Saint Mary Magdalene is an important New Testament figure in the Bible. These are the four Gospels that tell us the story of Saint Mary Magdalene. She is present there several times, whether by name or not, and since Saint Gregory the Great, the Church has recognized the passages in which she is spoken of. Mary Magdalene is the repentant sinner who became fully devoted to Jesus. It is she who, on two occasions, poured a precious perfume on the feet of Christ and wiped them with her hair (Luke 7:36-50, John 12:1-11, Mark 14:3-9, Matthew 26:6-13). It is said that she had seven demons from which Jesus delivered her, after which she and other women became his disciple (Luke 8:1-3). Mary Magdalene grew up in Bethany. She was the sister of Martha (Luke 10:38-42) and Lazarus, the very one who would be resurrected by the Lord four days after his death (John 11:1-44). Mary Magdalene is, along with the Virgin Mary, Saint John and Saint Veronica, among those who accompanied Jesus on the way to the Cross and stood at the foot of the Cross (John 19:25, Luke 23:55-56, Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41). After participating in the burial of the Lord (Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47), she was one of the first to witness the Resurrection of Jesus on the morning of Easter (John 20:1-17, Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-8). Jesus then asked her to go and announce her resurrection to the Apostles, for which she was called Apostle of the Apostles.
During the dispersal of the apostles, Mary Magdalene, her sister Martha, and her brother Lazarus embarked for Gaul. They arrived at the place now called Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and became the first evangelists in Provence. Mary Magdalene continued her journey and arrived at the grotto of Saint-Baume. She chose this splendid place to spend the rest of her life, in prayer and penance. She would not leave her cave until the last days of her life to go down to the plain to receive Holy Communion from the hands of Maximin, also a disciple of Christ, and die shortly after.
Many mystics have received, at various times, revelations from the Lord that provide insights into the lives of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin, and their loved ones. To learn more about the life of Saint Mary Magdalene, the work of Maria Valtorta is particularly luminous.
Saint Mary Magdalene is celebrated on July 22nd. She is the patroness of the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, of the repentant daughters, of glove makers, and of perfumers. The tomb of Mary Magdalene is located in the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, in Saint-Maximin, in the Var region of France.
The grotto of Sainte-Baume is the place where Saint Mary Magdalene spent the last thirty years of her life alone, praying and in penance. From the beginning of Christianity, this cave and its surroundings were a place of recollection where monks came to pray. In 1254, Saint Louis made a resounding pilgrimage there and shortly after, Charles II found the relics of the saint in the crypt of Saint-Maximin. In 1295, the Dominicans settled in the area of Sainte-Baume. The Sainte-Marie-Madeleine Basilica of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume was completed in 1532. In 1793, a fire and the plundering and desecration of revolutionaries completely destroyed Sainte-Baume. It was not until 1851 that the Dominicans regained custody of the sanctuary thanks to Father Lacordaire.
Today, the cave is a place of pilgrimage, where you can see the relics of Saint Mary Magdalene. From Heaven, the faithful friend of the Lord remains active in her prayer of intercession to lead to Jesus all the pilgrims who ask her.
Intercede and beg Jesus constantly for us, Blessed Mary Magdalene.
O light of the world! O shining pearl! You who, by proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus Christ, have become the apostle of the apostles, stand constantly in our favor before the throne of God, of which you are the favorite friend; be our refuge and our advocate.
Saint Mary Magdalene, you who have been forgiven by Jesus, you who have loved so much;
Show us the way of true conversion and purity of heart.
For love, you followed Jesus to serve him;
Teach us to give our lives for free to our brothers.
You stood by the cross of Jesus with Mary and John;
Obtain the grace of faith and hope in our trials.
On the morning of Easter, you received from Jesus the mission to announce the resurrection to his disciples;
Help us to believe that life is stronger than death, that love triumphs over everything.
Through your intercession, we entrust to the Lord (…)
On Hozana, discover the novena to Mary Magdalene to love Jesus and the novena "to love and to be loved", nine days with Saint Mary Magdalene.
The Abbey of Vézelay was founded in the 9th century by Gérard de Roussillon. There he gathered the relics of many saints, including those of Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Mary Magdalene, which he had sought at Saint-Maximin. Miracles took place through these relics and the pilgrimages to Vézelay began. However, doubt remains as to the origin of the relics. In 1265, it was decided to verify their authenticity. Great signs surround the opening of the trunk:a wonderful fragrance spreads: “When the tomb was opened, there was a great smell of perfumes, as if a store filled with the sweetest aromatic essences had been opened. ” The body of Mary Magdalene, was discovered, offering her miracles to the sight of all. From the tongue came out a green fennel plant and, even more incredible, a piece of living flesh still adhered to the bone's temple. It was given the name "Noli me tangere" (Do not touch me or hold me back). It shows the trace of the fingers of Christ who repelled Mary Magdalene, when she recognized him after the resurrection and rushed towards him. Pope Boniface VIII definitively acknowledges the authenticity of the relics.
Many painters represented Mary Magdalene with her main attribute: the bottle of precious nard. Among the most famous works is El Greco's painting, Penitent Magdalene and Donatello's sculpture, also called Penitent Magdelene.