4 Powerful Symbols Behind Mary Madalene's Feast Day
In 2016 Pope Francis from the Catholic Church proclaimed that July 22 would be
the memorial and celebratory feast of Mary Magdalene.
While most liturgical celebrations of individual saints during the year are known formally as memorials, those classified as feasts are reserved for important events in Christian history and for saints of particular significance, such as the Twelve Apostles. Therefore the Pope proclaiming St. Mary having a feast day places her amongst the ranks of the disciples, which she has not been considered officially by the Catholic Church since the dawn of its existence .
Below I will begin to describe why I believe this is a significant event in history.
Most people have heard of the Mary of Magdalene that was saved by being purged of seven demons by Jesus Christ in the bible, the woman who anointed his feet with fine oils before his crucifixion. She is also the first person that not only finds Jesus has disappeared from his tomb but she is also the first person Jesus shows himself after he has been resurrected.
Besides these main stories that are popular amongst the mainstream world, there are deeper secrets that are slowly being revealed. A big help in the revelation process was Dan Brown’s “The Davinci Code”in 2003, linking the hints of Mary Magdalene’s more profound significance in Jesus’s life in plain sight.
In ancient text through the lost books of the bible that were not included in the “King James” version we find compilation of gospels mostly forgotten amongst the sands of time that offer more clues to Mary Magdalene and who she was in relationship to Jesus. In “ The Gospel of Mary” where we hear what seems to be a first account from Mary of Magdala. The disciples ask to explain to them Jesus’ most secret teachings since according to the other apostles Mary was his closest disciple.
Magdala is portrayed as the closest and most prized disciple of Jesus, not only a disciple but one that her fellow male disciples (some of them quite envious of this fact) knew she held great secrets which Jesus did not choose to impart to any of them other than Mary.
So in these lost stories we see a very different lense on the woman who was diminished to simply being a “whore” for many years throughout history.
Where did the story of Mary Magdalene being a prostitute come from anyway?
Most likely the decline of Mary of Magdala’s reputation as apostle and leader began shortly after her death, the transformation to penitent prostitute was really sealed in the modern world we know on Sept. 14, 1591, when Pope Gregory the Great gave a homily in Rome that pronounced that Mary Magdalene, Luke’s unnamed sinner, and Mary of Bethany were, indeed, the same person.
“She whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary, we believe to be the Mary from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark,” Gregory said in his 23rd homily. “And what did these seven devils signify, if not all the vices? . . . It is clear, brothers, that the woman previously used the unguent to perfume her flesh in forbidden acts . . .” He was trying to illustrate the power of Christ to forgive anyone of great acts of sin but unfortunately his words have echoed to become a justification to soil the equality of the portrait of the divine feminine in Christianity as a whole.
If you are familiar with psychologist Carl Jung, he would back me up in my deduction of the idea of Mary Magdalene simply being a prostitute creating a huge split in the collective’s psyche. This split resulting in the wounds of sexual misery in our closest most intimate relationships to ourselves and our partner. Most Women and Men consequently being brought up with images of a huge split in our psyches that the whore and the pure holy mother can not be embodied in the same woman. Men either marry the pure Mother Mary they would like for their children and abandon the holy whore of Mary Magdalene along with their own deeper psychological sexual longings. No wonder infidelity is so rampant among our cultures.
In the article for the Vatican newspaper, Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the congregation, wrote that in celebrating St. Mary Magdalene's feast day is a call for all Christians to "reflect more deeply on the dignity of women, the new evangelization and the greatness of the mystery of divine mercy."
"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," Archbishop Roche wrote. Preaching about St. Mary Magdalene, Pope Francis highlighted Christ's mercy toward a woman who was "exploited and despised by those who believed they were righteous," but she was loved and forgiven by him.
Mary Magdalene was not just a “Penitent Prostitute” but a “Penitent High Priestess”
In Luke 8:1-3 we read that at the start of Jesus’s ministry: The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.”
Mary is first mentioned at the beginning of chapter 8 in the Gospel of Luke, where she travels with Jesus and the 12 disciples throughout the towns and villages of Galilee as he preaches the good news of the Kingdom of God. She has had ‘seven demons’ (meaning an overwhelming spiritual affliction) driven from her, but we are not told by whom. And she is foremost among of a group of women which includes Joanna, a Galilean aristocrat, who are covering the cost of Jesus’ mission. That is, funding 13 men and the wives, children and parents who are dependent on them.
In other words, Mary Magdalene is a wealthy and probably high-born woman, certainly an unusually independent woman for those times, who is free to conduct her life without being controlled by her father, husband or family.
It is my belief based on the rituals that Mary of Magdala performed such as the anointing of Jesus’ feet as well of the stories of Magdala being a woman of superior wealth that may have privately supplied funding to Jesus’ ministry. She was most likely a very wealthy priestess of Artemis Temples in Lebanon that was trained in the Egyptian lineages as well. There were many pagan temples close to the area where Jesus started his grassroot ministry, these temples were funded by the government and one of the only places where a woman could obtain her own wealth outside of the consecration of marriage.
Mary Magdalene is the bridge in the psyche that draws a connection between the previous split of the harlot and the mother. The very type of woman that the Men of the Christian-Catholic Church have been so ashamed of and trying to hide. She is the sexually embodied, sexually sovereign woman that the Church has been very reluctant to illuminate to the world. But she can no longer be hidden away!
I can see by piecing together the puzzle that Mary of Magdala was a renounced temple priestess…
With all this being said I am not here to only point out the mistakes and unseen acts of injustice against the sacred feminine because this time is so exciting because it is such a time of the rise of the feminine through redemption.
The Catholic Church claiming Mary Magdalene as a Saint and Disciple of Jesus is a step to rectifying the many years that have fallen to the prey of the ideology that women should not be in seats of power in the Church.
Have you seen a woman Pope for example?
These small acts are the tiny steps ur collective needs toward equality amongst all sexes in the rites of spiritual passage.
Mary Magdalene is a symbol standing for the feminine form of the divine being able to move through women and men uninhibited. To illustrate how the Church got to the point of being completely male dominated we have to go back to the origins of the early Christian-Catholic Church.
The beginning of the “Roman”-Catholic Church started as just that, with the same Roman’s that order to have Jesus crucified. How did this happen? The disciple Peter was spared from being killed unlike many of the other disciples, by pairing with the politically influential in Rome.
Peter is hailed as the man almost solely responsible for scribing the majority of the bible through his own words and also the words from the scribes he commission to write the books that we now consider the bible. But while Peter was seeking asylum within the Roman political system Mother Mary and Mary of Magdala were running for their lives as outlaws and exiles from Rome.
We see the most beautiful shrines built in honor of Mother Mary with the stories of how she lived the rest of her life in Turkey. Mary of Magdala we heard field to the South of France where she continued the oral lineages of Jesus’ teachings in secret caves amongst the land.
Immediately you can see the difference between the two lineages. Remember that Mary Magdalene was considered to have been the closest disciples to Jesus and knew most of his mystery teachings. Where as Peter in the “Gospel of Mary” was the man who is threatened by her position and status based on her special relationship with Jesus.
Peter said to Mary: “Sister we know the savior loved you more than any other woman. Tell us the words of the savior that you remember, which you know but we do not, because we have not heard them.” Mary answered and said, “What is hidden from you I shall reveal to you” (Gospel of Mary 10).
As she begins to recount her visionary message both Peter and his brother Andrew express doubts about her veracity and question her authority. Peter objects:
Did he really speak with a woman in private without our knowledge? Should we all turn and listen to her? Did he prefer her to us? (Gospel of Mary 18).
Levi, who is better known as Matthew in the New Testament, defends her and rebukes Peter:
If the savior made her worthy, who are you to reject her? Surely the savior knows her well. That is why he has loved her more than us (Gospel of Mary 18).
The current bible that we see today was a combination of an order from King James but the original writings were formed on the road to Damascus by Peter and all of his male scribes. Peter was a disciple of Jesus but his origins started in Jewish mysticism. In the Jewish religion at this time in history women were not allowed to become Rabbi’s to write about or even read sacred text. Peter upheld this philosophy following Jesus’s ascension when he spread the gospel of Jesus’s work. This creating many distortion in what we know to be the modern bible. The entire compilation of the New Testament is dictated by this one man Peter, having many different translators write and put together the books of the bible we know today.
But the original teachings of Christ were based in what we now know to be Gnosticism. The original teachings of Christ stated that no “holy man” could access a connection of God for you. Only you could know God through your direct experience alone. The gnostic teachings were a threat to the church because they proposed no need for an intermediary such as a reverend or priest to be able to commune with God. For this reason, there were other books that could be considered holy books that were not included in the bible that held very important pieces to the sacred teachings of Jesus that were purposefully not mentioned to the public. Jesus was not only considered a holy man but more of a political rebel that threatened the societal structure at large.
I loved reading the first portion of “The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary Magdalene” by Barrie Wilson and Simcha Jacobovici because it outlined the more sociopolitical aspects of why the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus of Nazareth would have been as significant as it was in the times when Jesus walked the Earth. But I digress, what I am pointing to here is that the Church of Peter and the Lineages upheld by Mary of Magdala were very different. We can see which lineage took precedence in the world over. Peter represented the negative patriarchal structure in all its glory.
In the book I mentioned above “The Lost Gospel” they explain how the modern church places the majority of its emphasis on the fact that Jesus was crucified. In the book it is explained how never-the-less the crucifixion and resurrection being a great feat to “rise again” from the clutches of death, the story of Jesus is missing a very human and important aspect of Jesus’ life. His very real human life with Mary Magdala. Simcha goes on to explain how there is a decoded ancient text that he thinks points to the evidence of Jesus not only being married to Mary Magdalene and very possibly having children. He says that if the original teachings of Christ were never suppressed, instead of all the focus being on the crucifixion, the focus would be on the great and beautiful act of inner marriage to the divine and therefore resulting in the perfected spiritual marriage to a perfected spiritual twin.
If we come to know Jesus through the text in the bible alone all we know is the story of his birth and the story of his death.
What if we knew more about Jesus’ life than we did about his death?
How would the integration of his actual teachings look?
Even more important if the theories are true about Mary Magdalene being the beloved of Jesus Christ, what would we come to learn from HER teachings?
Imagine if the symbology of Jesus’ life was not that if you stand for and with the one infinite Creator you will be punished but memorialized forever, but in fact, if you come to know the Creator through your heart you will not only receive everlasting life in the afterlife but will receive one of the greatest pleasures on Earth of deep intimate companionship and union through true love.
Imagine with the deep healing our planet would go through if your relationship with yourself was healed. And because of that clear relationship with yourself you were able to have the clarity of seeing to pick a partner to have a healthy relationship with. In that relationship you merge together with that healthy partner in true sacred marriage and the majority of the children of Earth were raised in such an environment.
Life as we know it would change.
Archbishop Roche explained that in giving St. Mary Magdalene the honor of being the first person to see the empty tomb and the first to listen to the truth of the resurrection, "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." Drawing a comparison between Eve, who "spread death where there was life," St. Mary Magdalene, who "proclaimed life from the tomb, a place of death," the archbishop said her feast day is a lesson for all Christians to trust in Christ who is "alive and risen."
We see in the bible the feminine in many forms associated with deep shame: Eve the ignorant who enslaved humanity, Mother Mary who was the talk of the town after her immaculate conception of Jesus and Mary Magdala, the prostitute who repented. Shame and feelings of unworthiness are the original wounds from separating the idea that we have separated from the pure innocence of the one infinite Creator. Invoking shame and unworthiness in a person is a way to enslave that being to conform, if we are ashamed of our brilliance when will never have enough courage to step into our unique soul brilliance.
In closing, I will share that I believe the celebration of Magdalene Feast Day is about holding the promise of everlasting life, of ever-lasting love in your heart. Stay true to the pulse of your heart, stay true to what you know to be true. For the light that is driven into the darkness will always shine forth once again! Bowing to the Queen of the Rose Linage, the Mary of Magdala that lives in all of our hearts.
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Greeting beauty, thank you for gracing my page! My name is Jocelyn Daher, I am part Celtic Rose Lineage and part Magdalene Rose Lineage, my mother being French-British European and my Father Lebanese. I am a Writer, Grail Keeper of Sacred Sexuality “Priestess” Teachings & Empathic Guide for Women’s Self-Empowerment.
I utilize a unique form of educational alchemy to initiate women in their remembering. The practices of my teachings comes from fuses many lineages. I combined three different forms Tantric lineages: Indian, Native American and Egyptian. Unlocking the Secrets behind the Science of Women’s Biology and utilizing Sacred Ritual backed by Modern Psychology to create a Healthy Mental Awareness of “Who you are as a Woman” and “What you are Here to Gift.”
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