While growing up in the Roman Catholic Church I read lots about the lives of the saints. And while there were myriad stories of young men performing every manner of heroic deed in defense of their faith, all the girl saints bore the same appellation: Virgin Martyr.
A rather steady diet of this leads one to reason that, if your mother and grandmothers can’t make it into the ranks of saints, one’s own chances are probably best measured in negative numbers.
So, imagine my surprise when, in response to a question, my 6th grade catechism teacher (a kind-hearted woman with the sketchiest of biblical knowledge) explained that Mary Magdalene was ‘unseemly’. Further questioning on the part of the class could coax no further information from her. As best I could tell, Mary Magdalene wasn’t ‘lady-like’.
Finally! A patron saint for the Inappropriate. A model for those of us who are constantly being asked to please keep our voices down and to get a hold of ourselves. Here was evidence that there was a place with Jesus for those of us who didn’t fit the mold, those who had no desire to fit the mold, those who weren’t even sure where the mold was.
Thank you Mary Magdalene.