(Rome) The Daily Bulletin of the Holy See announced in a decree on Friday at the express request of Pope Francis that on the Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalen, 22 July, she will be elevated to the rank of apostle.
The publications in Latin decree is officially dated June 3, thus the memorial is to be raised in the rank of the feast in theGeneral Roman Calendar.
The measure is based on the Church Father St. Hippolytus of Rome (about 170-235), who described her as "apostle of the apostles" in the early 3rd century.
In the Church's history Maria Magdalena has been known as the patron saint of women and the repentant sinners. In the Catholic tradition, Mary Magdalene is identified with the sinner that washed Jesus' feet (Lk 7.36 to 50).
Tradition links Saint Maria Magdalena with the evangelization of Provence. In Sainte-Baume (Occitan Santo Baumo) is the "holy cave" of Mary Magdalene. At least since the early 5th century there has been a monastic community and the Dominicans are responsible for the pilgrimage today.
By decree, the reformulated Latin preface was simultaneously published in which Mary Magdalene is called apostolorum Apostola. It is explicitly stated in the daily bulletin that the amendment was adopted "at the express wish of the Holy Father Francis".
Prefacio de Apostolorum apostola
Vere dignum et iustum est,
Aequum et salutare,
nos te, Pater Omnipotens,
cuius non minor est misericórdia quam potestas,
in ómnibus Praedicare by Christ Dominum nostrum.
Qui in Hortu Manifestus apparuit Mariae magdalenae,
quippe quae eum diléxerat vivéntem,
in cruce víderat moriéntem ,
quæsíerat in Sepulcro iacéntem,
ac prima adoráverat a mortuis resurgéntem,
et eam Apostolatus officio coram Apostolis honorávit
ut bonum Novae vitæ núntium
ad mundi fines perveníret.
Unde et nos, Dómine, cum Angelis et Sanctis universis
tibi confitémur, dicentes in exsultatióne:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth ...
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Wikicommons (Madonna and Child between Saints Mary Magdalene and Ursula, Giovanni Bellini, 1490)