Friday, July 22, 2011

Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus and one of the principal patrons of the Order of Preachers. A high holy day, indeed! And I get to celebrate it by keeping an hour of Guard from 1:30-2:30 this afternoon, in the presence of the King of Kings!

These are my favorite lines from the Gospel for today:

"Jesus said to her, 'Mary!'
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, 
'Rabbouni,' which means Teacher." (John 20:16)

How many times has this dialogue, simple but profound, played itself out in my own life...Dear St. Mary Magdalene, you who knew Our Lord in the flesh before and after His death and Resurrection, pray for us, that we may call Him Teacher as you did, and love Him in complete fidelity and self-forgetfulness as you did!

In her book for children Saint Dominic and the Rosary, Catherine Beebe recounts the story of how St. Dominic found a home for the women whom he had won over from the heresy of Albigensianism by his holy preaching of the Truth. Here are some excerpts of this beautiful tale:

"Each night he [Dominic] prayed fervently for the women who had come to him for help. He prayed that they would remain strong in their new faith. He prayed for a place in which they could live and practice it. But his prayers had gone unanswered. They must be answered soon or the converts' lives would be in danger. The Blessed Mother had never failed him before; surely she wouldn't now." (p. 88)

"One night as he walked along a hilltop, Brother Dominic was startled to see a strange light appear above him. The sky was dark except for the stars, but this was not a star...This light, whatever it was, moved across the sky...[and] moved downward until it came to rest over the village of Prouille where he had preached that day. The ball of light was very bright now, and he could see the outline of a building under it.
'Why, that is Saint Mary's Church,' he exclaimed. 'How strange that I can see it in the dark.'" (p. 89)

This happened three nights in a row, and on the third night, Dominic was finally sure...

"'Signadou, Signadou,' he cried out, which were his words for 'Sign of God, Sign of God.'" (p.90)
"The strange light the Brother Dominic called 'Signadou' shone on the Church of Saint Mary on July 22, the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, in the year 1206. That is a day that will always be remembered by the Dominican sisters. They will never forget that it was the Blessed Mother who pointed the way to their first convent." (p. 92)

***By the way, if anyone looks at the time stamp for this post, don't worry! I'm not up past midnight--I wrote this post ahead of time and scheduled it to post itself at 12:21. Why 12:21? The number 1221 (besides being a cool palindrome) has a twofold significance to me. First of all, it is the year on which my holy father St. Dominic died, so it is appropriate for this post. Secondly...well, those who know me may know the second reason...

***Also, from now on, Scripture will be highlighted in pale red, while all other sources will continue to be highlighted in blue. F.Y.I.

Blessed be God forever, for ages unending, amen!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Since I am unable to read comments and respond to them, I have closed the comment boxes, but left old comments up. Thank you for your understanding.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.