Icon Akimov 102.110 «Holy Myrrh-bearer and Equal to the Apostles Mary Magdalene. Guardian Angel»
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"The Gospel tells a little about Myrrh-bearer and equal to the Apostles Mary Magdalene. Known is that she was devoted stalwart of Jesus Christ, and therefore was honored to be the first of the living people to see Him resurrected.
It is as well known that she was born in Magdala in Galilea, and from her youth was tormented by a serious malady - demonical possession. Before the Coming of Christ the Saviour there appeared a particular number of demon-possessed people. Through that disease of Mary Magdalene the Divine Glory showed itself, Mary having found unshakeable devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ. When the Lord drove seven evil spirits from her, she deserted everything for following Him (Luke. 8, 2).
St. Mary Magdalene followed Christ, together with other women healed by the Lord, and showed poignant concern about Him. She did not leave Christ after Him being arrested by Hebrews when His closest disciples decreased in their faith, and even Peter, the Apostle repudiated his Teacher for fear. She stood near His Cross sharing His sufferings, attended the Holy Corpus to the sepulchre in the garden of Joseph of Arimathaea, and was present at His interment (Matthew 27, 61; Marc 15, 47). Together with other women she later returned to the sepulchre in order to oil His body with myrrh according to Jewish custom (Luke. 23, 56), and saw an angel to proclaim Christ Resurrection. The risen Christ appeared before her in the garden and sent her with the tidings to Apostles. Exultant holy woman heralded of the event, and was the first to say the Easter salutation “Christ is risen!”. As the first annunciator of Christ resurrection Mary Magdalene was acknowledged Equal to the Apostles by the Church. That annunciation became the main event of her life, the commencement of her apostolic service.
According to Legend she annunciated not only in Jerusalem, but went to Rome where she saw the Emperor Tiberius. The Emperor listened to St. Mary to tell him about the life, wonders and doctrine of Christ, about unrighteous conviction of Him by the Hebrews, about Pontius Pilate cowardice, and saying “Christ is risen!” presented him with an egg as a symbol of life mystery. The Emperor did not believe her, stating that neither the human being is able to resurrect, nor a white egg is able to turn red. But before he had time to speak out the egg in Mary`s hand did redden. Since then it has become customary to exchange red eggs at Eastertide.
Then St. Mary left for Ephesus (Asia Minor) where she assisted St. John the Theologian, Apostle and Evangelist in his preaching. She departed into the Lord and was buried here as well. In the 9th century under the Emepror Leo VI, the Philisoher (886–912) the incorruptible relics of St. Mary Magdalene were moved from Ephesus to Constantinople. It is supposed that while crusading wars they where taken to Rome where rested in the Church in the name of St. John Lateran. The Pope Honorius III (1216–1227) consecrated that Church in the name of Myrrh-bearer and equal to the Apostles Mary Magdalene. Nowadays her relics are partly in Provage in France near Marseilles where the St. Mary Magdalene Church was as well reared; and partly both in the Monastery on the Holy Mt. Athos, and in the Monastery of Jerusalem.
St. Equal to the Apostles Mary Magdalen is commemorated on August 4 (July 22), May 17 (4), and on the third week after Easter together with the other myrrh bearers."
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