St. Mary Magdalene

 

Feast Day – July 22

Patron Saint of converts, penitent, perfumers

Mary Magdalene, from the town of Magdala, appears in the Bible by name several times.  She is believed to be the one who approached Jesus while he was reclining at dinner and bathed his feet with her tears, dried them with her feet and perfumed them with fine oil.  She was a repentant sinner who, St. Luke reports, had seven demons cast out of her.  Although her sins have only been presumed, she did receive forgiveness and freedom from her former sinful way of life.  Mary stood by John and Christ’s mother Mary at the foot of the cross and is also one of the women to whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection, calling her by name.

Tradition about her life tells of her living alone in a cave on a hillside in Southern France for thirty years, devoting her life to prayer.  Daily, she was caught up daily in visions and revelations.  Angels brought her Holy Communion as her only food.  The cave she lived in, Sainte-Baume, still stands today.  Drawing close to her death, she was miraculously transported to the holy bishop at the chapel of St. Maximin, where she received the last sacraments before she passed peacefully into her Savior’s arms at the age of 72.

We can relate to Mary in our own sinfulness and know that our repentant hearts will touch the heart of our Lord and in His endless mercy, we can receive the same forgiveness, grace and hope that Mary Magdalene received.

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