Particularly remarkable was the determination and unusual courage which Mary Magdalene showed toward her Saviour. At the time of His greatest suffering, while He hung on the Cross and when even His apostles had abandoned Him, Mary, Magdalene stood at the foot of the Cross together with the Mother of God and the-Lord's beloved disciple, John.
St. Mary Magdalene, called by the Orthodox Church both Myrrh-bearer and Equal-to-the-Apostle, is commemorated on July 22/August 4, as well as with the other Myrrh-bearers on the second Sunday after Easter. Born in the seaport town of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee, she played an important role during Christ’s ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection.
The final conviction in the West about the willful and mistaken opinion that St. Mary Magdalene had been a harlot was made possible by a popular book by an Italian Dominican monk, Archbishop Jacobus de Voragine (Giacomo da Varazze), the Golden Legend (Legenda Aurea), which is thought to have been written in 1260. This collection of legends and lives of saints became the source of themes for art and literature.
The Church of Saint Mary Magdalene is situated on the slope of the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane and is one of the most easily recognizable landmarks of Jerusalem. This striking example of Russian architecture was built in the Muscovite style with golden onion domes or cupolas.
The myrrhbearing women come to the tomb of Christ in the early morning of the Sunday following his crucifixion and burial. According to Mark’s Gospel after being told by a young man (whose clothes apparently caught their attention as they describe them with some detail) that Jesus was risen from the dead, they say nothing to anyone “for they were afraid.” But afraid of what or who? And why?