Monday, July 22, 2019

By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth

Who was Mary Magdalene?

"Woman, why weepest thou?"

From the 4th Lesson of the 2nd Nocturn of Matins:

Mary of Bethany, sister to Lazarus, is identified, according to a common tradition, with Mary Magdalene and the unnamed woman called in the Gospel, "the Sinner". But inasmuch as neither Mary of Bethany nor the Sinner is therein styled Magdalene, most Greek Fathers distinguish these as three woman, or at least two; whereas St. Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas leave the question undecided. St. Gregory the Great, however, taught that the Sinner was by name Mary and by title Magdalene, and that she was sister to Martha and Lazarus of Bethany; and his teaching came to be widely followed in theWest. Thus in the East Mary Magdalene is by some commemorated on July 22nd as the Myrrh-Bearer, and the chief saint of the Resurrection, whereas according to the other tradition, she is not only accorded this honour, but in addition venerated, with St. Peter, as a great Penitent, who being forgiven much, came thereby to love much; and is otherwise known as Mary of Bethany, to whom Our Lord said that she had chosen that good part, which same would not be taken away from her, either in time or eternity.