Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Repentant Sinner

As the Parish Priest of the Brighton's Magdalen I have a great interest in repentant sinners, in the Traditional Rite, she is celebrated as a penitent, in the New Rite, we are a little more confused about her.
There is a rather beautiful story about the conversion of Eve Lavallière, a fin de siècle actress on the always worthwhile Tea at the Trianon, The French do repentance so well, we English are perhaps a little more into compromise.

I think somehow it is the influence Mary Magdalen, her body was at Vézelay in Burgundy, now there is just a fragment but it is her influence on the popular mind that is important, even if now in the Liturgy she is less of a creature of contrasts.

Some people come here just because of the dedication of the Church to her. I don't know if  "St Mary Magdalen", was deliberately chosen because she was the Great Penitent or not. Certainly in the 19th century this part of Brighton was the red light district, the home actresses and courtesans up the hill and of cheap brothels and bordelloes down the hill, towards the sea. The church stood between the two groups.

With the British Museum exhibition of relics, I have been thinking we ought to do more with our own relic of St Mary Magdalen, even if memory of her as a penitent is itself a "relic" in the popular mind.

Any thoughts?

8 comments:

elena maria vidal said...

May God reward you for the link, FR. Ray.

Dilly said...

One of my favourite poems, not withstanding the sly dig at Catholics' "misdevotion"

http://www.usask.ca/english/prufrock/donne2.htm

Physiocrat said...

We ought to give more prominence to the painting of her by Michael Wishart which was donated to the parish and is probably an important work of art.

Physiocrat said...

Michael Wishart

Genty said...

Depends where the relic is. If it's transportable then it might be possible to find a special housing for it to be displayed and venerated on the feast of St Mary Magadalen with a special (evening?) Mass, accent on Mary's repentance of wickedness and the willing acceptance of God's forgiveness and grace, available to us all.

I think it would be good to have a homily in advance, repeating much of what you've said in this post, or a notice in the newsletter on the significance and history of relics, though there's not much time this year.

EFpastor emeritus said...

"Certainly in the 19th century this part of Brighton was the red light district, the home actresses and courtesans up the hill and of cheap brothels and bordelloes down the hill, towards the sea. The church stood between the two groups."

No change, then! :-)

nickbris said...

We all love St Mary Magdalen,she overcame the ostracism of everybody and recognised Jesus as the Saviour.

She had to fight every inch of the way and succeeded,surely an example to all Catholics especially at this time.

We are always being told that she was a prostitute but that is a load of nonsense put about because she refused to cover her hair.The same sort of thing goes on in certain areas in this country especially orthodox Jewish areas.

pelerin said...

On the subject of relics readers who may be going on the A & B pilgrimage to Lourdes later this month may like to know that a relic relating to Blessed John-Paul II arrived there today having been given to the diocese by the Vatican.

It takes the form of a piece of his cassock which he was wearing on the day of his assassination attempt. Where it will be displayed for veneration will be announced later by the local Bishop.