Sunday, June 12, 2016

Apostolorum Apostola

The feast of St. Mary Magdalene was recently raised from the status of Memorial to Feast proper, which usually belongs to Apostles and a few others. As some have noted, this actually is a restoration of sorts, since the Magdalene's feastday has historically been quite important, and has been surprisingly low-ranked for about half a century. Because it was mentioned in the letter accompanying the decree, the following passage from Aquinas's Commentary on the Gospel of John (c. 20, l. 3 [2519]) is noteworthy, and worth reading in full context:

Notice the three privileges given to Mary Magdalene. First, she had the privilege of being a prophet because she was worthy enough to see the angels, for a prophet is an intermediary between angels and the people. Secondly, she had the dignity or rank of an angel insofar as she looked upon Christ, on whom the angels desire to look. Thirdly, she has the office of an apostle; indeed she was an apostle to the apostles insofar as it was her task to announce our Lord's resurrection to the disciples. Thus, just as it was a woman who was the first to announce the words of death, so it was a woman who would be the first to announce the words of life.

[St Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of John, Chapters 13-21, Larcher and Weisheipl, trs. CUA Press (Washington, DC: 2010) p. 266]

The Latin, for those who are interested:

Ubi notandum est triplex privilegium, quod Magdalenae est collatum. Primo quidem propheticum, per hoc quod meruit Angelos videre: propheta enim est medius inter Angelos et populum. Secundo Angelorum fastigium, per hoc quod vidit Christum, in quem desiderant Angeli prospicere. Tertio officium apostolicum, immo facta est apostolorum apostola, per hoc quod ei committitur ut resurrectionem dominicam discipulis annuntiet: ut sicut mulier viro primo nuntiavit verba mortis, ita et mulier primo nuntiaret verba vitae.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.