Saint Mary Magdalene (1st century)
for July 22
Mary of Magdala ("Magdalene" indicates she was from the town of Magdala) is among the first and greatest saints who lived in the company of Jesus. Yet she came from a very troubled past. We are told that Jesus cast out seven demons from her (Mark 16:9, Luke 8:2), suggesting she had suffered from severe physical and emotional illnesses. After her healing she became part of the influential group of women disciples who traveled with Jesus (Luke 8:1-2, Mark 15:40-41). She likely had a leadership role among them because her name is first in the lists of women. Mary Magdalene had courage. She was present at the cross when most men who followed Jesus had all run away. In the Resurrection accounts, it is she rather than Peter who is the first to see the empty tomb. Jesus chose to appear to her first, and he sent her to tell the Good News to the others (Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-10, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18). We see in the Bible how she rose from the shadows of society to great stature in the Christian community. Her feast day is July 22. (Taken from "The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth.")
Mary's early struggles amplify the importance and impressiveness of her transformation as a Christian. She is a testament to the profoundly transformative power of God and how a relationship with Jesus can utterly rebuild a person. In what areas are you weak and sinful? Do you believe that the love of God can help you as it did Mary?
Think about your character flaws and the immoral areas of your life. Ask God to help you overcome these inadequacies and to make you into a more honorable, loving person.