The Church today celebrates the memory of Saint Mary Magdalene, the Holy Myrrh-bearer and Equal-to-the-Apostles, as well as the memory of the Virgin-martyr Markella of Chios and Martyr Theophilus the Younger.
Saint Maria was from the small city of Magdala, which is located on the banks of Lake Genesareth (Galilee), between the cities of Capharnaum and Tiberias. It is one of the most misunderstood women in church history. According to Mark the Evangelist, she suffered from seven demons, which Jesus Christ expelled. As a sign of gratitude, faith, and love, she gave all her property and dedicated her whole life to the Saviour, along with other women. She followed the Lord and His disciples and shared with the Apostles the evangelic tasks.
The full dedication of Saint Mary Magdalene was rewarded. The Lord esteemed her worthy to be first, along with the Most Holy Theotokos, before all His disciples, to learn about His Resurrection. Mary Magdalene and other disciples were the first to meet the Risen Lord on the first day after the Sabbath.
After Pentecost, he went to Rome, where he met King Tiberius and denounced Pilate for the injustice he committed against Jesus of Nazareth, causing his deposition and his exemplary punishment. Her missionary activity reached as far as Egypt, Asia Minor, France, and Italy, where she worked for the consolidation of the Church in Rome. In the last years of her life, she stayed with John the Evangelist and completed the course of her earthly life peacefully in Ephesus.
By the command of Leo VI the Wise in 890, her holy relics were transferred to the holy monastery of St. Lazarus in Palestine. Mary Magdalene, the Myrrhbearer and Equal of the Apostles, is celebrated at the Monastery of Simonos Petra in Athos, where there is a fragment of her right palm.
She is also revered by the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church as the patron saint of the Polish Orthodox Church. A majestic church dedicated to St. Magdalene was built in the center of the country’s capital, Warsaw.
Source: Church of Cyprus