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Pope raises memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to a liturgical Feast equal to the apostles

Pope Francis announced the simple memorial of St. Mary Magdalene, celebrated each July 22, will now be a liturgical Feast within the Church.  According to Arthur Roche, the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, the decision will "reflect more deeply on the dignity of women, the New Evangelization, and the greatness of the mystery of Divine Mercy.â? St. Mary Magdalene was the first to arrive at Jesus' tomb, and wept when she realized the tomb was empty. Thus, she announced the resurrection to the apostles, making her the Apostle of Apostles, according to St. Thomas Aquinas.  While she had a past, Jesus always treated her with tenderness, the same mercy that Pope Francis says reaches the Church today. The pope emeritus, Benedict XVI, also touched on the importance of this saint, regarding her humility and her life as a sign of God's mercy.  POPE BENEDICT  February 14, 2007 "Unlike the twelve apostles, the holy women did not abandon Jesus at the hour of the Passion. In those moments of difficulty, Mary Magdalene set forth a remarkable example.â? The new Feast day holds the saint at the same level as the apostles. Her transformation in life is meant to be an example for Christians in all situations.  MB CTV VM PR Up: YA