Mary Magdalene
6/17/2016  Kathleen MacInnis Kichline

As a SISTERS IN SCRIPTURE reader, retreat participant, or someone who has used one of my studies, you know that Mary Magdalene has not always received the honor that is due her. Apparently, Pope Francis has also made note of that fact and has decided to do something about it.  Yay, Pope Francis!

       drum roll......On Friday, June 10th, he announced that July 22nd, the day set aside for her memorial, is now to be raised to the level and dignity of a liturgical Feast Day!  (Okay, so it lacks some of Hollywood's red carpet drama, but listen up for what else was said.)

       Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, cites her long-standing title of "Apostle to the Apostles," (perhaps he's been reading our newsletters), and writes, "Saint Mary Magdalene is an example of true and authentic evangelization; she is an evangelist who announces the joyful central message of Easter."--just exactly what we've been saying these many years!  Speaking of the pope he says, "Holy Father Francis took this decision precisely in the context of the Jubilee of Mercy to signify the importance of this woman who showed great love for Christ and was much loved by Christ."  Loving and being loved by Christ is, indeed, her true honor and, for that matter, the most important thing that could  be said about her or any of us.

       Perhaps this official pronouncement hoopla can strike one as rather unexciting unless you realize how rare it is and how glacially slow the Church moves to correct itself--something that those not in the Catholic Church are keenly aware of.  But it is exciting to those of us who care deeply about Mary Magdalene and are delighted to see her restored to her proper place front and center among Jesus' faithful followers.  
       
       So mark your calendars for July 22nd to remember this sister in scripture.  And in the words of the woman in Luke 15:9, "rejoice with me for I have found what was lost!"

God bless,
Kathleen
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