Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saint Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene, the "apostle to the apostles," is honored today on some calendars of saints. The longest account of her presence in the Resurrection story is in John 20:1-18, which tells how she was the first one to visit Jesus' tomb on Sunday morning and to find it empty. Later, she returns and speaks with two angels who tell her what has happened.  In each of the gospel stories she then goes back to share the news with the other disciples. It's only in Luke 24:11 that we hear their response to her report: "But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them."

Other information about Mary Magdalene has accrued over the centuries but much of it doesn't come from scripture. I now prefer to move on and not repeat the accusations that have been made (though I've written about them in previous years, which you can see below if you must).

This hymn is translated from a Latin text believed to be from medieval times but no definite origin has been found.

Weep no more this holy morning,
Mary, put away thy fears;
In this feast there is no scorning,
No repentance for thy tears:
Joy, O joy, a thousand pleasures,
All thy soul’s recovered treasures—
Alleluia!—Christ appears.

Joy to thee, he soars ascending,
He who all thy sins forgave;
All thy sorrows now are ending,
Magdalene, he comes to save;
Whom thou soughtest lost and dying,
Welcome now with angels crying
Alleluia!—o’er his grave.

Life in all his life’s resuming,
Mary, all thy light restore,
All thy heart with joy illuming,
Death is driven from the door:
Night has had its night of sorrow,
Joy returneth with the morrow—

Latin, date unknown;
tr. Herbert Kynaston, 1862; alt.
Tune: FIDES (
Clement Cotterill Scholefield, 1874

P.S. - The art above is from Mary Magdalene at the Tomb (1622) by Anteveduto Gramatica.

Nine Years Ago: Mary Magdalene, to whom (now on Facebook)

Eight Years Ago: Emily E. S. Elliott

Seven Years Ago: When Mary, moved by grateful love

Five Years Ago: Creator blest, one glance of thine

Four Years Ago: I come to the garden alone

One Year Ago: Mary to her Savior's tomb

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