The Divine Saviour promised that the name of Mary Magdalene would be venerated wherever the Gospel was preached. The words of Jesus have been completely fulfilled. The glorious Penitent, through the appeal of her moral beauty, wins over those souls who turn over the pages of Holy Scripture looking for her. It is impossible not to feel attracted by that tender and generous heart, full of affection and daring, capable – as she was also of the darkest blows – of the most arduous sacrifices.
Art of all epochs, in particular painting and poetry, have found in the episodes connected with Mary Magdalene colours and situations through which to give us immortal works. But more than the artists who were moved in front of the admirable Penitent, it has been Christian peoples who have nurtured for her the most tender devotion, honouring her in all the forms of Catholic worship. Altars and temples have been raised up in her honour in all parts of the world. Let us remember here only that which the Sons of St. Camillus de Lellis dedicated to her in Rome at the generalate house in which they wanted the venerated remains of their Fonder to be kept: a magnificent Baroque work by Carlo Fontana, completely lined with valuable marble and decorated with admirable frescoes by the best brushes of the eighteenth century. We may remember the one that France raised to her in Paris. Napoleon wanted to create the Temple of Glory. After his fall at Waterloo, this superb building was given the name and the glory of Mary Magdalene.
From a thousand altars, from a thousand paintings, Mary Magdalene, with the story of her virtue, still speaks today to the world and invites it to Jesus with whom our sinful society can find love and forgiveness, light and redemption.