Mary Magdalene, Preacher

I’m preaching again tomorrow, this time at First Baptist Church, McMinnville. They’re doing a summer series called “Faces of Faith,” and I’m going to talk about Mary Magdalene. I’ve discovered an amazing legend that I’d never heard of, that Mary Magdalene went to Marseilles and preached, converting many. It developed in France in the Middle Ages. Here’s a 16th century Dutch painting of her preaching (click on the picture to see a bigger version):

I get crabby about the tradition of Mary Magdalene-as-prostitute, which has no basis in Scripture (it comes from conflating her story with the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears). The French preaching tradition can at least be traced to her being sent by Jesus to tell the disciples what she had seen in John 20. And I find it inspiring.

2 replies on “Mary Magdalene, Preacher

  • Margaret Marcuson

    Thanks, Rebecca. On Sunday, Barbara Curtis-Galbraith, the Children’s Ministry Coordinator at First Baptist McMinnville, told me of a sermon she heard Charmaine Doherty-Holt give, saying that Jesus telling Mary “Go and tell….” was all she needed to hear to know that women are indeed called to “go and tell”, or in other words, to preach.

  • Rebecca Maccini

    When a professor from the local college came to the church and we had a discussion about The DaVinci Code, this legend about Mary Magdalene was introduced to me. I had never heard about it before that. Thanks for the picture. My husband’s dissertation was about the gospel of John and it was published with the title “Her Witness is True” and it was about women witnessing about Jesus in the Gospel of John and a significant witness was the events after the crucifixion.


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