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Reference: (1) New Advent.org <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09761a.htm>; (2) New Advent <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09761a.htm>; (3) EWTN <http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2016/pope-elevates-memorial-of-st-mary-magdalene-to-feast-day.cfm>; (4) Vatican Radio <http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/06/10/commemoration_of_st_mary_magdalene_raised_to_a_feast/1236157>.
"Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’"
In the New Testament Mary Magdalene is mentioned among the women who accompanied Christ and ministered to Him (Luke 8:2-3), where it is also said that seven devils had been cast out of her (Mark 16:9). She is next named as standing at the foot of the cross (Mark 15:40; Matthew 27:56; John 19:25; Luke 23:49). She saw Christ laid in the tomb, and she was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection.(1)
The Greek Church maintains that the saint retired to Ephesus with the Blessed Virgin and there died, that her relics were transferred to Constantinople in 886 and are there preserved. However, according to a French tradition, Mary, Lazarus, and some companions came to Marseilles and converted the whole of Provence. Magdalen is said to have retired to a hill, La Sainte-Baume, near by, 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 St. Maximinus, where she received the viaticum (communion given to persons in danger of death); her body was then laid in an oratory constructed by St. Maximinus at Villa Lata(2)
Feast Day: 22 July
A decree formalizing the decision to raise the celebration of the memorial of St. Magdalene from "memorial" to "feast, was published by the Congregation for Divine Worship June 10 along with an article explaining its significance. Both the decree and the article were titled "Apostolorum Apostola" ("Apostle of the Apostles"). Recognizing St. Mary Magdalene's role as the first to witness Christ's resurrection and as a "true and authentic evangelizer," Pope Francis raised the July 22 memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to a feast on the church's liturgical calendar, (3) Archbishop Roche drew attention to the fact Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the Resurrection, and is the one who announced the event to the Apostles. “Saint Mary Magdalene is an example of true and authentic evangelization; she is an evangelist who announces the joyful central message of Easter,” he writes. “The Holy Father Francis took this decision precisely in the context of the Jubilee of Mercy to signify the importance of this woman who showed a great love for Christ and was much loved by Christ,” writes Archbishop Roche.(4)