This Friday, 22nd July, is the feastday of St. Mary Magdalene, a loyal servant of Jesus. She came from Magdala, a town on the west coast of the sea of Galilee, and when Jesus began his ministry, was one of the women who followed and supported him. The Gospels record that Jesus cast out of her seven demons and throughout Church history she has stood as the archetypal repentant sinner, whose changed life-style testifies to the love and power of Christ. Mary was one of the group of women who stood at the foot of Jesus’s Cross and it was she who discovered the empty tomb and heard the angel proclaim Christ’s resurrection. She was the first to see the risen Lord who appeared to her in the garden of his burial; at first she supposed him to be the gardener. At Mass on Thursday, the readings are specifically appointed for the feastday. There is also a special Preface: He appeared in the garden and revealed himself to Mary Magdalene, who had loved him in life, witnessed him dying on the Cross, sought him as he lay in the tomb, and was the first to adore him newly risen from the dead. He honoured her with the office of being an apostle to the Apostles so that the good news of new life might reach the ends of the earth. May St. Mary Magdalene pray for us all that we too will be filled with that persevering love with which she clung resolutely to Christ her Master.