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St. Mary Magdalene’s memorial raised to dignity of a feast

June 10, 2016

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has issued a decree raising the obligatory memorial of St. Mary Magdalene, celebrated on July 22, to the dignity of a feast.

In its decree, dated June 3 and released on June 10, the Congregation has published a new proper Latin preface for the feast that will be translated into other languages.

Feast days, such as the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (May 31) and the Feast of St. Andrew (November 30), have their own proper readings at Mass. On feast days, the Gloria is recited at Mass, as is the Te Deum in the Office of Readings. Feast days rank below the dignity of solemnities, in which there is also a second reading before the Gospel and the Creed is also said at Mass.

The decree states that in our times, the Church is called to a more profound reflection “on the dignity of women, the new evangelization, and the abundance of the mystery of divine mercy,” all of which are manifest in the life of the saint.

Archbishop Arthur Roche, the Congregation’s secretary, said the decree was issued in response to the “expressed desire” of Pope Francis.

It is fitting, the prelate added, that St. Mary Magdalene-- described by St. Thomas Aquinas and others as the “apostle of the apostles”-- is now commemorated with a liturgical feast, as the apostles are.


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  • Posted by: mwean7331 - Jun. 10, 2016 6:16 PM ET USA

    How wonderful!! I do love Mary Magdalene dearly. She gives me hope. What a wonderful example for all of us. In my mind Our Blessed Mother is the "leading" lady for women to exemplify and Magdalene is second on the list. She was a sinner (as we all re) but she truly repented and showed her complete adoration of our Blessed Lord He must have loved her dearly as He appeared to her before any of the apostles or anyone else at His resurrection.