I feel particularly close to Mary Magdalene this feast day since I just finished writing an article on her for the forthcoming Talpiot Tomb volume edited by James Charlesworth. The article is called "The Memorial Mary Meets the Historical Mary: The Many Faces of the Magdalene in Ancient Christianity". In the paper, I cover the foundational memories of Mary, counter memories of the encratite Mary, counter memories of the gnostic Mary, and the master narratives of the apostolic Mary.
I finally discuss what emerges from these memories as likely historical memories. What are they? Our oldest recoverable memories know her to be a single woman and an important woman disciple of Jesus' movement who was a public Christian leader after his death. The public nature of her mission and the authority that she commandeered as a woman disciple of Jesus became a real liability for her memory in a movement that was initially unconventional and that gradually conformed to the norms of its society, norms which often stereotyped public women as prostitutes and closed public offices to women.
Illustration: "Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene" (anon., early 15th c.; AMICO Library Image)