St. Mary Magdalene, the Holy Myrrh-bearer and Equal to the Apostles
Saint Mary was from Magdala in Galilee on the Sea of Tiberias, and for this was named Magdalene. When the Lord Jesus cast out seven demons from her, from which she had been suffering, she became His faithful and inseparable disciple, following Him and ministering unto Him even to the time of His crucifixion and burial. Then, returning to Jerusalem together with the rest of the Myrrh-bearers, she prepared the fragrant spices for anointing the body of the Lord.
And on the Lord’s Day they came very early to the tomb, even before the Angels appeared declaring the Resurrection of the Lord. When Mary Magdalene saw the stone taken away from the tomb, she ran and proclaimed it to Peter and John. And returning immediately to the tomb and weeping outside, she was deemed worthy to be the first of the Myrrh-bearers to behold the Lord arisen from the dead, and when she fell at His feet, she heard Him say, “Touch Me not.” After the Lord’s Ascension, nothing certain is known concerning her.
Some accounts say that she went to Rome and later returned to Jerusalem, and from there proceeded to Ephesus, where she ended her life, preaching Christ. Although it is sometimes said that Saint Mary Magdalene was the “sinful woman” of the Gospel, this is nowhere stated in the tradition of the Church, in the sacred hymnology, or in the Holy Gospels themselves, which say only that our Lord cast seven demons out of her, not that she was a fallen woman. “Madeleine” is a form of Magdalene.
Relics of St. Mary Magdalene
We are truly blessed to have the beautiful relics of this Holy Saint at our church which may be venerated by the faithful.
Apolytikion of Mary Magdalene in the First Tone
Χριστῷ τῷ δι’ ἡμᾶς, ἐκ Παρθένου τεχθέντι, Σεμνὴ Μαγδαληνή, ἠκολούθεις Μαρία, αὐτοῦ τὰ δικαιώματα, καὶ τοὺς νόμους φυλάττουσα· ὅθεν σήμερον, τὴν παναγίαν σου μνήμην, ἑορτάζοντες, ἀνευφημοῦμέν σε πίστει, καὶ πόθῳ γεραίρομεν.
When Christ God had been born for our sakes from the Virgin, you faithfully did follow Him, keeping His statutes and heeding His sacred laws, O august Mary Magdalene. Hence, as we today observe your holy remembrance, we receive the loosing of our sins and transgressions through your holy prayers for us.