They are both women. And it is remarkable because the New Testament does not shine by the abundance of female characters! That said, they differ fundamentally: one is Virgin and Mother of God since the beginning of Christianity, Immaculate Conception since the 19th century and mother of all men; the other sinner repented, forgiven, apostle of the Apostles. One seems perfect, the other more human. But these two images also convey stereotypes, masculine projections around the mother and the prostitute.
Over the centuries, these models have harmed women: how to be a mother as perfect as Mary? As for the story of the sinner Mary Magdalene, where is the sinner man who is the prostitute’s client? She’s not alone in this! If we dig deeper, the two women find themselves on several points. Thus, when the cult of Mary Magdalene took off in the Middle Ages, she was still surrounded by maternal values which would later fade: she took care of unwed mothers, of those who had given birth; we come to pray to her to have (or not to have) a child.
Above all, in the Gospels, they are both part of the group of women who accompanied Jesus during his public life and up to the cross: they knew each other, spoke to each other. Finally, Mary is the mother of Jesus: it is she who gives birth to God. At the same time, Mary Magdalene brings the word of God into the world, since, the first witness to the Resurrection, she transmits the Good News of the empty tomb and brings it to life in the community.”
Interview by Muriel Fauriat
In the footsteps of Mary Magdalene
Since April 9, Céline Anaya Gautier and Claire Colette have embarked on a ten-month walk, from France to Israel. Goals? Open a pilgrimage route in the footsteps of Mary Magdalene and question the role of women in the Church. Follow their journey here!