Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene

Overview
Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus' most celebrated disciples, and the most important woman disciple in the movement of Jesus. Jesus cleansed her of "seven demons", conventionally interpreted as referring to complex illnesses. She became most prominent during his last days, being present at the cross after the male disciples (excepting John the Beloved) had fled, and at his burial. She was the first person to see Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 after his Resurrection
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

, according to both John 20
John 20
John 20 is the twentieth chapter of the Gospel of John in the Bible. It relates the story of Jesus' resurrection. It relates how Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Jesus and found it empty. Jesus appears to her and speaks of his resurrection and dispatches Mary to tell the news to the disciples. ...

 and .

Mary Magdalene is considered by the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, and Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 churches to be a saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

, with a feast day
Calendar of saints
The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the feast day of said saint...

 of July 22.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Mary Magdalene'
Start a new discussion about 'Mary Magdalene'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus' most celebrated disciples, and the most important woman disciple in the movement of Jesus. Jesus cleansed her of "seven demons", conventionally interpreted as referring to complex illnesses. She became most prominent during his last days, being present at the cross after the male disciples (excepting John the Beloved) had fled, and at his burial. She was the first person to see Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 after his Resurrection
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

, according to both John 20
John 20
John 20 is the twentieth chapter of the Gospel of John in the Bible. It relates the story of Jesus' resurrection. It relates how Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of Jesus and found it empty. Jesus appears to her and speaks of his resurrection and dispatches Mary to tell the news to the disciples. ...

 and .

Mary Magdalene is considered by the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, and Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 churches to be a saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

, with a feast day
Calendar of saints
The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the feast day of said saint...

 of July 22. The Eastern Orthodox churches also commemorate her on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers
Myrrhbearers
In Eastern Orthodoxy the Myrrhbearers are the individuals mentioned in the New Testament who were directly involved in the burial or who discovered the empty tomb following the resurrection of Jesus...

.

Name


Consistently in the four Gospels, Mary Magdalene seems to be distinguished from other women named Mary by adding "Magdalene" (η Μαγδαληνή) to her name. Traditionally, this has been interpreted to mean that she was from Magdala
Magdala
Magdala is the name of at least two places in ancient Israel mentioned in the Jewish Talmud and one place that may be mentioned in the Christian New Testament...

, a town thought to have been on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

. says that she was actually "called Magdalene." In Hebrew מגדל Migdal means "tower", "fortress"; in Aramaic, "Magdala" means "tower" or "elevated, great, magnificent".

In the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

, Mary Magdalene is also referred to simply as "Mary" at least twice. Gnostic
Gnosticism
Gnosticism is a scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices common to early Christianity, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, Zoroastrianism , and Neoplatonism.A common characteristic of some of these groups was the teaching that the realisation of Gnosis...

 writings use Mary, Mary Magdalene, or Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene's given name Μαρία (Maria) is usually regarded as a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 form of Μαριὰμ (Mariam), which is the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 variant used in Septuagint for Miriam, the Hebrew name for Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

' sister. The name had become very popular during Jesus' time due to its connections to the ruling Hasmonean
Hasmonean
The Hasmonean dynasty , was the ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE, the dynasty ruled semi-autonomously from the Seleucids in the region of Judea...

 and Herodian
Herodian Dynasty
The Herodian Dynasty was a Jewish dynasty of Idumean descent, client Kings of Roman Judaea Province between 37 BCE and 92 CE.- Origin :During the time of the Hasmonean ruler John Hyrcanus 134-104 BCE, Israel conquered Edom and forced the Edomites to convert to Judaism.The Edomites were integrated...

 dynasties.

Sources



Primary sources about Mary Magdalene can be divided into canonical
Canonical
Canonical is an adjective derived from canon. Canon comes from the greek word κανών kanon, "rule" or "measuring stick" , and is used in various meanings....

 texts that are collected into the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 and apocryphal texts that were left out from the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, being judged as heretical
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

 during the development of the New Testament canon
Development of the New Testament canon
The Canon of the New Testament is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Bible. For most, it is an agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books that includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters of the Apostles, and Revelation...

. These apocryphal sources are usually dated from the end of the 1st to the early 4th century, all possibly written well after Mary's death.

New Testament


The four Gospels included in the New Testament have little to say about Mary Magdalene. With a single exception in the Gospel of Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

, there is no mention of her in the Gospels before the crucifixion.
According to and , Jesus cleansed her of "seven demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

s". Some contemporary scholars contend this concept means healing from illness. Some scholars regard the reference in Mark as a late addition, and the reference is possibly based on the Gospel of Luke.

It is at the time of the crucifixion and resurrection that Mary Magdalene comes to the fore in the gospels. Uniquely among the followers of Jesus, she is specified by name (though not consistently by any one gospel) as a witness to three key events: Jesus' crucifixion
Crucifixion
Crucifixion is an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead...

, his burial, and the discovery of his tomb to be empty. , Matthew 27:56 and mention Mary Magdalene as a witness to crucifixion, along with various other women. Luke does not name any witnesses, but mentions "women who had followed him from Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

" standing at a distance. In listing witnesses who saw where Jesus was buried by Joseph of Aramathea, and Matthew 27:61
Matthew 27:61
Matthew 27:61 is the sixty-first verse of the twenty-seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This verse describes two women waiting by the Tomb of Jesus after the crucifixion....

 both name only two people: Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary", who in Mark is "the mother of James". describes the witnesses merely as "the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee". mentions no other witness to Joseph's burial of Jesus except for Joseph's assistant Nicodemus
Nicodemus
Saint Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, who, according to the Gospel of John, showed favour to Jesus...

. However, John 20:1
John 20:1
John 20:1 is the first verse of the twentieth chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament. John 20 covers the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion. In this verse Mary Magdalene travels to Jesus' tomb and finds it opened....

 then names Mary Magdalene in describing who discovered the tomb to be empty. says she was accompanied by Salome
Salome (disciple)
Salome , sometimes venerated as Mary Salome, was a follower of Jesus who appears briefly in the canonical gospels and in more detail in apocryphal writings...

 and Mary the mother of James, while Matthew 28:1
Matthew 28:1
Matthew 28:1 is the first verse of the twenty-eighth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This verse opens the resurrection narrative as Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" visit Jesus' tomb after the crucification....

 omits Salome. says the group who found the empty tomb consisted of "Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them".
In Mark, Matthew, and John, Mary Magdalene is first witness to the Resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

. John 20:16
John 20:16
John 20:16 is a verse in the Gospel of John in the Bible. The verse describes the moment that Mary Magdalene realizes that Jesus has returned from the dead. Mary has found Jesus' tomb empty and is worrying about what happened to his body. At first she does not recognize Jesus when he appears,...

 and both straightforwardly say that Jesus' first post-resurrection appearance was to Mary Magdalene alone. New Testament scholar Frank Stagg points out that Mary's role as a witness is unusual because women at that time were not considered credible witnesses in legal proceedings. Because of this, and because of extra-biblical traditions about her subsequent missionary activity in spreading the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

, she is known by the title, "Equal of the Apostles". In Matthew 28:9
Matthew 28:9
Matthew 28:9 is the ninth verse of the twenty-eighth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This verse is part of the resurrection narrative...

, Mary Magdalene is with the other women returning from the empty tomb when they all see the first appearance of Jesus. In the resurrection is announced to the women at the tomb by "two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning" who suddenly appeared next to them.

The first actual appearance by Jesus that Luke mentions is later that day, when Cleopas and an unnamed disciple walked with a fellow traveler they later realized was Jesus. describes the same appearance as happening after the private appearance to Mary Magdalene. The gospels of Mark and Luke record that the rest of the disciples did not believe Mary's report of what she saw, and neither Mary Magdalene nor any of the other women are mentioned by name in Paul's catalog of appearances at . Instead, Paul writes that Jesus "appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve". Indeed, after her disbelieved first report of a resurrection vision, Mary Magdalene disappears from the New Testament. She is not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

, and her fate remains undocumented.

The Gospel of John and the Gospel of Luke also mention a "Mary of Bethany", who in some Christian traditions is regarded the same person as Mary Magdalene. Mary of Bethany was the sister of Lazarus and Martha. Mary and Martha are among the most familiar sets of sisters in the Bible. Both Luke and John describe them as friends of Jesus. Luke's story, though only four verses long, has been a complex source of inspiration, interpretation, and debate for centuries. John's account, which says the sisters had a brother named Lazarus, spans seventy verses. Though some earlier interpreters blended the person of Mary of Bethany with Mary Magdalene and the sinful woman of Luke 7:36-50, current scholars believe she was a different person.

Among the women who are specifically named in the New Testament of the Bible, Mary Magdalene’s name is one of the most frequently found. In , the author names three women in sequence: “Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.” In the Gospel of Mark, the author lists a group of women three times, and each time, Mary Magdalene’s name appears first. Finally, in the Gospel of Luke, the author enumerates the women who went to the tomb of Jesus, writing that, “It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them,” which once again place Mary Magdalene at the head of the list. According to Carla Ricci, “The place she [Mary Magdalene] occupied in the list cannot be considered fortuitous,” because over and over Mary Magdalene’s name is placed at the head of specifically named women, indicating her importance. The significance of this is further strengthened when one examines the lists of the named apostles. In Luke, the author writes that Jesus “took Peter, John and James.” According to Ricci, because Peter occupies the first position in the list, that place can be considered the position of highest importance. As a result, it can be argued that Mary Magdalene must have held a very central position among the followers of Jesus, whether as disciple or in some other capacity.

As prostitute


Pope Gregory the Great
Pope Gregory I
Pope Gregory I , better known in English as Gregory the Great, was pope from 3 September 590 until his death...

's homily
Homily
A homily is a commentary that follows a reading of scripture. In Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a homily is usually given during Mass at the end of the Liturgy of the Word...

 on Luke's gospel
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 dated 14 September 591 first suggested that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute: "She whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary, we believe to be the Mary from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark. And what did these seven devils signify, if not all the vices? ... It is clear, brothers, that the woman previously used the unguent to perfume her flesh in forbidden acts."(homily XXXIII)

In 1969 the Vatican
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, without commenting on Pope Gregory's reasoning, implicitly rejected it by separating Luke's sinful woman, Mary of Bethany, and Mary Magdala via the Roman Missal
Roman Missal
The Roman Missal is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.-Situation before the Council of Trent:...

.

This identification of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute was followed by many writers and artists until the 20th century. Even today it is promulgated by some secular and occasional Christian groups. It is reflected in Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

's film adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis
Nikos Kazantzakis
Nikos Kazantzakis was a Greek writer and philosopher, celebrated for his novel Zorba the Greek, considered his magnum opus...

's novel The Last Temptation of Christ
The Last Temptation of Christ
The Last Temptation of Christ is a novel written by Nikos Kazantzakis, first published in 1953. It was first published in English in 1960. It follows the life of Jesus Christ from his perspective...

, in José Saramago
José Saramago
José de Sousa Saramago, GColSE was a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, poet, playwright and journalist. His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor. Harold Bloom has described Saramago as "a...

's The Gospel According to Jesus Christ
The Gospel According to Jesus Christ
The Gospel According to Jesus Christ is a novel by the Portuguese author José Saramago. A fictional re-telling of Jesus Christ's life, it depicts him as a flawed, humanised character with passions and doubts...

, Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber is an English composer of musical theatre.Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success in musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of...

's rock opera
Rock opera
A rock opera is a work of rock music that presents a storyline told over multiple parts, songs or sections in the manner of opera. A rock opera differs from a conventional rock album, which usually includes songs that are not unified by a common theme or narrative. More recent developments include...

 Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Tim Rice. The musical started off as a rock opera concept recording before its first staging on Broadway in 1971...

, Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson
Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, AO is an American actor, film director, producer and screenwriter. Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to Sydney, Australia when he was 12 years old and later studied acting at the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art.After appearing in...

's The Passion of the Christ
The Passion of the Christ
The Passion of the Christ is a 2004 American drama film directed by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus. It depicts the Passion of Jesus largely according to the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John...

, Jean-Claude La Marre
Jean-Claude La Marre
Jean-Claude La Marre is a Haitian-American writer, director, and film and television actor. His film credits include Malcolm X, Dead Presidents, Gang of Roses and Go For Broke. On television, he has guest-starred on New York Undercover, Law & Order, and NYPD Blue...

's Color of the Cross
Color of the Cross
Color of the Cross is a 2006 religious film written by, directed by, and starring Jean-Claude La Marre.The film is one of the few depictions of Christ as a black man, and portrays Jesus' persecution as the result of racism.-Plot:...

 and Hal Hartley
Hal Hartley
Hal Hartley is an American film director, screenwriter, producer composer, who became a key figure in the American independent film movement of the 1980s and 1990s...

's The Book of Life.

It was because of this association of Mary as a prostitute that she became the patroness of "wayward women", and "Magdalene houses" became established to help save women from prostitution.

Artwork



The identification of Mary Mary Magdalene as prostitute and adulteress is perpetuated by much Western medieval Christian art. In many such depictions, Mary Magdalene is shown as having long hair which she wears down over her shoulders, while other women follow contemporary standards of propriety by hiding their hair beneath headdresses or kerchiefs. The Magdalene's hair may be rendered as red, while the other women of the New Testament in these same depictions ordinarily have dark hair beneath a scarf. This disparity between depictions of women can be seen in works such as the Crucifixion paintings by the Meister des Marienlebens.

There are depictions of her also showing us how various artists viewed her and Jesus' relationship. According to Robert Kiely, "no figure in the Christian Pantheon except Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and John the Baptist has inspired, provoked, or confounded the imagination of painters more than the Magdalene." Paintings can offer a deep insight as to what popular culture believed about an individual at a certain point in history. See Fra Angelico’s painting Noli me tangere
Noli me tangere
Noli me tangere, meaning "don't touch me" / "touch me not", is the Latin version of words spoken, according to , by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when she recognizes him after his resurrection....

.

New Testament Apocrypha and Gnostic texts


In apocryphal texts, she is portrayed as a visionary and leader of the early movement who was loved by Jesus more than the other disciples. Several Gnostic gospels, such as the Gospel of Mary
Gospel of Mary
The Gospel of Mary is an apocryphal book discovered in 1896 in a 5th-century papyrus codex. The codex Papyrus Berolinensis 8502 was purchased in Cairo by German scholar Karl Reinhardt....

, written in the early 2nd century, see Mary as the special disciple of Jesus who has a deeper understanding of his teachings and is asked to impart this to the other disciples.

Several Gnostic writings, usually dated to 2nd and 3rd centuries, paint a drastically different picture of Mary Magdalene from that of the canonical
Canonical
Canonical is an adjective derived from canon. Canon comes from the greek word κανών kanon, "rule" or "measuring stick" , and is used in various meanings....

 Gospels.

In Gnostic writings Mary Magdalene is seen as one of the most important of Jesus' disciples whom he loved more than the others. The Gnostic Gospel of Philip names Mary Magdalene as Jesus' companion. Gnostic writings describe tensions and jealousy between Mary Magdalene and other disciples, especially Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

.

Gospel of Mary


In her introduction in The Complete Gospels, Karen King names the manuscripts available for the Gospel of Mary. She writes that only three fragmentary manuscripts are known to have survived into the modern period, two 3rd-century fragments (P. Rylands 463 and P. Oxyrhynchus 3525) published in 1938 and 1983, and a longer 5th-century Coptic translation (Berolinensis Gnosticus 8052,1) published in 1955.

The Gospel of Mary
Gospel of Mary
The Gospel of Mary is an apocryphal book discovered in 1896 in a 5th-century papyrus codex. The codex Papyrus Berolinensis 8502 was purchased in Cairo by German scholar Karl Reinhardt....

 exalts Mary Magdalene over the male disciples of Jesus. The Gospel of Mary provides important information about the role of women in the early church. It is usually dated to about the same period as that of the Gospel of Philip. The Gospel was first discovered in 1896. The Gospel is missing six pages from the beginning and four in the middle.

The identity of "Mary" appearing as the main character in this Gospel is sometimes disputed, but she is generally regarded to be Mary Magdalene. The Gospel of Mary presents her as one of the disciples, says she has seen a private vision from the resurrected Jesus and describes it to other disciples.

Peter said to Mary, "Sister we know that the Savior loved you more than the rest of woman. Tell us the words of the Savior which you remember which you know, but we do not, nor have we heard them." Mary answered and said, "What is hidden from you I will proclaim to you." And she began to speak to them these words: "I, she said, I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to Him, Lord I saw you today in a vision."


Almost all of Mary's vision is within the lost pages.

When Mary had said these things, she fell silent, since it was up to this point that the Savior had spoken to her.


Mary is then confronted by Andrew
Saint Andrew
Saint Andrew , called in the Orthodox tradition Prōtoklētos, or the First-called, is a Christian Apostle and the brother of Saint Peter. The name "Andrew" , like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the 3rd or 2nd century BC. No Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him...

 and Peter, who do not take for granted what she says, because she is a woman:

"Did he then speak secretly with a woman, in preference to us, and not openly? Are we to turn back and all listen to her? Did he prefer her to us?" Then Mary grieved and said to Peter, "My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I thought this up myself in my heart or that I am lying concerning the Savior?"


However, Mary is defended by Levi:

"But if the Savior made her worthy, who are you to reject her? Surely the Savior knew her very well. For this reason he loved her more than us."


The repeated reference in the Gnostic texts of Mary as being loved by Jesus more than the others has been seen as supporting the theory that the Beloved Disciple
Disciple whom Jesus loved
The phrase the disciple whom Jesus loved or, in John 20:2, the Beloved Disciple is used five times in the Gospel of John, but in no other New Testament accounts of Jesus. claims that the Gospel of John is based on the written testimony of the "Beloved Disciple".Since the end of the 2nd century,...

 in the canonical Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

 was originally Mary Magdalene, before a later redactor made changes in the Gospel.

Gospel of Philip


Gospel of Philip
Gospel of Philip
The Gospel of Philip is one of the Gnostic Gospels, a text of New Testament apocrypha, dating back to around the third century but lost to modern researchers until an Egyptian peasant rediscovered it by accident, buried in a cave near Nag Hammadi, in 1945...

, dating from the 2nd or 3rd century, survives in part among the texts found in Nag Hammadi
Nag Hammâdi
Nag Hammadi , is a city in Upper Egypt. Nag Hammadi was known as Chenoboskion in classical antiquity, meaning "geese grazing grounds". It is located on the west bank of the Nile in the Qena Governorate, about 80 kilometres north-west of Luxor....

 in 1945. In a manner very similar to , the Gospel of Philip presents Mary Magdalene among Jesus' female entourage, adding that she was his koinônos, a Greek word variously translated in contemporary versions as partner, associate, comrade, companion.

There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary, his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister, his mother and his companion were each a Mary.


Others' irritation from the love and affection presented by Jesus to Mary Magdalene is claimed in the apocryphal Gospel of Philip. The text is badly fragmented, and speculated but unreliable additions are shown in brackets:

And the companion of the savior was Mary Magdalene. Christ loved Mary more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him, "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The Savior answered and said to them, "Why do I not love you like her?"

Gospel of Thomas


Gospel of Thomas
Gospel of Thomas
The Gospel According to Thomas, commonly shortened to the Gospel of Thomas, is a well preserved early Christian, non-canonical sayings-gospel discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945, in one of a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library...

, usually dated to the late 1st or early 2nd century, was also among the finds in the Nag Hammadi library in 1945. It has two short references to a "Mary", generally regarded as Mary Magdalene. The latter of the two describes the sentiment towards female members of the early Gnostics:

Simon Peter said to them: Let Mary go forth from among us, for women are not worthy of the life. Jesus said: Behold, I shall lead her, that I may make her male, in order that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For every woman who makes herself male shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.


When the Gospel of Thomas was written, people commonly assumed that men were superior to women, much as humans were superior to animals. While it is surprising today to think that many believed back then that a woman would have to become male to enter the kingdom of heaven, it was an attitude consistent with the historical context.

The manuscript gives 114 "secret teachings" of Jesus. Mary is mentioned briefly in saying 21. Here, Mary asks Jesus, "Whom are your disciples like?" Jesus responds, "They are like children who have settled in a field which is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, 'Let us have back our field.' They (will) undress in their presence in order to let them have back their field and to give it back to them." Following this, Jesus continues his explanation with a parable about the owner of a house and a thief, ending with the common rhetoric, "Whoever has ears to hear let him hear."

Pistis Sophia


Pistis Sophia
Pistis Sophia
Pistis Sophia is an important Gnostic text, possibly written as early as the 2nd century. The five remaining copies, which scholars place in the 5th or 6th centuries, relate the Gnostic teachings of the transfigured Jesus to the assembled disciples , when the risen Christ had accomplished eleven...

, possibly dating as early as the 2nd century, is the best surviving of the Gnostic writings. Pistis Sophia presents a long dialog with Jesus in the form of his answers to questions from his disciples. Of the 64 questions, 39 are presented by a woman who is referred to as Mary or Mary Magdalene. Jesus says of Mary:

"Mary, thou blessed one, whom I will perfect in all mysteries of those of the height, discourse in openness, thou, whose heart is raised to the kingdom of heaven more than all thy brethren."


There is also a short reference to a person named "Martha
Martha
Martha of Bethany is a biblical figure described in the Gospels of Luke and John. Together with her siblings Lazarus and Mary, she is described as living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem...

" among the disciples, possibly the same person who is named as the sister of Mary of Bethany.

Eastern Orthodox tradition


The Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 maintains that Mary Magdalene, distinguished from Mary of Bethany and the "sinful woman", had been a virtuous woman all her life, even before her conversion. They have never celebrated her as a penitent. This view finds expression both in her written life (βίος or vita) and in the liturgical service in her honor that is included in the Menaion
Menaion
The Menaion refers to the annual fixed cycle of services in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches. Commemorations in the Menaion are tied to the day of the calendar year.-Service books:...

 and performed on her annual feast-day. There is a tradition that Mary Magdalene led so chaste a life that the devil thought she might be the one who was to bear Christ into the world, and for that reason he sent the seven demons to trouble her.

Mary Magdalene is honored as one of the first witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

, and received a special commission from him to tell the Apostles of his resurrection. She is often depicted on icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

s bearing a vessel of ointment, not because of the anointing by the "sinful woman", but because she was among those women who brought ointments to the tomb of Jesus. For this reason, she is called a Myrrhbearer
Myrrhbearers
In Eastern Orthodoxy the Myrrhbearers are the individuals mentioned in the New Testament who were directly involved in the burial or who discovered the empty tomb following the resurrection of Jesus...

.

According to Eastern traditions, she retired to Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era...

 with the Theotokos
Theotokos
Theotokos is the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Its literal English translations include God-bearer and the one who gives birth to God. Less literal translations include Mother of God...

 (Mary, the Mother of God) and there she died. (This previous statement appears to be a conflation of Turkish local traditions about St. John and the Virgin Mary House of the Virgin Mary
House of the Virgin Mary
The House of the Virgin Mary is a Christian and Muslim shrine located on Mt...

). Her relic
Relic
In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial...

s were transferred to Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 in 886 and are there preserved.

Apostle of the Apostles


Mary Magdalene is referred to as "the apostle to the apostles" from the 10th century. From the 12th century Abbot Hugh of Semur (died 1109), Peter Abelard (died 1142), and Geoffrey of Vendome (died 1132) all referred to Mary Magdalene as the sinner who merited the title apostolarum apostola, with the title becoming commonplace during the 12th and 13th centuries.

Bart D. Ehrman
Bart D. Ehrman
Bart D. Ehrman is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill....

 referred to a work by an early anonymous Christian writer (perhaps Hippolytus, a Christian leader in Rome around 200 AD) who in a commentary on the Old Testament book Song of Songs
Song of songs
Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon, is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. It may also refer to:In music:* Song of songs , the debut album by David and the Giants* A generic term for medleysPlays...

, wrote that Jesus first appeared to the women at the tomb. He instructed them to go and tell his disciples that he was risen from the dead. Then he appeared to his disciples and "upbraided them for not believing the women's report," referring to the women as apostles. Ehrman quotes the writer: "Christ showed himself to the (male) apostles and said to them, 'It is I who appeared to these women and I who wanted to send them to you as apostles. Ehrman concludes from this that Mary and the others could therefore be thought of as "apostles sent to the apostles," a title that Mary Magdalene herself came to bear in the Middle Ages (Latin: apostola apostolorum). Erhman further cites and Matthew 28:11
Matthew 28:11
Matthew 28:11 is the eleventh verse of the twenty-eighth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This verse is part of the resurrection narrative...

 as evidence for his proposition.

Darrell Bock
Darrell Bock
Darrell L. Bock is a New Testament scholar and research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas, United States...

 also takes the view that Mary Magdalene was not singled out, but was part of a group of women who shared the honour, that for Hippolytus "she was one of a few apostles", stating the term did not originate with Hippolytus.

According to Harvard theologian Karen King, Mary Magdalene was a prominent disciple and leader of one wing of the early Christian movement that promoted women's leadership. King cites references in the Gospel of John that the risen Jesus gives Mary special teaching and commissions her as an "Apostle to the Apostles." Mary is the first to announce the resurrection and to fulfill the role of an Apostle
Apostle (Christian)
The term apostle is derived from Classical Greek ἀπόστολος , meaning one who is sent away, from στέλλω + από . The literal meaning in English is therefore an "emissary", from the Latin mitto + ex...

─someone sent by Jesus with a special message or commission, to spread the gospel ("good news") and to lead the early church. The first message she was given was to announce to Peter and the others that "He is risen!"( ) Although the term is not specifically used of her in the New Testament, Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

 refers to her as "Equal to the Apostles
Equal-to-apostles
An equal-to-the-apostles is a special title given to some canonized saints in Eastern Orthodoxy. It is also used by Eastern Rite Catholic Churches that are in communion with Rome...

"), and later traditions name her as "the apostle to the apostles." King writes that the strength of this literary tradition makes it possible to suggest that historically Mary was a prophetic visionary and leader within one sector of the early Christian movement after the death of Jesus.

Asbury Theological Seminary
Asbury Theological Seminary
Asbury Theological Seminary is a multi-denominational, graduate institution that offers a variety of master degree and postgraduate degree programs through the schools of Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation, Theology and Formation, Practical Theology, World Missions and Evangelism, and...

 Bible scholar Ben Witherington III
Ben Witherington III
Ben Witherington III is an American evangelical Biblical scholar, and professor of New Testament Studies.Witherington is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.-Education:...

 confirms the New Testament account of Mary Magdalene as historical: "Mary was an important early disciple and witness for Jesus." He continues, "There is absolutely no early historical evidence that Mary's relationship with Jesus was anything other than that of a disciple to her Master teacher."

In his apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem ("On the dignity and vocation of women", part 67-69) dated 15 August 1988, Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 dealt with the Easter events in relation to the women being present at the tomb after the Resurrection, in a section entitled 'First Witness of the Resurrection': "The women are the first at the tomb. They are the first to find it empty. They are the first to hear "He is not here. He has risen, as he said." (Mt 28:6). They are the first to embrace his feet (cf. Mt 28:9), They are also the first to be called to announce this truth to the Apostles (cf. Mt 28:1-10, Lk 24:8-11). The Gospel of John (cf. also Mk 16:9) emphasizes the special role of Mary Magdalene. She is the first to meet the Risen Christ. [...] Hence she came to be called "the apostle of the Apostles". Mary Magdalene was the first eyewitness of the Risen Christ, and for this reason she was also the first to bear witness to him before the Apostles. This event, in a sense, crowns all that has been said previously about Christ entrusting divine truths to women as well as men."

Roman Catholic tradition


Gregory of Tours
Gregory of Tours
Saint Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of Gaul. He was born Georgius Florentius, later adding the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather...

, writing in Tours
Tours
Tours is a city in central France, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department.It is located on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and for the...

 in the 6th century, supports the tradition that she retired to Ephesus, with no mention of any connection to Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

.

How a cult of Mary Magdalene first arose in Provence
Provence
Provence ; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

 has been summed up by Victor Saxer in the collection of essays in La Magdaleine, VIIIe – XIIIe siècle and by Katherine Ludwig Jansen, drawing on popular devotions, sermon literature and iconology. In Provence, Mary is said to have spent her last days alone in the wilderness, fasting and engaging in acts of penitential self-discipline, behavior that was rewarded with experiences of ecstatic union with the divine. Depictions of her last days became enormously popular in preaching and art.

Mary Magdalene's relics were first venerated at the abbey of Vézelay
Vézelay
Vézelay is a commune in the Yonne department in Burgundy in north-central France. It is a defendable hill town famous for Vézelay Abbey. The town and the Basilica of St Magdelene are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites....

 in Burgundy. Jacobus de Voragine
Jacobus de Voragine
Blessed Jacobus de Varagine or Voragine was an Italian chronicler and archbishop of Genoa. He was the author, or more accurately the compiler, of Legenda Aurea, the Golden Legend, a collection of the legendary lives of the greater saints of the medieval church that was one of the most popular...

 gives the common account of the transfer of the relics of Mary Magdalene from her sepulchre in the oratory
Oratory (worship)
An oratory is a Christian room for prayer, from the Latin orare, to pray.-Catholic church:In the Roman Catholic Church, an oratory is a structure other than a parish church, set aside by ecclesiastical authority for prayer and the celebration of Mass...

 of Saint Maximin at Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
Aix , or Aix-en-Provence to distinguish it from other cities built over hot springs, is a city-commune in southern France, some north of Marseille. It is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the département of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a subprefecture. The population of Aix is...

 to the newly founded abbey of Vézelay
Vézelay
Vézelay is a commune in the Yonne department in Burgundy in north-central France. It is a defendable hill town famous for Vézelay Abbey. The town and the Basilica of St Magdelene are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites....

; the transportation of the relics is entered as undertaken in 771 by the founder of the abbey, identified as Gerard, duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy was a title borne by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks...

. The earliest mention of this episode is the notice of the chronicler Sigebert of Gembloux
Sigebert of Gembloux
Sigebert of Gembloux was a medieval author, known mainly as a pro-Imperial historian of a universal chronicle, opposed to the expansive papacy of Gregory VII and Pascal II...

 (died 1112), who asserts that the relics were removed to Vézelay through fear of the Saracens. There is no record of their further removal to the other St-Maximin; a casket of relics associated with Magdalene remains at Vézelay.

Afterwards, since September 9, 1279, the purported body of Mary Magdalene was also venerated at Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume
Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume
Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.It lies east of Aix-en-Provence, in the westernmost point of Var département. It is located at the foot of the Sainte-Baume mountains: baume or bama is the Provençal...

, Provence. This cult attracted such throngs of pilgrim
Pilgrim
A pilgrim is a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journeying to some place of special significance to the adherent of a particular religious belief system...

s that the earlier shrine was rebuilt as the great Basilica
Basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...

 from the mid-13th century, one of the finest Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 churches in the south of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

The competition between the Cluniac
Cluny Abbey
Cluny Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in Cluny, Saône-et-Loire, France. It was built in the Romanesque style, with three churches built in succession from the 10th to the early 12th centuries....

 Benedictines of Vézelay and the Dominicans
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 of Saint-Maxime occasioned a rash of miraculous literature supporting the one or the other site. Jacobus de Voragine
Jacobus de Voragine
Blessed Jacobus de Varagine or Voragine was an Italian chronicler and archbishop of Genoa. He was the author, or more accurately the compiler, of Legenda Aurea, the Golden Legend, a collection of the legendary lives of the greater saints of the medieval church that was one of the most popular...

, compiling his Legenda Aurea (Golden Legend) before the competition arose, characterized Mary Magdalene as the emblem
Emblem
An emblem is a pictorial image, abstract or representational, that epitomizes a concept — e.g., a moral truth, or an allegory — or that represents a person, such as a king or saint.-Distinction: emblem and symbol:...

 of penitence, washing the feet of Jesus with her copious tears (although it is now believed that Mary of Bethany was the woman known for washing or anointing the feet of Jesus) protectress of pilgrims to Jerusalem, daily lifting by angels at the meal hour in her fasting retreat and many other miraculous happenings in the genre of Romance
Romance (genre)
As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a style of heroic prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a knight errant portrayed as...

, ending with her death in the oratory of Saint Maximin, all disingenuously claimed to have been drawn from the histories of Hegesippus
Hegesippus (chronicler)
Saint Hegesippus , was a Christian chronicler of the early Church who may have been a Jewish convert and certainly wrote against heresies of the Gnostics and of Marcion...

 and of Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

.


The French tradition of Saint Lazare of Bethany
Lazarus of Bethany
Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Saint Lazarus or Lazarus of the Four Days, is the subject of a prominent miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death...

 is that Mary, her brother Lazarus, and Maximinus, one of the Seventy Disciples
Seventy Disciples
The seventy disciples or seventy-two disciples were early followers of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel of Luke . According to Luke, the only gospel in which they appear, Jesus appointed them and sent them out in pairs on a specific mission which is detailed in the text...

 and some companions, expelled by persecutions from the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

, traversed the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 in a frail boat with neither rudder nor mast and landed at the place called Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is the capital of the Camargue in the south of France. It is a commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône department by the Mediterranean Sea. Population: 2,478...

 near Arles
Arles
Arles is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence....

. Mary Magdalene came to Marseille and converted the whole of Provence. Magdalene is said to have retired to a cave on a hill by Marseille, La Sainte-Baume
Sainte-Baume
The Sainte-Baume is a mountain ridge spreading between the départements of Bouches-du-Rhône and Var in southern France...

 ("holy cave." baumo in Provençal), where she gave herself up to a life of penance for thirty years. When the time of her death arrived she was carried by angels to Aix and into the oratory of Saint Maximinus, where she received the viaticum
Viaticum
Viaticum is a term used especially in the Roman Catholic Church for the Eucharist administered, with or without anointing of the sick, to a person who is dying, and is thus a part of the last rites...

; her body was then laid in an oratory constructed by St. Maximinus at Villa Lata, afterwards called St. Maximin.

In 1279, when Charles II, King of Naples
Charles II of Naples
Charles II, known as "the Lame" was King of Naples, King of Albania, Prince of Salerno, Prince of Achaea and Count of Anjou.-Biography:...

, erected a Dominican convent
Convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

 at La Sainte-Baume, the shrine was found intact, with an explanatory inscription stating why the relics had been hidden.

During the Counter Reformation and Baroque periods (late 16th and 17th centuries), the cult of Mary Magdalene saw a great, new popularity as the Catholic Church publicized her as an attractive, persusasive model of repentance and reform, in keeping with the goals of the reform Council of Trent (1545–63). Numerous works of art and theater featuring the tearful penitent Magdalene appeared in the 17th century. As part of this new attention to the cult of the Magdalene, in 1600, her relics were placed in a sarcophagus commissioned by Pope Clement VIII
Pope Clement VIII
Pope Clement VIII , born Ippolito Aldobrandini, was Pope from 30 January 1592 to 3 March 1605.-Cardinal:...

, the head being placed in a separate reliquary
Reliquary
A reliquary is a container for relics. These may be the physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures...

. The relics and free-standing images were scattered and destroyed at the Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. In 1814, the church of La Sainte-Baume, also wrecked during the Revolution, was restored. In 1822, the grotto was consecrated afresh. The head of the saint now lies there and has been the centre of many pilgrimages.

The traditional Roman Catholic feast day dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene celebrated her position as a penitent. The Magdalene became a symbol of repentance for the vanities of the world to various sects. In 1969, the Catholic Church allegedly admitted what critics had been saying for centuries: Magdalene's standard image as a reformed prostitute is not supported by the text of the Bible. They reportedly have revised the Roman Missal and the Roman Calendar, and now neither of those documents mention Mary Magdalene as a repentant sinner of ill repute. St. Mary Magdalene was the patron of Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2006 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £153 million. Magdalen is currently top of the Norrington Table after over half of its 2010 finalists received first-class degrees, a record...

, and Magdalene College, Cambridge
Magdalene College, Cambridge
Magdalene College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1428 as a Benedictine hostel, in time coming to be known as Buckingham College, before being refounded in 1542 as the College of St Mary Magdalene...

 (both colleges pronounce her name as "maudlin"). In contrast, her name was also used for the Magdalen Asylum
Magdalen Asylum
Magdalene asylums were institutions from the 18th to the mid-20th centuries ostensibly for "fallen women", a term used to imply sexual promiscuity....

, institutions for "fallen women".

Protestant tradition



Protestants honor her as a highly respected apostle, disciple and friend of Jesus. Anglican and Lutheran Christians revere her as a saint and some call upon her for intercession. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a mainline Protestant denomination headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The ELCA officially came into existence on January 1, 1988, by the merging of three churches. As of December 31, 2009, it had 4,543,037 baptized members, with 2,527,941 of them...

 honors Mary Magdalene, Apostle on July 22 as a Lesser Festival. Most Protestant Christians do not consider that Mary Magdalene was an apostle at all. They point out that it is Protestant Christianity's most ardent critics who try to propagate that assumption, along with strange—and in their eyes blasphemous—theories that Mary Magdalene had relations with Jesus. Those Protestant denominations that do not believe in the authority of women over men insist that the Bible clearly identifies the Apostles, and they were all men. Most Protestants see Mary Magdalene as a very dedicated follower, or disciple of Jesus, but not as an Apostle.

Easter Egg tradition


For centuries, it has been the custom of many Christians to share dyed and painted eggs
Easter egg
Easter eggs are special eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime.The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jelly beans...

, particularly on Easter Sunday
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

. The eggs represent new life, and Christ bursting forth from the tomb. Among Eastern Orthodox Christians (including Albanian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Greek, Lebanese, Macedonian, Russian, Romanian, Serbian and Ukrainian) this sharing is accompanied by the proclamation "Christ is risen!" (in Greek "Christos anesti",Serbian:"Христос Вoскрeсе!", Armenian:"Քրիստոս յառեաւ ի մեռելոց",Albanian:"Krishti U Ngjall!") and the response "Truly He is risen!" (in Greek - "Alithos anesti",Serbian:" Вaистина Воскресе", Albanian:"Vertet U Ngjall!").

One tradition concerning Mary Magdalene says that, following the death and resurrection of Jesus, she used her position to gain an invitation to a banquet given by Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

. When she met him, she held a plain egg in her hand and exclaimed, "Christ is risen!" Caesar laughed, and said that Christ rising from the dead was as likely as the egg in her hand turning red while she held it. Before he finished speaking, the egg in her hand turned a bright red, and she continued proclaiming the Gospel to the entire imperial house.

Another version of this story can be found in popular belief, mostly in Greece. It is believed that after the Crucifixion, Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary put a basket full of eggs at the foot of the cross. There, the eggs were painted red by the blood of the Christ. Then, Mary Magdalene brought them to Tiberius Caesar (see above).

Bahá'í tradition


There are many references to Mary Magdalene in the sacred writings of the Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

, where she enjoys an exalted status as a heroine of faith and the "archetypal woman of all cycles". `Abdu'l-Bahá
`Abdu'l-Bahá
‘Abdu’l-Bahá , born ‘Abbás Effendí, was the eldest son of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. In 1892, `Abdu'l-Bahá was appointed in his father's will to be his successor and head of the Bahá'í Faith. `Abdu'l-Bahá was born in Tehran to an aristocratic family of the realm...

, the son of the founder of the religion, said that she was "the channel of confirmation" to Jesus' disciples, a "heroine" who "re-established the faith of the apostles" and was "a light of nearness in his kingdom." `Abdu'l-Bahá also wrote that "her reality is ever shining from the horizon of Christ," "her face is shining and beaming forth on the horizon of the universe forevermore" and that "her candle is, in the assemblage of the world, lighted till eternity." `Abdu'l-Bahá considered her to be the supreme example of how women are completely equal with men in the sight of God and can at times even exceed men in holiness and greatness. Indeed he claimed that she surpassed all the men of her time, and that "crowns studded with the brilliant jewels of guidance" were upon her head.

The Bahá'í writings also expand upon the scarce references to her life in the canonical Gospels, with a wide array of extra-canonical stories about her and sayings which are not recorded in any other extant historical sources. `Abdu'l-Bahá claimed that Mary travelled to Rome and spoke before the Emperor Tiberius, which is presumably why Pilate was later recalled to Rome for his cruel treatment of the Jews (a tradition also attested to in the Eastern Orthodox Church). According to the memoirs of Juliet Thompson
Juliet Thompson
Juliet Thompson was an American Bahá'í, painter, and disciple of `Abdu'l-Bahá. She is perhaps best remembered for her book The Diary of Juliet Thompson though she also painted a life-sized portrait of `Abdu'l-Bahá.-Early life and education:...

, `Abdu'l-Bahá also compared Mary to Juliet, one of his most devoted followers, claiming that she even physically resembled her and that Mary Magdalene was Juliet Thompson's "correspondence in heaven."

Bahá'ís have noted parallels between Mary Magdalene and the Babí heroine-poetess Tahirih
Táhirih
Táhirih or Qurratu'l-`Ayn are both titles of Fátimih Baraghání , an influential poet and theologian of the Bábí Faith in Iran. Her life, influence and execution made her a key figure of the religion...

. The two are compared in many respects, with Mary Magdalene often being viewed as a Christian antecedent of the latter, while Tahirih in her own right could be described as the spiritual return of the Magdalene; especially given their common, shared attributes of "knowledge, steadfastness, courage, virtue and will power", in addition to their importance within the religious movements of Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith as female leaders.

Speculations


The name Mary occurs numerous times in the New Testament. There are several people named Mary in the Gospels. There also are several unnamed women who seem to share characteristics with Mary Magdalene. At different times in history, Mary Magdalene has been confused or misidentified with almost every woman in the four Gospels, except the mother of Jesus. "The idea that this Mary was 'the woman who was a sinner,' or that she was unchaste, is altogether groundless."

"Beloved Disciple" in the Gospel of John


A group of scholars, the most familiar of whom is Elaine Pagels
Elaine Pagels
Elaine Pagels, née Hiesey , is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she is best known for her studies and writing on the Gnostic Gospels...

, have suggested that for one early group of Christians Mary Magdalene was a leader of the early Church. These scholars have even suggested that Mary might even be the unidentified "Beloved Disciple" to whom the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

 is ascribed.

Raymond E. Brown
Raymond E. Brown
The Reverend Raymond Edward Brown, S.S. , was an American Roman Catholic priest, a member of the Sulpician Fathers and a major Biblical scholar of his era...

 suggests that to make this claim and maintain consistency with scriptures, Mary's separate existence in the two common scenes with the Beloved Disciple were modifications hastily added later to give validity to the gospel in the late 2nd century. Both scenarios have contain internal inconsistencies, possibly stemming from rough editing to make Mary Magdalene and the Beloved Disciple appear as different persons.

Anne Graham Lotz summarized this reading of the texts in 2003. She demonstrated that an early Christian writing portrays authority as being represented in Mary Magdalene or in the church community structure.

Identification as Mary of Bethany


In Roman Catholic tradition, Mary of Bethany is identified as Mary Magdalene, while in Eastern Orthodox and Protestant traditions they are considered separate persons. "Mary of Bethany" itself is an anachronism, as she is just referred to as "Mary" both in and the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

.

The identification is mainly based on the Gospel of John. The Mary appearing in Bethany is introduced in only by her first name, as if her identity was self-evident. Jesus seems to know her family well and is described visiting them several times. In , Mary anoints Jesus with expensive perfume and wipes his feet with her own hair, to which Jesus says that it was intended "she should save this perfume for the day of my burial". Following this, Mary of Bethany inexplicably disappears from the narrative, while the earlier unmentioned Mary Magdalene emerges without introduction at Jesus' crucifixion, finding later his tomb empty and being the first to be visited by him after the resurrection. Furthermore, also Mary Magdalene is referred to as "Mary" in the scenes certainly involving her.

The Gnostic texts commonly refer to Mary Magdalene as Mary.

Betrothed to John the Evangelist


The monk and historian Domenico Cavalca (c. 1270-1342), citing Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

, suggested that Mary Magdalene was betrothed
Engagement
An engagement or betrothal is a promise to marry, and also the period of time between proposal and marriage which may be lengthy or trivial. During this period, a couple is said to be betrothed, affianced, engaged to be married, or simply engaged...

 to St John the Evangelist
John the Evangelist
Saint John the Evangelist is the conventional name for the author of the Gospel of John...

: "I like to think that the Magdalene was the spouse of John, not affirming it... I am glad and blythe that St Jerome should say so."

The Dominican monk
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 Jacobus de Voragine
Jacobus de Voragine
Blessed Jacobus de Varagine or Voragine was an Italian chronicler and archbishop of Genoa. He was the author, or more accurately the compiler, of Legenda Aurea, the Golden Legend, a collection of the legendary lives of the greater saints of the medieval church that was one of the most popular...

 in his Golden Legend
Golden Legend
The Golden Legend is a collection of hagiographies by Jacobus de Voragine that became a late medieval bestseller. More than a thousand manuscripts of the text have survived, compared to twenty or so of its nearest rivals...

 reported the legend that Mary Magdalene was betrothed to St John the Evangelist, who left his bride at the altar to follow Jesus, dismissing it as a "false and frivolous tale".

In 1449 King René d'Anjou gave to Angers Cathedral the amphora
Amphora
An amphora is a type of vase-shaped, usually ceramic container with two handles and a long neck narrower than the body...

 from Cana
Cana
In the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of John refers a number of times to a town called Cana of Galilee.-The marriage at Cana:Among Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his first public...

 in which Jesus changed water to wine, acquiring it from the nuns of Marseilles, who told him that Mary Magdalene had brought it with her from Judea, relating to the legend where she was the jilted bride at the wedding following John the Evangelist received his calling from Jesus.

A virgin after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ


Ambrose (De virginitate 3,14; 4,15) and John Chrysostom (Matthew, Homily 88) have suggested that Mary Magdalene was a virgin after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Buried at Iona


The author Fiona MacLeod
William Sharp (writer)
William Sharp was a Scottish writer, of poetry and literary biography in particular, who from 1893 wrote also as Fiona MacLeod, a pseudonym kept almost secret during his lifetime...

 reported "there's a story that Mary Magdalene lies in a cave in Iona
Iona
Iona is a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland. It was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquility and natural beauty. It is a popular tourist destination and a place for retreats...

".

Gnostic texts


The Gospel of Philip
Gospel of Philip
The Gospel of Philip is one of the Gnostic Gospels, a text of New Testament apocrypha, dating back to around the third century but lost to modern researchers until an Egyptian peasant rediscovered it by accident, buried in a cave near Nag Hammadi, in 1945...

 depicts Mary as Jesus' koinonos, a Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

 term indicating a "close friend" or "companion". Mary Magdalene is mentioned as one of three Marys "who always walked with the Lord" and as his companion (Philip 59.6-11). The work also says that Lord loved her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often (63.34-36).
The closeness described in these writings depicts Mary Magdalene, representing the Gnostics, as understanding Jesus and his teaching while the other disciples, representing the Church, did not. Kripal writes that "the historical sources are simply too contradictory and simultaneously too silent" to make absolute declarations regarding Jesus' sexuality. On the other hand, author John Dickson
John Dickson (author)
John Dickson is an Australian writer, historian and Senior Research Fellowin the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University. He is co-founder and director of the Centre for Public Christianity, a media company that seeks to "promote the public understanding of the Christian faith"...

 argues that it was common in early Christianity to kiss a fellow believer by way of greeting, and as such kissing would have no romantic connotations.

Mary Magdalene appears with more frequency than other women in the canonical Gospels and is shown as being a close follower of Jesus. Mary's presence at the Crucifixion
Crucifixion
Crucifixion is an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead...

 and Jesus' tomb, while hardly conclusive, is at least consistent with the role of grieving wife and widow. There are also passages indicating that Mary of Bethany was behaving as a Jewish wife, for example in waiting to be summoned when Jesus arrived at Lazarus’ tomb. This would be resolved if Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany were one and the same character (see below).

Proponents of a companionship with Jesus argue that it would have been unthinkable for an adult, unmarried Jew to travel about teaching as a rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

. However, in Jesus' time the Jewish religion was very diverse and the role of the rabbi was not yet well defined. It was not until after the Roman destruction of the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 in AD 70 that Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism or Rabbinism has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Talmud...

 became dominant and the role of the rabbi made uniform in Jewish communities.

Medieval dualism


The 13th-century Cistercian monk and chronicler Peter of Vaux de Cernay
Peter of Vaux de Cernay
Peter of Vaux de Cernay was a Cistercian monk of Vaux de Cernay Abbey, in what is now Yvelines, northern France, and a chronicler of the Albigensian Crusade...

 claimed it was part of Catharist belief that the earthly Jesus Christ had a relationship with Mary Magdalene, described as his concubine
Concubinage
Concubinage is the state of a woman or man in an ongoing, usually matrimonially oriented, relationship with somebody to whom they cannot be married, often because of a difference in social status or economic condition.-Concubinage:...

. Quote: "Further, in their secret meetings they said that the Christ who was born in the earthly and visible Bethlehem and crucified at Jerusalem was 'evil', and that Mary Magdalene was his concubine – and that she was the woman taken in adultery who is referred to in the Scriptures; the 'good' Christ, they said, neither ate nor drank nor assumed the true flesh and was never in this world, except spiritually in the body of Paul. I have used the term 'the earthly and visible Bethlehem' because the heretics believed there is a different and invisible earth in which – according to some of them – the 'good' Christ was born and crucified."

A document, possibly written by Ermengaud of Béziers
Béziers
Béziers is a town in Languedoc in southern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the Hérault department. Béziers hosts the famous Feria de Béziers, centred around bullfighting, every August. A million visitors are attracted to the five-day event...

, undated and anonymous and attached to his Treatise against Heretics, makes a similar statement. Quote: "Also they [the Cathars] teach in their secret meetings that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Christ. She was the Samaritan woman to whom He said, 'Call thy husband.' She was the woman taken into adultery, whom Christ set free lest the Jews stone her, and she was with Him in three places, in the temple, at the well, and in the garden. After the Resurrection, He appeared first to her."

In historical fiction


Edgar Saltus
Edgar Saltus
Edgar Evertson Saltus was an American writer known for his highly refined prose style. His works paralleled those by European decadent authors such as Huysmans and Oscar Wilde...

's historical fiction novel Mary Magdalene: A Chronicle (1891) depicts her as a heroine living in a castle at Magdala, who moves to Rome becoming the "toast of the tetrarchy", telling John The Baptist she will "drink pearls... sup on peacock's tongues."

See also



  • Magdalen Society of Philadelphia
    Magdalen Society of Philadelphia
    The Magdalen Society of Philadelphia was a private charitable organization founded in 1800 to redeem prostitutes and other "fallen" women. This was the first association in the United States that sought to rescue and reform wayward women. A number of local clergymen and citizens affiliated with...

     forced labour society
  • Magdalene Asylum forced labour organisation
  • Saint Sarah
    Saint Sarah
    Saint Sarah, also known as Sara-la-Kali , is the mythic patron saint of the Roma people. The center of her veneration is Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a place of pilgrimage for Roma in the Camargue, in southern France...

  • St. Mary Magdalene's Church (disambiguation)

Further reading

  • Acocella, Joan. "The Saintly Sinner: The Two-Thousand-Year Obsession with Mary Magdalene." The New Yorker
    The New Yorker
    The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

    , February 13 & 20, 2006, p. 140–49. Prompted by controversy surrounding Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.
  • Brock, Ann Graham. Mary Magdalene, The First Apostle: The Struggle for Authority. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , 2003. ISBN 0674009665. Discusses issues of apostolic authority in the gospels and the Gospel of Peter the competition between Peter and Mary, especially in chapter 7, "The Replacement of Mary Magdalene: A Strategy for Eliminating the Competition."
  • Burstein, Dan, and Arne J. De Keijzer. Secrets of Mary Magdalene. New York: CDS Books, 2006. ISBN 1593152051.
  • Jansen, Katherine Ludwig. The Making of the Magdalen: Preaching and Popular Devotion in the Later Middle Ages. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press
    Princeton University Press
    -Further reading:* "". Artforum International, 2005.-External links:* * * * *...

    , 2000. ISBN 0691058504. ISBN 0226453812.
  • Pearson, Birger A. "Did Jesus Marry?." Bible Review, Spring 2005, pp 32–39 & 47. Discussion of complete texts.
  • Picknett, Lynn, and Clive Prince. The Templar Revelation
    The Templar Revelation
    The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ is a book written by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince and published in 1997 by Transworld Publishers Ltd in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand...

    . New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. ISBN 0593038703. Presents a hypothesis that Mary Magdalene was a priestess who was Jesus' partner in a sacred marriage.
  • Shoemaker, Stephen J. "Rethinking the ‘Gnostic Mary’: Mary of Nazareth and Mary of Magdala in Early Christian Tradition." in Journal of Early Christian Studies, 9 (2001) pp 555–595.
  • Thiering, Barbara. Jesus the Man: Decoding the Real Story of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. New York: Simon & Schulster (Atria Books), 2006. ISBN 1416541381.
  • Wellborn, Amy. De-coding Mary Magdalene: Truth, Legend, and Lies. Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 2006. ISBN 1592762093. A straightforward accounting of what is well-known of Mary Magdalene.

External links


  • St. Mary Magdalene (pdf) from Fr. Alban Butler
    Alban Butler
    Alban Butler , English Roman Catholic priest and hagiographer, was born at Appletree, Northamptonshire.He was educated at the English College, Douai, where on his ordination to the priesthood in 1735 he held successively the chairs of philosophy and divinity...

    's Lives of the Saints