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Feast day for Mary Magdalene

VATICAN (SE): Acknowledging Mary Magdalene as the first witness to the resurrection and a true and authentic witness to the love of Christ, Pope Francis has raised the status of her liturgical memorial on July 22 to a feast.

L’Osservatore Romano quoted Archbishop Arthur Roche, the secretary of the Congregation of Divine Worship, as saying that her feast day is a call for all Christians to “reflect more deeply on the dignity of women, the new evangelisation and the greatness of the mystery of divine mercy.”

He said, “Pope Francis has taken this decision precisely in the context of the Jubilee of Mercy to highlight the relevance of this woman who showed great love for Christ and was much loved by Christ.” 

Pope Francis mentions her specifically in the prayer he composed for the Jubilee of Mercy.

He wrote, “Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money; the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal and assured paradise to the repentant thief.”

Archbishop Roche explained that “Jesus has a special consideration and mercy for this woman, who manifests her love for him, looking for him in the garden with anguish and suffering.”

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