At Easter, many profess their devotion to Christ. However, one of the most exciting love stories around the messiah involved a woman: Mary Magdalene, whose name derives from Magdala, a port city on the shore of Lake Gennesaret (famous for its brothels), where she and Jesus they first met.
In that meeting, Saint Luke presented her as a sinner, however, he never claimed that she was a prostitute. Hours later, while Jesus was eating dinner, Mary Magdalene threw herself at her feet crying, cleaned them with her hair and anointed them with perfume that she carried with her.
After this, and despite the refusal of the others, the messiah welcomed her, forgave her supposed sins and invited her to accompany him - him and his apostles - on his travels.
In the verses of Luke VIII: 1-3 it is said that "Jesus went through all the cities and villages, preaching and announcing the gospel of the kingdom of God, and the twelve with him and some women who had been healed like Mary called Magdalene, who served him with his goods.
Indeed, many investigations have recognized María Magdalena as an influential woman both economically and socially; economically because she was a well-to-do girl, and socially because despite growing up and living in a very strict religious society, she decided to break the mold to follow a prophet.
Researcher Jennifer Ristine, author of Mary Magdalene: insights from ancient Magdala, ensures that Mary Magdalene was a wealthy woman from an economically well-positioned town, who financed and supported, along with many other women, the Christian founder's three-year campaign for Palestine.
So why, instead of recognizing her dedication and loyalty, is she mostly remembered as some kind of devilish prostitute? The answer lies in Pope Gregory the Great, who in the year 591 during his 33rd homily described her as a “prostitute” and added that “seven demons” were expelled from Mary, representing “all vices”
In Christian memory there are many such opinions:
"The husband loves his wife because she is his wife, but he hates her because she is a woman" (St. Augustine)
"Woman is a stubborn donkey, a terrible worm in the heart of man, daughter of lies, sentinel of hell" (San Juan Damasceno)
"The woman is a mistaken and failed man" (St. Thomas Aquinas)
After that, the Catholic Church branded her for centuries —without any mercy— as a prostitute, an adulteress, a sinner, possessed by seven demons, a weeper. Until in 2016, by order of Pope Francis, she was recognized as a saint in the Roman calendar.
In fact, Pope Francis named her apostola apostolurum, that is, the apostle of the apostles: "a woman who showed great love for Christ and who was loved by him"
In the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, one of the apocryphal texts found in the XNUMXth century, the place she occupied can be clearly seen:
“Peter said to Mary: Sister, we know that Jesus loved you more than the rest of the women. Tell us the words of the Savior that you remember and that you know, but we do not know, nor have we heard them.”
Magdalena, the woman most loved by the son of God, did not escape when he was arrested and crucified and was the first to see him rise from the dead. Instead, Pedro, considered today “the rock on which the Church was built”, fled and denied the teacher three times.
That same Pedro criticized Magdalena for being a meddler (meddling in other people's affairs) and talkative, while Jesus defended her with aplomb. The conflict appears in several gospels, official or not.
How different is this story, for example, from that of Manuelita Sáenz or so many other women whose conviction, poise and leading role in the history of humanity was totally made invisible by a machismo that still does not understand the power of our love?