Mary Magdalene Biography
(Disciple of Jesus)
Mary Magdalene is a major figure in Christianity who is said to have witnessed Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. She is named at least 12 times within the four Gospels and was one of Jesus' most loyal followers who remained devoted to him till the very end and supported him in his final moments as he was being crucified. She was also the first to discover his empty tomb and witness the resurrection of Jesus—John 20 and Mark 16:9 specifically name her as the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection. For centuries Mary Magdalene has been portrayed by the Catholic Church as a repentant prostitute even though there is nothing in the canonical gospels to support these claims. The fourth-century orthodox theologian Augustine called her the "Apostle to the Apostles" and she is regarded as one of the most significant figures in Christianity as she was present from the "beginning of a movement that was going to transform the West". The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus cleansed her of seven demons though various interpretations of this statement are given by historians. Over the centuries her life has been the subject of much speculation and debate among scholars. While some considered her to be a prostitute, she is considered to be a saint by the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches.