Was Mary Magdalene Jesus’ wife?


St. Mary Magdalene was a close follower of Jesus and a supporter of his ministry. The gospel of Luke mentions Mary Magdalene, “from whom seven devils had gone out,” in a list of women disciples who followed Jesus and assisted him out of their means (Luke 8:1-3). According to the gospels, she remained with Jesus at the foot of the cross and witnessed his burial. Then she became the first witness to the resurrection – in the gospel of John, the risen Jesus sends her to the other disciples to proclaim the good news (John 20:11-18). Unfortunately, her memory has been distorted throughout history and she has erroneously been identified as a prostitute or as the sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50. This has allowed the popular media to promote the titillating notion that she was romantically involved with Jesus. But there is no historical or scriptural evidence to suggest that she was anything other than a devoted disciple of Christ and one of the first to share the good news of the resurrection.

Neela Kale

Neela Kale

Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.