Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
The Myrrhbearer and Equal to the Apostles
When Jesus delivered Mary Magdalene from her suffering by casting out seven demons, she was filled with thanksgiving. From that day forth, she became his faithful disciple, dedicating her whole life to Jesus. She became one of his most devoted and loyal disciples following Him not only in the days of glory but also at the time of His greatest suffering. Mary Magdalene was present at the Lord's crucifixion. While all of the other disciples abandoned Jesus, she stood at the foot of the Cross together with the Mother of God and the Lord's beloved disciple. That night, Mary Magdalene accompanied Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They took Jesus' Body down from the Cross and laid it in a tomb. With the other Myrrhbearers, she prepared the spices for anointing Jesus' Body.
Very early the next morning, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb carrying the spices. She saw that the large stone at the tomb's entrance had been rolled back and that the tomb was now empty. She ran back to tell Peter and John. Together they returned to the tomb, weeping outside. After Peter and John left, Jesus appeared to her and instructed her to announce the good news to the Apostles: "I ascend to My Father and your Father and to My God and your God."
Mary Magdalene ran back to the Apostles and announced: "I have seen the Lord!". This was the first preaching in the world about the Resurrection. Because she was the first to see the Risen Lord and the one sent by Him to announce His Resurrection to the Apostles, Mary Magdalene is referred to as the "Equal to the Apostles" in the Orthodox Church.