Women in Church Leadership
Mary of Magdala

Celebrate the Feast of St. Mary of Magdala July 22nd and #reclaimmagdala

For centuries, Mary Magdalene has been portrayed within the Christian faith as a former prostitute who repented her sins and became one of Jesus’ most dedicated followers.

In fact, Mary of Magdala was one of Jesus’ most influential apostles—and she was not a prostitute, said Distinguished Professor of Theology Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus on April 14. Mary kept vigil at the cross throughout Jesus’ crucifixion, discovered the empty tomb after Jesus’ resurrection, and was then commissioned to “go and tell” the good news.

Mary of Magdala WitnessList of Local Celebrations
New Resources Available

*Please note: if you are ordering printed resources for your July 22nd celebration we must receive your order by July 1 or your resources may be late. Please contact our office if you are in need of additional assistance.

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  • Truth About Mary Magdalene Could Open Doors for Women in the Church, Scholar Says read more

Legionaries Apologize for Exploiting Mary of Magdala

2014 St. Mary of Magdala highlights


Apostle to the Apostles

Mary of Magdala is perhaps the most maligned and misunderstood figure 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. Paintings, some little more than pious pornography, reinforce the mistaken belief that sexuality, especially female sexuality, is shameful, sinful, and worthy of repentance. Yet the actual biblical account of Mary of Magdala paints a far different portrait than that of the bare-breasted reformed harlot of Renaissance art.

History of Mary of Magdala