“For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.’”

I have just had the dubious pleasure of reading an article by Melvyn Bragg in the Telegraph connected to a BBC ‘Documentary’ fronted by Bragg that the BBC broadcast at 12 noon on Good Friday as Our Lord was nailed to the cross. If the article is a faithful summary of the broadcast then it was quite clearly hate filled drivel. Bragg vastly over estimates his own intelligence as is easily detected whenever one listens to an episode of In Our Time where the guests lack the expertise or the confidence to shut him up. Listening to him talk about the Filioque or the ‘Pentarchy’ is excruciatingly embarrassing. The idea he presents in this article is that the transparently fraudulent second century Gnostic Gospels lead us into a new world of tantalizing insights into the life of St Mary Magdalene who may in fact have married the Lord etc.

Err…. if I thought the Gnostic Gospels were remotely authentic I don’t think random stuff about St Mary Magdalene would be my main concern. The fact that the world is really the  creation of the aborted offspring of a neurotic female deity and I need to get into suicidal anorexia or free love in order to reunite myself with the heavenly Ogdoad would impress me more. I hope the BBC will keep us all informed on the progress of Lord Bragg’s bid to starve himself to death in a series of follow-up documentaries.

Apparently, the Mediaevals, led astray by St Gregory the Great, thought St Mary Magdalene was a repentant sinner and therefore despised her. Christianity has no time for repentant sinners as we all know. Its all about bourgeois respectability and winning heaven by your own works.

The most terrible thing about the likes of Bragg and the various ‘feminists’ and conspiracy theorists who attack St Mary Magdalene is not that they say she was married to Our Lord but that they think that to say she was a great sinner saved by the love of Christ is an insult. Clearly they have no understanding of Christianity whatsoever. Furthermore, their own assumptions are clearly profoundly misogynistic and somatophobic. They do not think it is an insult to St Paul to say that he was a terrible sinner saved by the grace of God, presumably because his sins were not of the flesh. They do not think it is a terrible insult to St Augustine to say he was a terrible sinner saved by the grace of God, even though his sins were of the flesh, presumably because he is a man.

St Mary Magdalene was said by St Catherine of Sienna to be the greatest saint after the Blessed Virgin herself. She was adopted as Protectress of the Dominican Order. She has her own colleges at Oxford and Cambride. Innumerable churches are dedicated to her throughout Christendom. The Catholic Church loves and reveres St Mary Magdalene above almost all other creatures. St Joseph, St John the Baptist and Our Lady are the only human beings I have ever heard claimed to be equal or superior to her in glory. We love her because we are all penitent sinners. We wish we loved the Lord as much as she did and does.

She anointed the Lord three times. Those terrible patriarchal Gospels (which apparently so disparage her) tell us that Jesus appeared to her after His resurrection before all the other disciples, that she is the Apostle of the Apostles, that the Lord loved her and that she washed His feet with her tears, that He said of her “Amen, I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memorial of her.” The ‘feminists’ and conspiracy theorists on the other hand wish to deny these glories to her and deny that is was the same Mary who anointed Christ in Galilee and Bethany who returned with the ointment early in the morning on the first day of the week to find the empty tomb.

This is because they do not wish to receive the anointing of the Lord, the gift of the Holy Spirit for which Mary prayed with the Blessed Virgin and the Twelve in the upper room. They imagine themselves righteous and without need of the forgiveness of sins won by the Magdalene’s faith in Christ or the love poured into her heart by the Holy Spirit. Those who by God’s grace know better, love and revere the Apostle of the Apostles like our fathers before us. In the words of St Gregory in the very sermon Bragg claims the great Pontiff preached against her,

“See how, as I have told you, the heart of divine love is open to receive us , and does not despise our life which has been stained by sin. The thing that makes us draw back in horror at our defilement lets us already see the possibility of interior cleanness. The Lord gently embraces us as we return, because the life of sinners, which is washed by tears, can no longer be unworthy in his sight. In Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.”