Apostola apostolorum – Mary Magdalene according to St. Thomas Aquinas

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In 2016, partially recovering its old status of Festum Duplex I Classis, the liturgical celebration of Mary Magdalene was reassigned into Feast, because of her crucial role in announcing the resurrection of Christ to the apostles, becoming, therefore, their own apostle. The designation apostola apostolorum is literally found in Saint Thomas Aquinas. Pursuing a better knowledge of Mary Magdalene, we focus our analysis on chapter 20 of Super Evangelium S. Ioannis lectura, written by the Dominican Master. We follow John’s narrative through the pen of Saint Thomas and examine several scenes: the empty sepulchre, the run to Peter and John (and their run to the grave), the sadness, the dialogue with the angels and with the hypothetical gardener and, last, the mission assigned to her by Jesus Christ. We also explain Aquinas’ difficulties in connecting the biblical text with the biological status of woman in Aristotelian biology. Finally, we clarify why Aquinas states that the strength of Magdalene surpasses the strength of the disciples and presents her as a role model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Humanidades
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Apostle
  • Aristotle
  • Biology
  • Body
  • Mary Magdalene
  • Patristics
  • Soul
  • Thomas Aquinas


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