Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

23 July 2005
  In Memory Most Maudlin
Another reminder that Jesus came for us sinners.

I was so busy today (Friday, since I haven't gone to bed yet; Saturday, since it's past midnight) that I almost forgot to drop a few lines in honor of Saint Mary Magdalene, whose commemoration is 22 July.

The Gospels mention Mary of Magdala as one of the women of Galilee who followed Jesus and His disciples. She witnessed His crucifixion and burial, and went to the tomb on Easter Sunday to annoint His body. She was the first recorded witness of the Risen Christ and was sent by Him to tell the disciples. Thus, early Christian writings sometimes refer to her as "the apostle to the apostles" (apostle means "one who is sent").

Mary Magdalene
Confusion sometimes abounds as to whether she is the same person as Mary of Bethany (sister of Martha and Lazarus) or the unnamed woman who annointed Jesus's feet (Luke 7:36-48). Add in the statement that Jesus cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2) and you get the origins of a tradition that she was a prostitute before she met Jesus.

Following the assumption (possibly quite misguided) that Mary Magdalene truly had been a spectacular sinner whose penitential sorrow was deep and complete — and possibly because John described her as crying at the tomb of Jesus — artists often portray her either as weeping or with red eyes from having wept. This appearance led to the English word "maudlin" — "effusively or tearfully sentimental." Magdalen College at Oxford and Magdalene College at Cambridge (note the different spellings) — both pronounced "Maudlin" — derive their names from this Saint Mary.
 
Comments:
Nice post.

BTW, you might be interested in knowing that Aardvark may be Afrikaan's for "earth pig" but "earth pig" is tanker slang for "infantryman."
 
My daughter was baptized on the feast of Mary Magdalene, which is why we named her Magdalena. I appreciate your post. It is a special day and she was a special woman.
 
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