Mary Magdalene (Warning: May offend the deeply religious)


I grew up Catholic and am still recovering. I first remember hearing the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus as a third-grader attending a Roman Catholic elementary school. My third-grade teacher? My cousin, the nun. Obviously, I kept my thoughts about this story a secret for many years. In high school I toyed with confiding my theory to the Christian Brothers and the Jesuits, but feared that it was a little too “out there” even for them.

I’m sure I’d heard the story of these siblings before, but I distinctly remember giving it some real serious thought in the third grade. It was 1974. A US President had nearly been impeached. Anything was possible. The idea that Jesus had friends, you know, outside of the Apostles was reassuring, somehow. Jesus and Lazarus, to my childlike mind, seemed to have a brotherly kind of relationship. Martha was a bit of a do-gooder, what with all the fetching and kissing up she seemed to be doing. That Mary was trouble, though. Yup. She was some kind of sinner. I liked to imagine Lazarus and Martha were in cahoots; they seemed up to a little matchmaking. If I had a sinning sister like Mary I would certainly be looking for the guy who could straighten her out. Jesus seems the obvious choice, doesn’t he? Mary must have been reluctant, though. Until the whole raising Lazarus from the dead thing. That would convince anyone, wouldn’t it? It would’ve sold me.

That Jesus saved Mary from herself did not exactly appeal to the feminist in me, even the 8-year-old feminist. Still, I always thought they were a good match. She was headed down the wrong path until she met the man who would wash away her sins. The fact that he was the son of God? Bonus! And Mary? Well, she ended up fitting right in, didn’t she? Not only did she become one of his disciples, she was the only one of them who was with him the whole time that he carried the cross. She and his mother. What the men who ultimately cast her out of the story were doing at this point is anybody’s guess.

I am not shocked to discover that there may actually be evidence to suggest that Jesus was, indeed, married to someone. Nor am I surprised that biblical scholars have long speculated that if Jesus was married, he was probably married to Mary Magdalene. No woman of Mary Magdalene’s social strata would have been following any man without benefit of clergy, regardless of the guy’s relationship with her family. Certainly not the granddaughter of Cleopatra (That’s right. Mary Magdalene was the granddaughter of Cleopatra). As for him? Of course he was married. What Jewish man living in that day and age, achieves the ripe old age of thirty-three without being married? I would guess not many. Not that he was much of a catch, particularly, as has been established, for her. He was probably just a handyman. Still, he could turn water into wine and multiply loaves and fishes. So, at least she knew she’d never starve. And, I’ll bet all that miracle-working would’ve kept a girl interested. Even one as worldly as Mary Magdalene.

11 thoughts on “Mary Magdalene (Warning: May offend the deeply religious)

  1. DonettaS says:

    I recently wrote a poem on my blog over at http://myconstantthought.blogspot.com as a prompt to a photo. I personally think a lot of people disregard Mary Magdalene and she doesn’t get the proper respect she was due. She remained by Jesus’ side, and she is the one to discover he had risen. Her story fascinates me. Great post.

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    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks for reading. While I approached it kind of “tongue-in-cheek”, I agree that her story doesn’t get enough play (though it has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence in the recent past). I will hop on over and read your poem! Thanks for reading and for commenting! 🙂

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  2. javaj240 says:

    Maybe that’s why we were supposed to spend our Halloweens trolling for money, instead of treats. Seriously, we were supposed to collect for UNICEF instead of trick or treating (those of us who were enterprising combined the two). The money we collected, we were told, was to be used to “buy” pagan babies. I had a mental image of devilish infants being handed over to the nuns in exchange for our little orange, coin-filled boxes. Now, there’s an image every 6-year-old should have, LOL.

    I always felt vaguely pagan-like myself. I could just never wrap my mind around Jesus not being married. I thought it was weird. The older I got, the more convinced I became that he was married, to Mary Magdalene. You are absolutely right about his Jewish mother, LOL!

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  3. In the pagan tradition, the male God always has a female counterpart….(just to frighten the Catholics!)
    MM was cool. A proto-feminist if ever I saw one. And let’s face it, Jesus had a Jewish mother – an unmarried son in those days – not a chance!

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  4. javaj240 says:

    OK. Thanks. A little too esoteric for me, but thanks for the info just the same!

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  5. jesuswedding says:

    From a mystical point of view Jesus was married. He was married to God in the way that Catholic nuns today are married to Jesus. Jesus’ Wedding did happen at the Wedding at Cana.

    As to whether Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, well he did marry her. Just as any minister marries every woman to her husband and every husband to his wife.

    The answer to both questions is, “Yes.” Jesus was married. (To God)
    Jesus did marry Mary Magdalene. (He was the officiant who married Mary to God.)

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  6. olivesmeltz says:

    He was a carpenter, so he could have supported them very nicely by contracting. I wouldn’t have wanted the virgin Mary for a mother-in-law, though.

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  7. javaj240 says:

    Why, thank you. I try!

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  8. surroundedbyimbeciles says:

    Great post!

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  9. javaj240 says:

    There are a lot of Marys, LOL!

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  10. Dang…I need to start studying up on some theology! My family was not really religious though my mom and I went to a Methodist church together for a few years when I was pretty young. I obviously got nothing out of it because I always thought Mary Magdalene was Jesus’s mom. My husband’s family (my husband is recovering as well) are very devout Catholics so whenever my mother-in-law comes she gives the kids lessons about God and Jesus since my husband and I are seriously lacking!!!

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