About Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene, Mary of Magdala: iconic figure enshrouded with mystery. Mentioned among the women of Galilee following Jesus to his crucifixion and first among apostles to see him resurrected, she holds a central place in Christian literature. For centuries past she has been linked and confused with two other women in the bible, Lazarus' sister Mary of Bethany and the penitential woman who anointed Christ's feet with her hair. This fusion has led to the creation of an enigmatic emblem of penitence, redemption, honesty and self-effacement.
Throughout the Middle Ages and deep into the Renaissance her position as iconic figure in Christian theology and Western civilization grew into the realms of myth. Even today the myth continues and best-selling fiction can be made of her connection to the Christ figure.
For many she is a feminist symbol of strength and independence and it is this resilience, bound to the image of the penitential sinner that makes her an ideal catalyst for Grace Conti's story.
Mary Magdalene's Saint's day is 22nd July
Haskins, Susan. Mary Magdalen: Truth and Myth. Pimlico 1993. (republished in response to the DaVinci Code)
Brock, Ann Graham. Mary Magdalene, The First Apostle: The Struggle for Authority. Harvard University Press 2003
For a quick overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Magdalene