Saint Mary Magdalene received such a ‘bum’ deal from the Holy Roman Catholic Church. She has been forgiven and newly venerated in 1969. There remain many questions as to who she was, where are her remains. Why do we think of her as a prostitute, and What happened to Mary Magdalene after the resurrection has still not been answered?
Was Mary Magdalene a mystic or mother? Was Mary Magdalene a recognized teacher for other women in the Christ story? Iconographers have expanded the attributes associated with her over the past thousand years. Not all of them based on biblical evidence. There continue to be investigations and new conclusions for what could be her whole story including what happened after the resurrection? The truth is we will never know but we can tell her story in new ways and elevate her to a place of honor and dignity for the church, feminine wisdom, and an example for women in general. I believe the bible story does not express the full description of the Mary, the apostle to the Apostles.
HER RELATIONSHIP TO JESUS DOES NOT CHANGE HER DEVOTION TO CHRIST.
Mary Magdalene’s identity is highlighted in all four Gospels as a female image and voice. Scholars are trying to find proof to identify the “Cult of Mary Magdalene”, which arose in Provence France during the 11th century. They seek evidence for Mary and her companions having fled persecution in Jerusalem. They crossed the Mediterranean in a boat, and landing near Arles in the South of France, named Saintes Marie de la Mer. It is said she retired to the Holy Cave, “Sainte-Baume” on a hill in the Marseilles region. There she converted the residents of Provence to Christianity.
One theory is that Mary and Jesus married at the last supper, and Mary gave birth to Sarah, their daughter. She registered the family bloodline as Merovingian with the Holy Roman Catholic Church in Rome. She became an Ascended Master like Jesus, and Mary was the reincarnation of the Goddess Isis.
WHO SHE IS AND HOW TO PORTRAY HER
For my part, complete explanations are thin. I paint and pray and ask for guidance. Even with such few details, painting her image allows for interesting thoughts, images, and conclusions to arise. The bible titled and named her, she came from the city of Magdala, that alone made her very important. She is a women who loves and gives to the world her words without fear. Whether she was married to Jesus does not change the message of Christ. Did she become a desert mystic or end up in France, who knows? I choose to follow His teachings as she did, as his disciple, apostle, and friend.
Mary Jane Millers books on Iconography. In Light of Women: One Woman’s journey with Icons highlight Mary Magdalene and her Gnostic Gospel Text found in Jordon. https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/mary-jane-miller/in-light-of-women/paperback/product-1rv4q95m.html?page=1&pageSize=4