Apostle to the Apostles

St. Mary Magdalene is often called the shaliakh el hashlikhim, the Apostle to the Apostles, because she has the honor to be the first witness to Rabbi Yeshua‘s resurrection.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-boni!” (which means Teacher).  Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.  Jn 20:1118.

On June 3, 2016 the Congregation for the Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments published a decree that St. Mary Magdalene‘s day from a Memorial to a Feast. Arthur Roche, Archbishop Secretary for the Congregation, also published an article, Apostle of the Apostles, with more information. The Holy See Press Office published a Summary of Bulletin on June 10, 2016. And the Bellarmine Forum published, The Apostle to the Apostles on July 22, 2015.

Additional reliable information comes from Pope Benedict XVI, in his General Audience February 14, 2007,

Then there are various women with roles of responsibility who gravitated in their different capacities around the figure of Jesus. The women who followed Jesus to assist him with their own means, some of whose names Luke has passed down to us, are an eloquent example: Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Susanna and “many others” (cf. Lk 8:23).

The Gospels then tell us that the women, unlike the Twelve, did not abandon Jesus in the hour of his Passion (cf. Mt 27:56, 61; Mk 15:40). Among them, Mary Magdalene stands out in particular. Not only was she present at the Passion, but she was also the first witness and herald of the Risen One (cf. Jn 20:1, 1118).

It was precisely to Mary Magdalene that St Thomas Aquinas reserved the special title, “Apostle of the Apostles” (apostolorum apostola), dedicating to her this beautiful comment: “Just as a woman had announced the words of death to the first man, so also a woman was the first to announce to the Apostles the words of life” (Super Ioannem, ed. Cai, 2519).

A Catholic News Agency article published July 22, 2016 has further reliable information.


Second Exodus has seen several wild theological speculations that depended entirely on the opinion of the author alone. As always, we recommend only reliable Catholic sources.