New feast day for Mary Magdalene, a ‘paradigm’ for women

June 15, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Vatican, June 14, 2016: At Pope Francis’s request, the annual observance of St Mary Magdalene has been made a major feast, marking women as the first evangelisers and putting Mary Magdalene on par with the celebrations of the male apostles, reports Crux.

On the modern Church calendar, saints are remembered with a “memorial”, a “feast”, or a “solemnity”.

On July 22, already designated a feast of Mary Magdalene, there are another 11 saints similarly honoured, but now with the decree released on Friday, hers takes precedence.

Published in Latin, the decree was issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, headed by Cardinal Robert Sarah.

It says that this woman, “recognised as one who loved Christ and who was very dear to him,” can be considered by the faithful as “a paradigm of the ministry of women in the Church.”

In a letter released along with the announcement, the Secretary of the Congregation, Archbishop Arthur Roche, argued that the decision speaks to the current moment facing the Church, which calls for “a deeper reflection on the dignity of women, the New Evangelisation, and the greatness of the mystery of Divine Mercy.”

Archbishop Roche drew attention to the fact Mary Magdalene was the first witness to Jesus’ resurrection, and also the one tasked with sharing the news with the apostles.

“Saint Mary Magdalene is an example of true and authentic evangelisation; she is an evangelist who announces the joyful central message of Easter,” he writes.

– crux

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