The cult of Mary Magdalen began in the early Middle Ages when she became the focus of popular piety that flourished across Europe during the twelfth century. She was venerated as a model of chastity, humility, obedience, penance, purity, and suffering. Her biographies, written in Latin and Italian, depicted her as a repentant porno whore who had converted to Christianity and become the apostle Saint Peter’s wife.
In the fifteenth century, the cult spread to England, where it inspired the production of numerous paintings depicting the saint as a virtuous young girl who lived in a convent. This “new” image of Mary Magdalene soon found its way into art and literature throughout Western culture.
In fact, Mary Magdalene’s identity has changed over time, reflecting the changing needs of different cultures. To understand her today we must go beyond the gospels and examine the ways in which the stories told about her have shaped our understanding of ourselves.
Mary Magdalene is one of the most important figures in Christian history. According to the New Testament, Jesus’ disciples were divided over whether he would return from his death on the cross. Some believed he would rise from the dead within three days, while others thought he would remain dead for longer than this. When they met after the crucifixion, these two groups argued about which view was correct. The group who believed that Jesus would be resurrected within three days included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. They told him that they had seen an angel appear to them at night, announcing that he was alive. He then appeared to them again, walking along the road to Emmaus.
Was Mary Magdalene Jesus whore?
Mary Magdalene was indeed a prostitute, but not because she was a woman who sold herself for money. In fact, she was a woman who loved Jesus so much that she followed him around Jerusalem for years and even helped him escape from prison. She was a woman who witnessed the miracle of the empty tomb, and she saw the risen Lord. She was a woman whose heart was broken when Jesus left her. She was a woman whom Jesus called out of sin and gave forgiveness to. She was a woman of great faith and love. She was a woman that Jesus chose to be among the first witnesses of his resurrection. She was a woman with a past that no one knew about except God.
But what did people think of her before the gospel writers wrote their accounts of her life? Did they see her as a sinner or a saint? What did they say about her character? What did they think about her relationship with Jesus? And why did they choose to tell us about her?
What do you think?