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Rome Reports

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Church of Magdala dedicated to Mary Magdalene and Biblical women


This is the birthplace of Mary Magdalene. It is in Galilee, where Christ preached during the last three years of his life and where he also worked several miracles. 

In this complex, the Magdala Center, the Legionaries of Christ have built a very special church in honor of all the women who followed in the footsteps of the Savior through these places. Also in this location is the famous synagogue where it is believed that Jesus himself may have been. 

FR. JOSÉ FÉLIX ORTEGA
Vice Chargé Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem
“The importance of women can be seen in Jesus' preaching. We wanted to dedicate this atrium to women. There's a group of women that we know accompanied Jesus in his preaching, as told in the Gospel. The atrium is dedicated to these women. Inside, there is also a white pillar, it is not dedicated to anyone because we want every woman who comes here to feel that it is dedicated to her. It is one of the columns that form the foundation of this church.”

One crucial pillar is the one dedicated to Mary Magdalene. She is the apostle of the apostles, the first to announce the Resurrection of Christ.

Also dedicated to her is this chapel, which features a mosaic narrating her first encounter with Christ, a decisive moment that forever changes the life of Mary Magdalene. 

Another one of the chapels commemorates the resurrection of Jairus' daughter. The Gospel recounts that Jesus assures her parents that the girl is only asleep. With his "Talitha kum" Christ raises her from the dead. 

This temple is full of small details that make visitors feel almost like a Christian from the first century. The church is oriented to the Sea of Galilee. Its altar is a boat modeled after those Christ used to fish with. 

FR. JOSÉ FÉLIX ORTEGA
Vice Chargé Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem
"All the pilgrims who come are very impressed by this altar. I don't know if there is any other altar in the form of a boat. It may be the only one and it helps them to understand. Art helps us understand faith. Here, one easily understands that Jesus in his boat continues to preach today, just as he preached in Peter's boat. Art transmits faith very easily to pilgrims.”

In this location and with this altar, the church could not be named any other way: “Duc in Altum,” or “Put out into the deep.” That was Jesus' invitation to his disciples to cast their nets without fear.