Although there is a long-standing tradition in the Latin Church of regarding her as a penitent sinner, I still find St. Mary Magdalen to be an especially meaningful saint for me in my life as a consecrated virgin.
The Gospel accounts portray St. Mary Magdalen as one of Christ’s closest follows. She was one of the small handful of Jesus’ friends who remained with Him during His passion and death on the cross, and she was privileged to be the first disciple to announce the good news of the Resurrection.
The Church expresses the depth of St. Mary Magdalen’s love for Christ in the almost bridal overtones in the liturgy for her feast day. For example, one of the antiphons for Lauds (Morning Prayer) reads:
“My heart burns within me; I long to see my Lord; I look for him, but I cannot find where they have put him, alleluia.”
But perhaps most strikingly, one of the options for the first reading at today’s Mass is taken from the Song of Songs (and this is one of the very few instances where the Song of Songs is included in the lectionary):
On my bed at night I sought himwhom my soul loves—I sought him but I did not find him.“Let me rise then and go about the city,through the streets and squares;Let me seek him whom my soul loves.”I sought him but I did not find him.The watchmen found me,as they made their rounds in the city:“Him whom my soul loves—have you seen him?”Hardly had I left themwhen I found him whom my soul loves. (Songof Songs 3:1-4a)