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Saint Mary of Magdala

Saint Mary of Magdela is far more than just one of the Myrrhbearing Women the church remembers on the Third Sunday of Pascha; her life is of such great magnitude that it is referred to as the Primacy of Mary. That Mary of Magdala is venerated in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, several Protestant churches, and even in the Baha’i Faith tradition, speaks of her prominence.

Dormition of the Theotokos
Dormition of the Theotokos
Dormition of the Theotokos

The Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15) is a joyful celebration of death. The hymnography of the church speaks not a word of sorrow or sadness. The entire tonality is one of pure and unbridled joy. The entire content of the Feast for that matter, is to praise the glory of Mary's resurrection from the dead. As such, it is Mary's Pascha.
 
Like her son, the tomb could not hold the Mother of God. The Son, as a result, transported his Mother into the life of the Kingdom where she will always remain seated at the right hand of his glory. Her soul, her body, preserved from corruption and raised from the dead - again, like her son after three days in the tomb - is highly exalted and glorified.
 
The feast's major theme is that of a deathless death. Mary's death is affirmed because she shares with us all that is human, yet, simultaneously, it is a death which has no death in it. Death is overcome. Death is destroyed. Death is annihilated in Christ Jesus which has been transformed into an abundant life.
 
We oftentimes fail to remember that whatever happened to Mary can happen to us. She entered into a world full of sin, yet lived a life that was without sin or stain. She is glorified in God's Kingdom, the same final resting place that awaits each one of us.
 
- Fr Marc Vranes

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