July 22 St. Mary Magdalene


St. Mary Magdalene, Pray for Us

At our most recent Big Family Party I got into a conversation with a dear friend of the family – a lady in her 70′s who is very modern-thinking, and on top of the conventional wisdom. Somehow the conversation got into television programming, and a general consensus was reached: television was more entertaining when there were five channels to choose from and afternoon and late-night movies. Now? “Hundreds of channels and there’s never anything on!”

Apparently, though, there was a cable broadcast on St. Mary Magdalene that had lit our friend’s ire: “I think it was very wrong of the church to disrespect her and denigrate her by insisting that she was a prostitute! They had to lower her in the eyes of the world because she was a powerful woman and they were men trying to stay in charge.”

I gather that The DaVinci Code has also shown up on cable, lately.

“Was she denigrated?” I asked. And a lively debate ensued.

We don’t know exactly who Mary Magdalene was – whether she was the adulterous woman rescued by a compassionate Christ, or if she was another Mary, perhaps Martha’s sister. Or perhaps she is “Magdalene” from a Talmudic expression that means, literally, “adulteress”? The tradition has been ingrained for so long that it is not unreasonable to think it is rooted in fact. After all, in the Gospel the people who followed Christ most fervently were the ones who came to know God’s mercy and forgiveness through him.

Our friend allowed that we really cannot be sure. “It’s possible that she was the adulterous woman, but since that’s not a known fact, why do that, why attach that to her? It’s demeaning. Jesus loved her and appeared to her first, yet the church degraded her.”

“How is she degraded?” I asked. “Her feast day is an important one in the church and she is the second woman named in the Litany of Saints, after Mary, the Mother of God – the female from whom Christ took his saving blood. Mary Magdalene is held in huge esteem within the church. If anything, she is upheld as an example of the power of forgiveness, which we should not devalue.”

This is true. Mary Magdalene, for all the 21st Century hype, has always been respected, beloved and honored in both the Latin and Eastern Churches, and -given the tradition attached to her- she is a formidable model for us. More than the angels or the apostles, more than the first martyrs, more than the early fathers, she is a tremendous example to ordinary folk, because Mary Magdalene was the one who loved much because she was forgiven much. A witness to the healing combination of mercy and contrition, she embodied the message that no matter how dark our sins, Christ brings light; no matter how deep the abyss of our self-loathing, the love of Christ is deeper, still.

To suggest that Mary Magdalene’s role within the church is in any way degraded or diminished because the sin of adultery is ascribed to her is to ignore that fact that she is the saint most accessible to frail and faulty humanity. We love the Blessed Virgin, the Theotokos, and honor her, and we can certainly aspire to her ideals, but we can never be exactly like her; the Virgin Mary is the exceptional human being.

But Mary Magdalene is someone we can relate to; her face has been in the dirt. She has been hated, threatened, disrespected. In the manner of people who do not understand their value, or the fact that they were loved into being, Mary lowered herself, gave the holy thing of her created being to dogs. She is someone who really needed to be forgiven and healed, and she was! Jesus released Mary Magdalene from her personal demons and made her whole.

Far from a debasement, Magdalene’s story, held up high before the whole church, is a victory and a promise: What Christ did for her, in her grief, her pain, her weakness, he will do for you and for me, if we want him to.

Assuming she is “the adulteress,” we err when we focus too greatly on her sin, and thus de-emphasize the transformative power of a life-in-Christ.

Mary Magdalene also mirrors our dear Blessed Mother, in some ways:

The Theotokos was “full of grace” – the pristine ark of the new covenant, chosen by God to conceive, nurture, enflesh and raise the Incarnate Word; unwavering in faith.

The Magdalene was a woman you might call “fallen” from grace – cleansed by the Word and her contrition in the face of the Merciful One, and chosen by Him to be the first of his followers to see him in glory; unwavering in faith.

The Virgin Mary, told the Almighty wished her to birth the Word said “yes” to God and put into motion the great pageant of salvation, borne in the Body of Christ. The Forgiven Mary, told to send the apostles to Galilee said “yes” and helped to birth the church, the body of Christ.

The most impetuous, hotheaded and sometimes cowardly of the apostles was the one to whom Christ gave the keys.

The “fallen” woman has been raised to the heights.

God likes to use the humble for great things. Who is going to stop Him?

My podcast of Morning Prayer for the Feastday of Mary Magdalene is here.

Readings for today’s mass are here

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Bender

    Watching The Stoning of Soraya M., especially during the stoning scene, I could not help but think of Christ saving the adulteress (and in movie terms, I could not help but contrast that scene with the near-stoning scene from Jim Caviezel’s earlier movie). Quite a different approach.

    As for whether MM was the adulteress, after accepting it as true for a long time, I suppose I am trending away from that idea. She is expressly identified in Mark as one whom Jesus had cast out seven demons, so it would seem awfully coincidental that she also would have been the adulteress or the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Besides, since she was expressly identified on multiple occasions, the fact that the adulteress is not named and the sister of Martha and Lazarus is not expressly called the Magdalene also implies that they are not the same person.

    Whoever she was beyond someone who had been demonically possessed, the fact that the Risen Jesus chose to appear to her, and thus wanted her to be His witness to the world, someone who the world would think crazy and unreliable, and the fact that the Church chose to highlight this point in including it in the Gospel, is quite telling.

  • Lorenzo dello Smerillo

    The legend that Magdalene was a prositute originates, I believe, with Pope St. Gregory the Great in one of his sermones. I have lost the reference. Gregory also gave us a wonder-filled tale of St. Benedict, so he is not without good intentions, even if on both accounts he got many of the historical details “wrong”– the point of the stories was not historical correctness, but moral encouragement.
    The Da Vinci Code is just a fancy way to tell a silly story and make a lot of money: snake oil, lots of snake, very greasy, not solid food.
    Even if Mary Madgalene was a hooker, so what? Christ is not here to pander to the middle-class righteous ones. Look at “The Maimie papers” by Maimie Pinzer for an exemplary real life story of a hooker made good. Stone throwing is only appropriate when one understands the principles of boomerang trajectories.

  • Jim Hicks

    Thank you for taking the time to record Morning Prayer.

  • LORD SMALLTHORNE, LORD OF NOTHING

    “God likes to use the humble for great things. Who is going to stop Him?”

    I am.

  • DaveW

    Great post. Thanks for this Anchoress.

  • Ann Seeton

    Thank you for a wonderful reminder of the power of this incredible saint!!

    I really needed to read this today. God bless you!

  • Jessica

    She is also co-patroness (along with Catherine of Alexandria) of the Dominican order — hardly a sign of disrespect…

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    As a woman of imperfect righteousness myself, I particularly appreciate Mary Magdalene. I have had my moments when I have failed to live up to my own expectations for myself – and knowing that perhaps our Lord’s dearest friend was herself a flawed human is somehow comforting.

  • http://none jprimm

    Anchoress you have done it again…a great message about one of Christ’s greatest actions, the giving of Grace and the for-giving of past sins. MM is far from being denigrated, after all, she was the first one to go to the tomb and shamed the apostles into going to see. I have always felt she was one of the most important figures in the Gospels.
    Keep up your good work!

  • harpazo

    In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church 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 revised the Roman Missal and the Roman Calendar, and now there is no mention in either of Mary Magdalene the sinner.

    It is hard to believe that she was a prostitute or adulteress. Luke 8:2-3 describes Mary Magdalene of one of the listed women who accompanied Jesus and funded His ministry “from their own means.” I hardly think Jesus would condemn prostitution and then turn around and use the money Mary made from that profession to advance His ministry…in any case, the bible does not say that she was.

  • Maggie45

    Thank you for the beautiful post, and also for Morning Prayer. I especially appreciate these words:

    A witness to the healing combination of mercy and contrition, she embodied the message that no matter how dark our sins, Christ brings light; no matter how deep the abyss of our self-loathing, the love of Christ is deeper, still.

  • Jan Gommers

    I was allways teached that Mary Magdalene had been a prostitute, repented and became a good, if not saintlike person. She was the first to whom Christ revealed himself after the Resurrection. This reflected Christ’s saying ‘that prostitutes will go before you (the hypocritical Pharisees) in the Kingdom of Heaven’. The greatness of the Bible is that the people there are real people: they are not only weak and in pain, they (both the men and the women) often really stink and sin, and still they can be ‘the people of God’, by repenting and returning to God.
    The image of a prostitute as a ‘humble woman’ is mostly a modern day lie. Most prostitutes I knew were anything but humble, they sometimes BECAME humble by returning to God and by that revealing His greatness. You only have to watch expensive callgirls in Amsterdam to see that they are the opposite of humble.
    The greatness of God is not primarily that He can relieve those who are in pain (though that too is important), but that He can help change the vain and arrogant, that cause pain in others.
    Listen to this: ‘they had to denigrate her…. because she was a powerful woman and they were men trying to stay in charge’. This is completely opposite to the spirit of the Gospel. The very opposite is true. As a prostitute she HAD been a powerful woman and as a saint she had become a lamb of God, lacking in power but brimfull with soul, ready to serve.
    It all comes down to that power in the eyes of the world is not power in the eyes of God. But in todays moral confusion people can no longer distinguish between true humility and being a pushover.

  • Peter from MN

    Beautiful post! The Anchoress at her best.

  • http://pentiment.blogspot.com Pentimento

    In the Middle Ages, she was referred to as “Magdalene virginis” and “Our Lady Magdalene.” See

  • Brian English

    Bender:

    The link to the Catholic Encyclopedia entry in the post has a very interesting explanation for why Mary Magdalene is named in some references in the Gospels, but not in others.

  • newguy40

    For me, today’s Gospel is some of the most emotional and beautiful of all.

    Mary Magdalene the faithful finds the tomb empty but does not leave without trying to find the body of Jesus. She has not quite gotten to the acceptance of Jesus promise of the resurrection. But, she is steadfast in her love and will not abandon him. In her fear and grief she mistakes Jesus for a gardener. All it takes is for Jesus to call her name “Mary” for her to recogize him. How true for all of us. Jesus calls to us by name everyday.

  • http://marthakellyart.com Martha Kelly

    While it is always good to have figures who have been forgiven and used for new purposes by God, this is not the story of Mary Magdalene. As previous posters have noticed, she was not identified with the anonymous “sinner” woman until Gregory the Great’s sermon in the fourth century, so it’s hardly a tradition that dates back to rememberance of the people around her. Mary the sister of Martha washed Jesus’ feet in one gospel, the anonymous sinner (and it never says what her sin was — it’s simply assumed it was sexual since she was a woman) washed his feet in Luke, and somehow those women were conflated by Gregory and the identity hung on a third woman, who had her own identity and identification that was separate from either. Unfortunately the town of Magdala, several centuries past New Testament times and thus no reflection on Mary herself, became the Los Vegas of the early world, further giving false credence to Mary’s wantonness in later uninformed eyes.

    While it’s good to have a model of fallen and forgiven, it’s also good (and more rare) to have a model of a strong female disciple. I also think the conflation of sin and demons in this wrong image of Mary has done a disservice to those who are mentally ill. The writers of the New Testament understood that having demons cast out was purely a matter of healing, and not something one had to seek forgiveness for or be purified from before returning to life in the community. We are only just, as a society, getting back to this non-judgmental understanding of mental illness, two thousand years later.

    Since the church did admit in 1969 that this myth of Mary Magdalen is spurious, let’s reclaim her as the strong female disciple she was, the woman Jesus chose to be the first preacher of his resurrection.

    [Yes, all true, (and I didn't know about Pope Gregory's well-meaning mischief) - let's get our Mary's all rightly placed, then. But there is another point to be made, which is that we humans focus quickly on sexual sin, in this case (in the case of our friend) to the exclusion of focusing more intently on the mercy we all need, which is more powerful. admin]

  • maria horvath

    Dear Anchoress,

    A wonderful piece, to remind us of this good woman.

    One of the reasons Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ was so good was his depiction of Mary Magadalene, the faithful friend of both Jesus and His mother.

    Where did you find the quotation about the way Mary Magdalene mirrors our dear Blessed Mother?

    [That's my own - I should probably take it out of the quotebox - admin]

  • Jan Gommers

    I would like to add that in the New Testament the record of the men that followed Christ was worse than that of the women. Paul had been a deadly persecutor of the Christians. Peter betrayed Christ three times in an awful way. Matthew had been a taxcollector (a truely shameful thing during the Roman occupation). At the crucifixion of Christ, of the men only John was present, and almost all the women.
    And of course, Mary was called the only human being without sin, no man was called that way.
    Why feminist critics don’t see these obvious things is beyond me. But I think that for feminists it is more important that women are powerful than virtuous, let alone saintlike.
    Furthermore: to be ‘in power’ in the early church was really to put yourself in the most dangerous and vulnerable position thinkable.
    The leaders were the first in line to be crucified.
    I sometimes sigh: when will this sixties madness stop…

  • http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/iconsandcuriosities Sally Thomas

    I question the need to “reclaim” anybody. For what purpose are we seeking to “reclaim” Mary Magdalene?

    I know lots of strong women. History has been full of strong women. The Church has been full of strong women. All great, as far as that goes. But the fact is that it only goes as far as human frailty ever goes. And the fact also is that for all her imputed strength, Saint Mary Magdalene is no more a saint, or “strong,” than Saint Zita, for example, a humble and ignorant servant. Before God, forgiveness and even honor are not meted out only to the strong, the intelligent, the gifted, the wealthy. What Saint Paul said, about being able to do all things “through Christ who strengthens me,” is as true for women as for men. If we are strong at all, it is not with our own strength, and if we forget that, then we have lost our humility and given away a piece of our soul.

  • http://centralpennsylvaniaorthodox.wordpress.com/ rightwingprof

    In the East, Mary Magdalene is one of the most highly honored saints, called Apostle to the Apostles, Equal to the Apostles, and Myrrh Bearer. The confusion with Mary the prostitute is a Western phenomenon. The Orthodox Wiki entry on St. Mary Magdalene is here.

    The Konaktion today, in honor of Mary Magdalene, in tone 3:

    Standing before the Cross of the Savior,
    Suffering with the Mother of the Lord,
    The most glorious Mary Magdalene offered praise with tears.
    She cried out: What is this strange wonder?
    He who holds the whole creation in His hand chooses to suffer:
    Glory, O Lord to Your power!

  • Bender

    While it’s good to have a model of fallen and forgiven, it’s also good (and more rare) to have a model of a strong female disciple.

    The two are not mutually exclusive, as we see in the case of the greatest missionary apostle, who had been an accomplice to murder, as well as the Church’s greatest theologian, who had committed a multitude of sexual sins, including fathering a son out of wedlock. Paul and Augustine are universally recognized as strong disciples of Christ and great saints. Perhaps they would not be so recognized had they been “saintly” all their lives (and perhaps they would not have been chosen by Christ and the Holy Spirit if they had not been such lowly sinners).

    Indeed, I picked my Confirmation name, not because he was an apostle, Gospel writer, and great saint, but because he had been a notorious and despised sinner and tax collector.

  • Jan Gommers

    Good point Bender! And I would add, that though I know lots of ‘strong men and women’, I most certainly know not one that is not in any way fallen and in need of grace and forgiveness.
    Perhaps one or two are somewhat saintlike (at least going there) but all the others are really far from it. The almost complete absence of selfishness, which is at the heart of sainthood, is a very rare thing. When I first encountered it in someone,
    I was stunned at first and suspicious, but then it made me understand more what ‘the Holy’ is all about. Most of us really are poor sinners that have still a long way to go! But the goal is glorious. I met a Frenchman some thirty years ago who had this saintlike joy, peace and effortless altruism about him. I was only two weeks in his company, never saw him again.
    But thirty years later, not a week passes that I don’t think of him. Saintliness is rare, but the most beautiful thing there is.

  • cathyf

    One of the most powerful parts of the story of MM in the Garden is where she does not recognize Jesus through her grief and tears.

    How often that happens to us…

  • davanna

    The point about MM is that her image has been altered by the hierarchy of the church over the years to suit society’s conception of women is important, IMO. That says more about us than it does about her of course. But it is important, and the point needs to be made as Martha did, above.

    It is interesting that any “feminist” thought is so derisively dismissed by some. I don’t adhere to any idealogy left or right, but facts are facts.

    To me she is an inspiration because she was the first to whom the risen Christ revealed himself.

    [Actually, if you think about it, history is nothing but revisionism writ by controlling powers of any era, and in a way (touching on the post above this one) a process of EVOLUTION of thought, perception, power, etc. And how we are able to glean positive and self-improving (or faith-deepening) fruits from these evolving pasts says a lot about us, too. Interesting. As to the other, I threw my feminist card away (I was a card-carrying one for a long time) when I realized that the "official women" of feminism were willing to undercut their own rhetoric and ideals for the sake of political expediency. Unfortunately, even women, who should know better, have not always been averse to re-writing or glossing over history that doesn't suit the present conventional wisdom. I guess it shall ever be! :-) Welcome aboard. -admin]

  • M. Della Rosa

    Thank you Harpazo, Pentimento & Rightwingprof for the facts.

    There has been so much ignorance, libel and slander where Mary Magdalene is concerned.

    40 years after ‘the lie’ was denounced, too many people are still ignorant of the truth.

    Blessings to all whom care.

    [Gosh...I was under the impression that everyone here "cared," hence this whole long, informative thread! Admin]

  • cathyf

    So is anyone else kinda bothered by this:

    ‘Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and find the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’

    I mean, really, what good is Resurrection of the Body if you don’t get to cling to the ones you love? :-)

    I myself am hoping that John just left out the part where Mary and Jesus laughed and danced, and yes clung to each other, for a bit, until Jesus said, “Ok, we both have jobs to do, and it’s time to go do them.”

  • http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/iconsandcuriosities Sally Thomas

    It occurs to me that if all this MM-image stuff were part of a patriarchal conspiracy to keep women in their place, all the men in the stories would come off looking a lot better. Wouldn’t their foibles have been revised out of the narrative, if Christian tradition were really inclined in the direction of cover-ups and repression of facts?

    We know precious little about so many early saints. In many cases, legend and tradition are all we have to mark their place in history. Generally legend and tradition serve some purpose beyond that of “reputation” — the story is the icon for the way God works in a human life. And a saint is always pointing to God and His work, not to him- or herself. Why would Mary Magdalene’s reputation in our culture, here, now, anywhere, anytime, matter to her in the least? She stands before the throne of God.

  • skeeter

    One of the very few posts I have read here where the comments were what brought closure. While the points you make, A, are good ones, Mary Magdalene is not the best illustration, although the woman with the alabaster jar could fill that bill. My reading of the Gospels and of the Holy Fathers, indicate that Mary was healed of demons, and was one of the financial foundations of Christ’s ministry, (and later John’s in Ephesus) So I read this post with a continuing low level discomfort – and was pleased to see the “rest of the story” show up in the comments. It is a bit tiresome to see the “Apostle to the Apostles” as she is known in Orthodoxy, to be characterized as a whore continually.

    She was truly a visible and strong disciple of Christ. A strong woman who made an impact in her time, and in ours…..

  • Brian English

    Skeeter:

    I grant you that a good argument can be made that MM is not the “sinner” referred to in the Gospels. However, I think, as I mentioned in a comment above, the link to the Catholic Encyclopedia sets forth a good case that she was.

    In any event, what troubles me about your comment, and some of those you commend as telling the “rest of the story”, is that they appear to accept this myth that historically one of the primary goals of the Church has been to demonize women.

    Mary Magdalene was, and is, Saint Mary Magdalene. As far as I am aware there was never an effort by the the Church patriarchy to revoke her saintly status.

    When Pope Gregory the Great idenitifed her with the sinner in the Gospels (he did not call her a whore or a prostitute) he was not trying to denigrate her. He was trying to demonstrate the transformative nature that Christ can have on one’s life.

    Saint Matthew was a hated tax collecter. Saint Paul persecuted the Church and, literally, held the coats of those who martyred Saint Stephen. If Mary Magdalene was an adulteress and/or a prostitute prior to encountering Christ, that in no way diminshes what she became after she began following Him.

  • http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/iconsandcuriosities Sally Thomas

    I should add that Martha, who commented above, is my very dear and gifted sister-in-law. We spent a lot of yesterday carrying on a lively debate on this subject on Facebook as well as here, before having dinner together.

    Some final thoughts I’ve had, as I’ve been trying to pick away at what bothers me about the heatedness of the protest against reading Mary Magdalene as a particular brand of sinner. One is the assumption that sexual sin is worse or more shameful or denigrating than any other kind of sin, or that there’s any other way to focus on any follower of Christ than to see a life changed and redeemed. If they weren’t sinners, if we weren’t sinners, then who needs any of this? I have things I could be doing on Sunday morning, thanks.

    There simply is no other narrative, fundamentally, about encountering Christ than that one is changed and is not what one was before. The particulars may be interesting and illustrative, or they may be disturbing, but beside this fact, they don’t matter much.

    The other thing which niggles at me is the drive — and it seems very strong indeed — to identify with a “strong woman disciple” who is not the Blessed Virgin Mary. If you’re looking for a strong woman, it would seem to me that the BVM wins hands-down, on the basis not of inferences and readings-in, but of what’s documented in Scripture.

    She said yes to a great and terrifying mystery, whose outcome she could not have known.

    She endured her betrothed’s suspicion and resolve to “put her away quietly”(of course, she might have been stoned as an adulteress).

    In early pregnancy, when most of us feel the grossest and the least like doing anything but be waited on, she made the difficult journey into the hill country to care for her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth, a gesture which demonstrates not only grit but compassion.

    She endured a jolting donkey ride in late pregnancy and gave birth in a barn.

    She fled Herod’s soldiers.

    On returning to Nazareth, she brought up what must surely have been an unusual child, who on at least one occasion that we know of gave her cause for worry.

    She seems to have been with Jesus for at least some of His active ministry; she was certainly present at Cana, where she got Him to do what she wanted.

    She was present at the foot of the Cross, watching the child of her body suffer a gruesome death from which she was powerless to save him, and she did not run away.

    All this evinces great strength. And there’s no question whom the stories mean, no conflation of identities, no guesswork in any of this. If you’re going to say that the Bible is definitive on an issue, I’d say that it’s pretty darn definitive on the gutsiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Yet she is not a feminist icon. Discuss?

    [Nor is Dorothy Day - it's interesting, isn't it? A cynic would say Mary is unloved by feminists because she's a single mother who chose life. Perhaps there is a subconscious bugaboo about predestiny in there; Mary certainly had choices, but there was also the one "perfect" choice to be made, a role she was born for, and perhaps feminists don't want to consider that people might be born for specific roles - a destructive curve to throw at the notion of choices without consequences. But that's just off the top of my head. It IS an interesting question. admin]

  • N.

    I suppose it’s bothersome to put forth the speculation that Mary Magdalene was an adulteress or prostitute (very different sins, btw, but that’s neither here nor there in this context) as fact when we just don’t know. I don’t know at all that The Anchoress wasn’t an adulteress or prostitute in the past (or that she isn’t right now, actually) — would she be bothered if I went around telling everyone she had been guilty of these sins? Would her justifiable anger be lessened much if I followed my accusations with a spiel on the transformative power of Christ’s love and how she isn’t either of those things anymore?

    I don’t give a hoot about the strong female disciple thing, but it does kinda bother me that some people truly believe Mary Magdalene was a confirmed adulteress and/or prostitute when there really isn’t any reason to believe such a thing. It’s sensationalist and smarmy in a kinda Page-6-ish way. But maybe that’s just me.

  • cathyf

    As to the question of why the Blessed Mother isn’t a “feminist icon”, I think that there is a definite strain through the history of the Church where we have tended to “promote” Mary right up out of the human race.

    Some years ago I was struck by an Assumption homily on Mary. The priest pointed out about the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception — which is our belief that Mary’s soul was, from the moment of her conception, in the state which our souls assumed at the moment of our baptisms. Mary is the “God Bearer” who held Christ within her body — but so, too, do we, when we receive the Eucharist. Mary was assumed bodily into heaven, and we believe that we, too, will be resurrected in body.

    It was a strong reminder that, while Mary is first in line among those redeemed by her Son, the rest of us motley crew really are right behind her. I think that message has often gotten lost: yes, the Lord has done great things for her and she is splendid indeed; but the Lord has done great things for us — and we had better get started with being splendid, too!

  • http://templeofmut.wordpress.com/ Mutnodjmet

    I appreciate your podcasts very much, Anchoress. It is nice hearing your lovely voice.

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  • Acer Palmatum

    Whether Mary Madgalene was the adultress/prostitute or a woman cured of demons (or perhaps both), she is approachable and represents faith and forgiveness. In a way I hope she was the prostitute since that scene of Jesus saving her is one of the most powerful and most important of the Gospels–in ways even more powerful than the Sermon on the Mount.


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