Who knows a man better than his mother,
Who carries him nine months in the womb?
Who, then, knows the West better than do you,
Saint Mary Magdalene, blessed disciple
Of our Lord, Equal of His Apostles –
The first to proclaim the good tidings
Of the Resurrection to the Twelve?
Early you carried the Christian Gospel
To the West, into Italy, unto Rome;
Before Emperor Tiberius himself,
Presenting him a red-dyed egg to explain
Christ’s conquering of death. There you toiled,
Laying the foundation for the Apostle Paul,
Departing thence to Ephesus of the Greeks
After his arrival, where you rested
From your labors in the company
Of John, the Belovèd Disciple of the Lord.
Faithful to Christ Jesus in your earthly
Sojourn, even at the darkest moment
Of His Crucifixion, do not abandon
The unfaithful peoples of the West,
Lost in the bleakness of unbelief.
You who were set free from seven demons,
Liberate us from their oppressions.
Christ appeared first to you on the Third Day;
Reveal Him anew to our desolated souls.
However rebellious he may be,
A child can never be separated
Fully from his mother – he whose body
Was nourished by her blood and with her milk.
And the tie of baptism, binding us to you,
Is stronger far than the natural bond.
But centuries of apostasy have buried
The memory of you. By your prayers,
Through your relics, with the Grace of God
That flows within you, scatter the refuse
Of our foolish thinking and our demented
Acting, that the children of the Romans
May dwell once again in the habitations
Of holiness with thee, our glorious mother.
For an account of St Mary’s life:
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!