I am the woman Miriam of Magdala. I have also been called Mary the Magdalene, meaning that my village of origin is Magdala.
I have been maligned throughout history as a whore. My story has been incorrectly linked with the story of an unnamed woman in Luke 7:34-50:
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.I am not and I have never been that woman. My story begins in Luke 8:
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,I am, I reiterate, Miriam of Magdala. And I am a woman of substance, of wealth, of wealth that did not come from my selling my body. And I loved the rabbi Jesus for freeing my mind of torment.
And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
And, because of my love for the rabbi Jesus I was the first to proclaim his divinity:
The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.But, within the context of the times when women were not well regarded, the disciples Peter and his brother Andrew took up against me:
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
Instead of accepting Mary’s account, Peter and his brother Andrew turn against it, calling it a "strange teaching." Levi steps in to defend her and rebuke Peter, Peter remains in the grasp of anger, which his soul must overcome before it enters the heavenly realm...The strange teaching of John 3:16-18, the heart of Christianity, I was privileged to be the first to set these things forth before the world:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.That I was able to accomplish this is the most important event of my life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
There is a debate as to whether or not I was the wife of the rabbi Jesus. That is not important. There is a debate as to whether or not I was a whore. To me, it is historically important to bring out the truth of who I was because of the use of my name in the whole scale denigration of women as less than human, as whorish, by patriarchal religious traditions which fear and hate women.
I must make reference to the evils of prudish Ireland:
DUBLIN — For years, it was Ireland’s hidden scandal: an estimated 30,000 women were sent to church-run laundries, where they were abused and worked for years with no pay. Their offense, in the eyes of society, was to break the strict sexual rules of Catholic Ireland, having children outside wedlock.
Although it has been over a decade since their story came to light, the women are still waiting for an apology, and possibly compensation.
Now, an advocacy group, Justice for Magdalenes, which has spent the last two years lobbying the Irish government to investigate the history of the laundries, is taking the case to the United Nations, alleging the abuse amounted to human rights violations, and hoping that an official rebuke from the international body will shame the government into action.
“We don’t take any pleasure in embarrassing the government in this way but we have worked the domestic structure as far as we can and still the government has done nothing,” said James Smith of Boston College, a spokesman for Justice for Magdalenes.
The Roman Catholic Church has used and abused me in a back-handed way to deny the priesthood to women and to deny their own abuses of women and innocent children, of innocents period.
The tradition, sadly, continues at Notre Dame which has self-righteously refused to look at the cases of women who have allegedly been sexually abused and verbally terrorized by Notre Dame football players.
And, in Ireland the abuse against women continues in the recent case of a woman who died because she was denied access to an abortion by the evil beliefs of Irish patriarchy which believes that the existence of a fetus, an embryo, a cell, is more important than the life of a woman.
The Irish – and the fighting Irish of Notre Dame – and the Roman Catholic Church, have a huge lot to answer for.