As I've mentioned a few times last week, we had the opportunity twice to venerate the first class relic of St. Mary Magdalene. This is her tibia, in case you were wondering.
This relic is traveling through Illinois this month and happened to be close to us so we went to the talk they were giving for homeschool students. Deacon James Divine (he is to be ordained a priest on June 30th. Isn't that a cool last name for a priest!! Think about it...Father Divine :) is an Irish priest living in the south of France with his order The Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist.
He has been traveling with the relic in the US and he gives a wonderful talk about St. Mary Magdalene and about the Eucharist. Their order's mission is to establish Eucharistic chapels throughout the world. He lives at the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene in France.
You might be wondering, why France? Well, unbeknownst to me and most of my family (somehow Mr 12 yo knew this), after the Resurrection the Jews didn't like the fact that Jesus' disciples were preaching but they were afraid to kill them, so the put Mary along with her sister Martha, her brother Lazarus, and five others on a boat and towed them out to the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, took the sail and oars away and hoped their ship would get wrecked in a storm. Through the hand of God they ended up near what is now Marseilles, France. From there, St. Mary went and found a cave that she lived in for the next 30 years. She would go into her cave for most of the day and night to do penance and to ponder the mysteries she lived through, but during the afternoon she would come down to the town and preach to the people. Right before she died, she traveled 20 miles to receive the Eucharist for the last time and then died in the town of St. Maximin, which is where the Basilica is located.
This was truly a great grace, during this year of faith, to have this relic come to our parish. St. Mary Magdalene is known for many spiritual healings, so the Deacon encouraged us to pray for our friends and family that have strayed from the faith.
As a side note, Deacon James told us that the Church does in fact teach that St. Mary Magdalene was the sister of Mary and Lazarus, was a woman with a public sin, was cured of seven demons by Jesus, anointed the Lord twice but was NOT the woman who was condemned by the Jews and was about to be stoned. He said there is much confusion over that point, but that Tradition and scripture do not support that the woman about to be stoned was St. Mary. Just thought I'd mention that since it got brought up at both talks we went to!
To end with, here are a few other pictures I took today.