around the world applaud the news that Pope Francis has raised the celebration of the memorial of St. Mary of Magdala to a liturgical feast, on equal par with “the celebration of the apostles in the General Roman Calendar”, and have rightly referred to her as the “Apostle to the Apostles”. (http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/06/10/commemoration_of_st_mary_magdalene_raised_to_a_feast/1236157)

Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Archbishop Arthur Roche, said that, “[I]t is right that the liturgical celebration of this woman has the same grade of feast given to the celebration of the apostles in the General Roman Calendar, and shines a light on the special mission of this woman, who is an example and model for every woman in the Church.”

“Twenty years ago FutureChurch first initiated our ongoing project to restore St. Mary of Magdala to her rightful place as the ‘Apostle to the Apostles’ through education and worldwide celebrations,” said Deborah Rose-Milavec, Executive Director of FutureChurch.  “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.”

The Vatican's official statement also says St. Mary of Magdala  " has the honor of being the prima testis [first witness] of the Lord’s Resurrection ... ,{and } Precisely because she was an eyewitness of the Risen Christ, she was also, on the other hand, the first to bear witness to him to the Apostles. (http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2016/06/10/160610b.html)

For too long, Mary of Magdala has been one of the most maligned and misunderstood figures in early Christianity.  In Christian art and hagiography, Mary has been romanticized, allegorized, and mythologized beyond recognition.  Since the fourth century, she has been portrayed as a prostitute and public sinner who, after encountering Jesus, repented and spent the rest of her life in private prayer and penitence. 

 

“Religious art depicting Mary of Magdala has reinforced this mistaken belief and robbed St. Mary of Magdala of her true dignity and role as the ‘Apostle to the Apostles’, but now that is being corrected, said Rita Houlihan, board member for FutureChurch who has worked for years advocating for a correct understanding of Mary Magdala. “Finally, St. Mary of Magdala is receiving her due.  Pope Francis has recognized that Jesus chose Mary of Magdala as the first witness and she is going to be honored and remembered for that important role.”

FutureChurch is, once again, offering new resources and calling on Catholics to celebrate the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala asking Catholics to Build a Church for Our Daughters.  For more information, go to futurechurch.org/MM2016.

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About FutureChurch: A national organization based in Cleveland, Ohio, FutureChurch seeks changes that will provide all Roman Catholics the opportunity to participate fully in Church life and leadership. It is a coalition of parish centered Catholics striving to educate fellow Catholics about the seriousness of the priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist (the Mass), and the systemic inequality of women in the Catholic Church. FutureChurch is a nonprofit organization that makes presentations throughout the country, distributes education, advocacy and prayer resources and recruits activists who work on behalf of its mission.

 

 

 

About FutureChurch Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, FutureChurch seeks changes that will provide all Roman Catholics the opportunity to participate fully in Church life and leadership. It is a national coalition of 3,500 parish centered Catholics striving to educate fellow Catholics about the seriousness of the priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist (the Mass), and the systemic inequality of women in the Catholic Church. FutureChurch is a nonprofit organization that makes presentations throughout the country, distributes education, advocacy and prayer resources and recruits activists who work on behalf of its mission.