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

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

[Will the feasts of other women who ministered to Jesus or were involved otherwise with him (such as the woman at the well or the woman taken in adultery) also be added or elevated?]

Catholic World News – 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.

Vere dignum et iustum est,
æquum et salutáre,
nos te, Pater omnípotens,
cuius non minor est misericórdia quam potéstas,
in ómnibus prædicáre per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

Qui in hortu maniféstus appáruit Maríæ Magdalénæ,
quippe quae eum diléxerat vivéntem,
in cruce víderat moriéntem,
quæsíerat in sepúlcro iacéntem,
ac prima adoráverat a mórtuis resurgéntem,
et eam apostolátus offício coram apóstolis honorávit
ut bonum novæ vitæ núntium
ad mundi fines perveníret.

Unde et nos, Dómine, cum Angelis et Sanctis univérsis
tibi confitémur, in exsultatióne dicéntes …

[Google translation]

It is truly right and just,
right and availing
It is we, the Father Almighty ,
whose mercy is no less than the power,
to preach the Gospel in all things , through Christ, our Lord.

And the agony in the resurrection he appeared to Mary Magdalene ,
Indeed, he loved living ,
had seen dying on the cross ,
words and lying in the tomb ,
the first shall rise from the dead , and adored them ,
and her apostolic duties before the apostles honored
good new life message
the world would never reach .

Hence it is , O Lord, with the angels and Saints,
We praise Thee , people with joy , saying …

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.

Reference: Decreto della Congregazione per il Culto Divino e la Disciplina dei Sacramenti: la celebrazione di Santa Maria Maddalena elevata al grado di festa nel Calendario Romano Generale (Holy See Press Office)

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2 comments on “St. Mary Magdalene’s memorial raised to dignity of a feast

  1. I’ll be more than happy to honor any memorial for St. Mary Magdalene but, since July 22nd is my birthday. I’ll be especially happy to do so on that day. When honoring the saints, we do not celebrate their faults but their virtues and she had her share of both as do we all. I don’t think it’s necessary to change things in regards to her memorial.

  2. Posted by The Rad Trad on TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2014

    St. Mary Magdalen: Duplex? 3rd Class? Memorial?

    Mr. Wolfe of Rorate Caeli has posted on the apparent demotion of the feast of St. Mary Magdalen by big bad Bugnini in the 20th century. He writes:

    “The 1962 calendar today marks the third class feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, penitent, while the novus ordo calendar has a “memorial” for Saint Mary Magdalene with no title after her name (unlike other saints’ days)….. Even before the massive reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council, however, there were a host of changes under Pius XII and John XXIII, many of which have been linked to Archbishop Annibale Bugnini….. One such changed involved the Credo in the Mass appointed for this feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene, penitent.”

    First, I would like to say that there is really no difference between a 1962 III class feast and a Pauline memorial. For a good cause, one could replace the feast today with a votive Mass—say a requiem or a nuptial. The Pauline liturgy has so many options one could only use the orations of the feast or use the readings as well and create a unique, non-ferial Mass. In the Office, both the Pauline and Pian/Johannine liturgies are ferial with orations of the saint and a few festive antiphons and readings.

    Second, we come to where the Pauline and Pian/Johannine liturgies really differ from the old rite: the Office. In the immemorial Roman Office today would have been treated as a major feast, hence the Double rank—originally reserved to feasts of the Lord, Our Lady, the Apostles, major martyrs, Doctors, and patron saints. St. Mary Magdalen was seen as equivalent to those people. For good reason was she called the “Apostle to the Apostles.” She gave Christ burial rites by anointing Him while He was still alive. She stood by the Cross when all the Apostles, save John, fled. And she was the first, other than Our Lady according to tradition, to meet the Christ risen. This is not an ordinary women nor is this a female saint who fits into conventional categories. Her Double office meant three nocturns at Mattins—with three readings of Scripture, three from St. Gregory the Great, the Gospel of the day, and three lessons from St. Augustine. Festive psalms would be used in the major hours and her Mass would not admit commemorations. Indeed, prior to 1911 her feast could, rightly I believe, supersede a Sunday. Even after the Pius X reform she would have been commemorated at first Vespers, Mattins, Lauds, Mass (with a proper Last Gospel), and second Vespers on a Sunday.

    I do not want to launch into a rant or diatribe, so I will end the post here. It suffices to say much more was lost than the recitation of the Creed at Mass. Indeed the Office of St. Mary Magdalen is, like so many of the ancient Roman sanctoral offices, among of the most beautiful liturgical days in the Church. As Fr. Capreolus highlighted to me, just look at the responsories at Mattins!

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