An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Friday Fast: July 18

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Intention: Next Tuesday, we celebrate the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, “apostle to the apostles” and friend of Jesus Christ. St. Mary Magdalene, witness to the beauty and dignity of women, pray for us in our fight for religious liberty.

Reflection: In Mulieris Dignitatem, Saint John Paul II emphasizes the greatness of the dignity and vocation of women and their active presence in the Church and in society. Citing the Gospel of John, he specifically highlights the unique role of St. Mary Magdalene as the “apostle to apostles.”

In our current struggle for the protection of religious freedom, we can learn much from this chosen disciple: “St. Mary Magdalene is the first eyewitness of the Risen Christ and thus the first to bear witness to Him before the Apostles.” In her eloquent example, we see a remarkable display of steadfast, unrelenting love for Christ. St. Mary Magdalene demonstrates that Christ’s love is not only faithful and supportive, but empowers and emboldens.

St. Mary Magdalene and all holy women, pray for us in our fight for religious liberty!

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