In the early centuries of Christian history the circles that led to the development of the official Church focused on her role at the crucifixion and the tomb. She was praised by many of the early group, called the Church Fathers, such as Tertullian of Carthage (ca. 160225), Origen of Alexandria (ca. 185251), Ambrose of Milan (ca. 340397), and Augustine of Hippo (354430). These men usually portrayed her as a model of the good and loyal disciple. In the resurrection story of the Gospel of John Augustine saw her standing by the tomb weeping after Peter and the beloved disciple had returned to their lodgings because, For while men returned, the weaker sex was fastened to the place by stronger affection.
The interpretation of Mary's role varied in early accounts. Jerome (ca. 340420) praised Mary Magdalene and the women around Jesus for their loyalty and honored them as the first witnesses to the risen Jesus. Pope Leo I (ca. 400461) identified Mary Magdalene as the representative of the Church in the Gospel of John.
[...] The Holy Grail By the fourth-century there was a legend that Mary Magdalene had used a cup to catch the blood of Jesus when he died. Around 327 Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, conducted excavations in Jerusalem where she claimed to have found the true cross and the tomb of Jesus. Legend said she found a cup in the tomb, which was believed to be the Magdalene Chalice that Mary had used to catch the blood of Jesus. [...]
[...] Gregory I's story of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute and a composite of several women has had such an effect that many writers seem unable to break away from it. The 1973 movie of the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar portrayed Mary Magdalene as tart with a heart,” the stereotypical prostitute with a heart of gold who sings the song Don't Know How to Love Him.” When Martin Scorsese made Nikos Kanzantzakis' 1961 novel The Last Temptation into the 1976 movie The Last Temptation of Christ, he kept the portrayal of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute. [...]
[...] Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, Book ch Karen L. King, What Is Gnosticism? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003), 22–25. Ester A. de Boer, Mary Magdalene: Beyond the Myth. (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1997) Gregory Homily 33. Susan Haskins, Mary Magdalene: Myth and Metaphor. (New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993) For the Mary of Egypt story, see Benedicta Ward, Harlots of the Desert: A Study of Repentance in Early Monastic Sources. (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1967). Haskins, Myth and Metaphor Victor Saxer, Le Culte de [...]
[...] 340–420) praised Mary Magdalene and the women around Jesus for their loyalty and honored them as the first witnesses to the risen Jesus. Pope Leo I (ca. 400–461) identified Mary Magdalene as the representative of the Church in the Gospel of John. Mary Magdalene, representing the Church, hastened to approach and touch Him; ‘Touch Me not, for I have not yet ascended to My Father:'” Gregory, Patriarch of Antioch (reign began 571) interpreted the role of Mary Magdalene and the other women at the tomb as a reprimand to Peter who had been disloyal to Jesus. [...]
[...] Intercessor In the sixteenth century Mary Magdalene became the favorite saint of the Counter Reformation—the movement in the Roman Catholic Church attempting to stave off the challenge of Luther and other Protestants. The Counter Reformation promoted Mary Magdalene as a great intercessor—a saint who would intercede with God on behalf of humans—a role the current Catholic Church gives primarily to Mary the mother of Jesus. Protestants demanded the abolition of her cult as idolatry, and Calvin criticized Gregory I's conflation of the three women from the New Testament. [...]
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