Mary Magdalene vs. Margaret of Scotland

Welcome to the Faithful Four, friends. After weeks of learning and voting and occasionally squabbling (in a holy, churchy kind of way) we have whittled the field down to four spiritual heavyweights: Mary Magdalene, Margaret of Scotland, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Emma of Hawaii. Collectively, it’s a fascinating group of four heroes of the faith stretching from Biblical times to the 20th century.

As we like to tell our five-year-olds when they join their first soccer team (that’s football for our friends across the pond), “there are no losers, everybody’s a winner.” Of course we’re lying. Thus, while we can sing the praises of these saints, only one Golden Halo will be awarded.

Today Mary Magdalene (Meredith Gould) takes on Margaret of Scotland (Penny Nash); tomorrow Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Neil Alan Willard) battles Emma of Hawaii (Heidi Shott); and on Spy Wednesday the championship round will take place. In this round, we let our four remaining Celebrity Bloggers loose as they answer the question “Why should Saint XX win the Golden Halo?” In other words, they’ve been charged with letting us know why their particular saint is so awesome. And, in a nod to the fact that the SEC is responsive to the cries of (some of) the masses, we are including a few works of saintly art.

To make it to the Faithful Four, Mary Magdalene dispatched John Huss, Joan of Arc, and Evelyn Underhill with relative ease. Margaret of Scotland bested William Temple and John Cassian before squeaking by Enmegahbowh. See the updated bracket and then please vote just once.

What calls any of us to embrace a particular saint? Our saints are extraordinary models of Christian faith and fidelity.  Throughout history, all have endured conditions and situations that, despite our best imaginations, we cannot fully comprehend.

These women and men of God are spiritual Sherpas, guiding us along the path; welcoming us back when we wonder and wander away. What makes Mary Magdalene first among equals is simply this:

“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene…” (Mark 16:9).

Jesus is indisputably the Christ, and entrusts Mary Magdalene with the near-thankless task of reporting his Resurrection from the dead. The disciples do not immediately believe her story of death defeated. Gospel stories about their resistance to hearing this liberating truth from a woman foreshadows a woeful and ongoing history of truth denied and evangelists mocked. (I sometimes find myself asking what has changed.)

While I have a (short) list of holy women and men who help sustain my faith, Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles, is my radical go-to saint. Contemplating her love and loyalty to Christ Jesus keeps my heart from breaking whenever I focus too long on wreckage wrought in the name of religion. For all this and more, she’s already wearing a golden halo.

Click here to see my Mary Magdalene board on Pinterest.

 — Meredith Gould

Why should Margaret of Scotland win the Golden Halo? Because she was an awesome, saintly saint! Oh, yeah? you may ask…well, read on.

Margaret was intelligent, beautiful and devout, and she walked the walk of Christian service. After her rescue from shipwreck in Scotland, she gave up her plan of withdrawing into a nunnery and married a rough Scottish king and changed the ethos in the court and castle. Eventually the king himself was converted to the faith, thanks not only to her fervent daily prayers but also her daily charitable works.

She rose at midnight to pray (remember how her husband followed her into a cave, thinking she met with an enemy, only to find her in earnest prayer for him?) and in the mornings refused to eat anything herself until she had fed from her own hand nine orphans and given bread and alms to all the needy people who crowded into the great hall. She and King Malcolm washed the feet of beggars who came to them for assistance, even when it wasn’t Maundy Thursday.

Inspired by the Bible, during Advent and Lent, she hosted 300 non-royal people in the castle for banquets where she and Malcolm waited the tables, and she established not only several monasteries (including rebuilding Iona) and churches (for which she sewed fine vestments herself) but also had hostels constructed for the poor.

Further, Margaret had shelters built for travelers and paid the ransom to set free English captives. And she created a free ferry system across the Firth of Forth to convey pilgrims to the shrine of Saint Andrew. I just love ferries, don’t you?  Gliding across the water in the brisk salt air, wind in my hair, gulls wheeling and crying overhead, plumes of sea spray arching over the bow as the boat cuts through the waves…What? Oh. Sorry.

Margaret was a queen and wealthy, but she considered herself only a steward of that wealth. She used her power, influence, and resources to assist the poor and the hungry, orphans and pilgrims, prisoners and captives, as well as to build hostels, churches and abbeys. Instead of withdrawing from the world, she lived a disciplined life of labora et ora, work and prayer, in the world.

Margaret was not born at a time when she could touch Christ in person, but she strove to seek and serve Christ in everyone that she met in her own time and place. Plus she established the Queen’s Ferry and was awesome. She set an example for all of us to follow. And so, she deserves your vote for the Golden Halo!

Penny Nash


Mary Magdalene vs. Margaret of Scotland

  • Mary Magdalene (69%, 1,196 Votes)
  • Margaret of Scotland (31%, 548 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,743

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90 Comments to "Mary Magdalene vs. Margaret of Scotland"

  1. Jeanne Smith's Gravatar Jeanne Smith
    April 2, 2012 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    I almost feel it’s time to stop voting and give a golden halo to each of the Faithful Four. This decision was really, really hard, and Margaret of Scotland is such a fine role model, but I had to stick with Mary Magdalene.

  2. Mary-Elise's Gravatar Mary-Elise
    April 2, 2012 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    I was thinking red eggs and haggish for breakfast.

  3. Lauren Stanley's Gravatar Lauren Stanley
    April 2, 2012 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    It’s a tough one today, really. But in the end, I had to stick with the Apostle to the Apostles … Because so many in the Church for so long did not/would not believe her, or credit her.

  4. Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
    April 2, 2012 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Hmmm. Tough one. As much as I love Margaret I have had to go for my all time second favourite saint.

    Mary for Gold!

    (Does anyone know an easy read, adventure-style book written about Margaret of Scotland?)

    • Mariclaire's Gravatar Mariclaire
      April 2, 2012 - 8:53 am | Permalink

      who is your first favorite saint?

      • Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
        April 3, 2012 - 4:29 am | Permalink

        St Mary of Egypt – she is my confirmation saint.

    • margaret butler's Gravatar margaret butler
      April 2, 2012 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

      I was named after Margaret of Scotland and my mother, a children’s librarian, bought me the book The Queen’s Blessing, about Margaret. I don’t know if it’s still in print….

  5. April 2, 2012 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    I cannot believe so many are voting for the Magdalen. C’mon – just ’cause she knew the Guy? Celts and Gaels, rally ’round our lass!

    • April 2, 2012 - 8:41 am | Permalink

      Margaret was an Anglo-Saxon princess raised in Exile in Poland, returned to England, and then married the Scots’ king on her way to exile again. And she never adapted to her adopted homeland–wouldn’t learn the language, and more.

      Even so, this is a hard decision…

    • Gail Davis's Gravatar Gail Davis
      April 2, 2012 - 8:58 am | Permalink

      Eric, exactly! SHE KNEW THE GUY. I voted for Margaret earlier; I do love the Celts, but come on Eric, she was THERE!

      • David's Gravatar David
        April 2, 2012 - 9:18 am | Permalink

        Gail, Thomas & James KNEW THE GUY and were THERE too! They have been gone from our Madness since round one! Vote Margaret!

        • Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
          April 2, 2012 - 7:00 pm | Permalink

          Since when is holiness based on the people we know? Surely you aren’t saying that all those who knew Jesus in the flesh are better than anyone since can ever hope to be, simply because we were born too late?!

    • Fr. Bill Loring's Gravatar Fr. Bill Loring
      April 2, 2012 - 9:11 pm | Permalink

      It was tough, but in the end “Friend of the family” gave way to “Friend of Jesus.”

  6. April 2, 2012 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    My wife and I keep a red ceramic egg in our china cabinet.

  7. April 2, 2012 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    I had to stick with my Scottish roots…. Margaret rocks!

  8. Margaret Smist's Gravatar Margaret Smist
    April 2, 2012 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    I know this sounds like the Republican primary but I voted for Mary Magdalene since I think she is the most likely to defeat Emma of Hawaii. I am routing for Bonhoeffer for the Golden Halo but with the Hawaii contingent voting he may come up short tomorrow. 🙂

    • Katherine Schroeder's Gravatar Katherine Schroeder
      April 2, 2012 - 10:36 am | Permalink

      Excellent “strateegery” as Dubya used to say. Now I feel a bit better about the tremendous lead that Mary Magdalene has. I had voted for Margaret, but I see what you’re saying here. Bonhoeffer must win the halo!

      • Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
        April 2, 2012 - 10:54 am | Permalink

        I doubt that Bonhoeffer would win over Mary Magdalene .. .

        • Margaret Smist's Gravatar Margaret Smist
          April 2, 2012 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

          But Emma may, and I don’t want that!

        • Jennifer's Gravatar Jennifer
          April 2, 2012 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

          …and I thought Paul and Cranmer would still be here. It’s Lent MAAAADNESS! Never assume!! Vote as the Spirit moves you…
          I am rallying hard for Mary M and Dietrich B (both personal heroes), but I continue to be amazed and impressed by Queen E and her relentlessly (inexorably?) gracious supporters.

          • Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
            April 2, 2012 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

            . . . will be voting FOR Emma, rather than against anyone else.

      • Madeleine's Gravatar Madeleine
        April 3, 2012 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Katherine…please, please, please I beg you, leave “dubya” out of this!!!! the mention of this @$%&*@+! and my eyes roll skyward…….my B.P. is rising as I type this….

  9. Anne Wrider's Gravatar Anne Wrider
    April 2, 2012 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    This is really tough. They are both breath-taking. I went with Margaret because she had to overcome the temptations of power and privilege to be faithful. A Golden Halo to both!

  10. David's Gravatar David
    April 2, 2012 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    “Dance with the one who brung ya,” as my ole Daddy (God rest his soul) taught me. The Saxon princess and I have been together through William Temple, John Cassian, and Enmegahbowh. So, once again today, I vote for the compassionate Queen of the Scots who loved the poor and attempted bringing peace to the Highland clans. Celts for Margaret!

  11. Evy's Gravatar Evy
    April 2, 2012 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    My heart is with Mary. Jesus saved her and He saved me!!!!!!

  12. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    April 2, 2012 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    It does look like that large golden halo around Margaret may be an attempt to influence some of our younger, dedicated voters.

  13. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    April 2, 2012 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Magdalene, obviously. PS Nice art.

  14. Harold W.'s Gravatar Harold W.
    April 2, 2012 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Mary Magdalene has my vote; she kept her faith in Jesus in a time when it could have cost her life. Her faith reaches across time to be an example I try to follow.

    • Peg Sheldrick's Gravatar Peg Sheldrick
      April 2, 2012 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you, Harold. I couldn’t resort to namesake voting this time, surrounded as I am by Marys, Margarets, and even an Emma. I debated and deliberated. Finally, I thought about what it would take to be the very first person to say that Jesus rose from the dead. I think Margaret would vote for Mary, too.

  15. April 2, 2012 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Nice job on those write ups. I am going with Mary as she is in my heart so solidly….but based on these lovely prose, there is no bad choice. Thank you all again for bringing this to us. You made my whole Lent!

  16. barbara's Gravatar barbara
    April 2, 2012 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    Mary Mags. Nothing at all against Margaret, but how could it be otherwise?

    She even gets a starring role in the ancient Easter Sequence, Victimae Pascale Laudes (#183 in the 1982 Hymnal):

    A lamb the sheep redeemeth:
    Christ, who only is sinless,
    reconcileth sinners to the Father.

    Death and life have contended
    in that combat stupendous:
    the Prince of life, who died,
    reigns immortal.

    Speak, Mary, declaring
    what thou sawest, wayfaring:

    “The tomb of Christ, who is living,
    the glory of Jesus’ resurrection;

    “Bright angels attesting,
    the shroud and napkin resting.

    “Yea, Christ my hope is arisen;
    to Galilee he will go before you.”

    • April 2, 2012 - 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Or in the text we Catholics sing out of the Gather hymnal:

      O Mary, come and say,
      what you saw at break of day:
      “The empty tomb of my living Lord!
      I saw Christ Jesus risen, and adored!”

      (It’s the one verse of the sequence that I know by memory. 🙂 )

  17. Eve's Gravatar Eve
    April 2, 2012 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Tough vote here! Going with Margaret – in FAITH she acted and fueled by her faith she reached out to others. What a mighty witness and role model for us! Obviously Mary Mag is awesome but ‘right place, right time’. Put another way: Mags was the poor, Margaret fed and clothed the poor….
    Meredith-thanks for the wonderful collection of art work on Pinterest!

    • April 2, 2012 - 10:32 am | Permalink

      I don’t think Mags “was the poor” in the sense of lack of material resources. We learn from the gospels she is one of those who provided for Jesus and his disciples.

      • Jennifer's Gravatar Jennifer
        April 2, 2012 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, Sharon. According to Scripture Mary Magdalene would have been ‘feeding and clothing’ Christ himself.

  18. barbara's Gravatar barbara
    April 2, 2012 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    (Oops! Proper spelling is: Victimae paschali laudes….)

  19. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    April 2, 2012 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    As Lady Wisdom tells in proverbs “A bad messenger brings trouble, but a faithful envoy, healing.” Proverbs 13:17. So who better than Mary M. to spread the word of the resurrection? the faithful envoy, always present yet seldom heard. The one who, unlike the rich young man of the parables, was able to give up everything and follow Jesus, using her money and position to support Jesus’ ministry.

    “[Mary Magdalene’s] claim to apostleship is equal in every respect to both Peter and Paul’s, and we know more about her exercise of her vocation than we do most members of the Twelve. Unlike Peter, she was not unfaithful to Jesus during the passion, and unlike Paul she never persecuted Christ in his members. But, like both, she saw the risen Lord, received directly from him the commission to preach the Gospel, and carried out that commission faithfully and effectively.” Sandra Schneiders, “Written that You May Believe: Encountering Jesus in the Fourth Gospel”.

    and at the risk of being overly lengthy,
    “[Mary Magdalene] is the converted sinner, … the contemplative soul, and… the herald of the Resurrection. . . How can one speak of the mercy of God if one has not experienced it oneself, whatever the magnitude of one’s sins may be? How can one speak of God without speaking ‘with God’…? And finally, how can one not bear witness to the fact that the mystery of suffering, separation and death finds resolution through faith in the Resurrection of Christ, his victory which gains all people their own. The theology underlying Mary Magdalene is an admirably concentrated fusion of the paschal mystery and the meaning of faith in Christ.” Guy Bedouelle, OP, Dominican Ashram, Vol. 18, no.4, p. 171 (1999).

  20. Gillian B's Gravatar Gillian B
    April 2, 2012 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    I too loved the write-ups. I had to continue to vote for Margaret, although I have a feeling she is going down in this round. Natalie–When I was a child, our librarian mother brought my twin sister (Margaret) and me a book from the library about Queen Margaret & it was definitely an adventure story. I have no idea what it was called, and it’s probably long out of print, but I remember the story to this day.

  21. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    April 2, 2012 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Difficult, but with my Scottish roots and the fact that Mary touched Him and Margaret had to have faith…….

  22. Dennis Johnson's Gravatar Dennis Johnson
    April 2, 2012 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    This is getting too hard. I’m Scotch-Irish, so Margaret should be my vote. But Mary is fascinating. At one time thought to have been a prostitute to Jesus’ lover; quite a stretch! She was the first evangelist in a time when women had little standing and, as much as Jesus’ mom, loved Jesus. Her problem, so much legend, so little fact! whereas Margaret’s story is well documented (with some embellishments I’m sure) from her time spent in Hungary (not Poland – sorry Jeff) to the many historical places associated with her. I will be happy, no matter who winds, but my vote goes to Margaret.

  23. aleathia nicholson's Gravatar aleathia nicholson
    April 2, 2012 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene after His resurrection. There is simply no more to be said.

    • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
      April 2, 2012 - 6:43 pm | Permalink


  24. Laurie L's Gravatar Laurie L
    April 2, 2012 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    Here is an excellent picture book about our godly non-Scot
    Margaret, The Good Queen A Story About Queen Margaret Of Scotland
    by Jan Johnson
    5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 · rating details · 1 rating · 0 reviews
    Published by HarperOne

  25. April 2, 2012 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    Like my compatriots above, Mary Magdalene has my heart. I keep a beautiful icon of her announcing the Resurrection on my home altar. She has often been my encouragement at times when, as a religion journalist, I’ve had to bring news about the Church that people didn’t believe or want to hear. God be thanked for this Apostle!

  26. If Not Philander Then Margaret's Gravatar If Not Philander Then Margaret
    April 2, 2012 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    Just to echo what everyone else has said – these are such wonderfully written pieces.

    “Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe.”

  27. Gretchen R. Chateau's Gravatar Gretchen R. Chateau
    April 2, 2012 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    We had such an excruciatingly beautiful rendition of “Were You There?” at All Saints’ yesterday. And yes, the Mag WAS there. She has my vote today for that reason and many others.

  28. Nancy Baillie Strong's Gravatar Nancy Baillie Strong
    April 2, 2012 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Aye, greatly conflicted…but I’m voting for Mary Magdalene today (Scotch-Irish background notwithstanding)…

  29. Laurie Atwater's Gravatar Laurie Atwater
    April 2, 2012 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    Wow. These don’t get any easier, do they? Suppose that’s the point…All those other guys have to do is bounce a ball around…

  30. April 2, 2012 - 11:41 am | Permalink

    Fantastic write ups. I knew this one was going to be hard!! I went with Margaret though… must admit the write up swayed me a bit. (especially “Margaret was not born at a time when she could touch Christ in person, but she strove to seek and serve Christ in everyone that she met in her own time and place. “) But I feel like either one is win-win. Well done!

    • Cate's Gravatar Cate
      April 2, 2012 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I was planning to walk with Mary Magdalene all the way, but the write-up swayed me as well. Following Jesus having not met Jesus might result in one being “more blessed” but it sure is harder.

  31. April 2, 2012 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Re: write-ups. Speaking as a writer among these writers, I feel privileged to be writing with and for this group!

  32. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    April 2, 2012 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    Scottish heritage and Celtic pride must take a back seat to the woman who was there, indisputably there, for it all. Both are high in my admiration, but (sorry, Penny) Mary Magdalene gets my vote, always!

  33. dr.primrose's Gravatar dr.primrose
    April 2, 2012 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Margaret wasn’s a Scot or Celt. She was a Saxon who hated the Gaelic language and the Celtic Church and did her best to eradicate both. (Sorry to be a broken record on this subject!). As a descendant of Gaelic Highlanders, I can’t vote for her. No contest here between the queen of mean and Mary Mags,

  34. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    April 2, 2012 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Excellent write ups. Hard decision. I enjoyed the art. Can’t help but admire Margaret. Voting for Mary.

  35. April 2, 2012 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Amen again, Dr. Primrose. On the other hand, the reproduction of Margaret’s chapel at St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert, CA, is well worth visiting.

  36. Alec's Gravatar Alec
    April 2, 2012 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I have often wondered if Mary ever said to herself, “Why me”? Jesus could have appeared to Peter who denied him thrice or to Thomas who needed more proof or to Joseph who arranged for the tomb in the first place–but Mary?–What an extraordinary thing for Jesus to do, but then he never ceased to surprise us

    • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
      April 2, 2012 - 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Alec, the women traditionally had mortuary duty, or so I’ve been told. Scholars, any opinion?

      We, in the 21st century, might write a play. Such as: MM goes introspective; Pete & Tom grouse about being johnny-come-lately (s); Joe A. is stunned when he Finally gets the news. (Film at 11.)

      Okay, I’m being silly. (Compare/contrast the two centuries.)

      The truth is, as you said, Jesus is a surprise. Still. An Awesome surprise.

  37. Barry McMurtrey's Gravatar Barry McMurtrey
    April 2, 2012 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    If you had ever told me I would find myself voting against Margaret of Scotland…..This is madness!

  38. April 2, 2012 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Meredith, interesting quote from my sociologist son this morning from Max Weber about how not everyone has access to the same opportunities. You know, life chances.

  39. Amelia Hagen's Gravatar Amelia Hagen
    April 2, 2012 - 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I keep going back and forth on this one. Have no idea how I will end up voting.

  40. April 2, 2012 - 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Mary Mag is important to the Church. Being able to stand before a king with enough fortitude and have the egg turn red is amazing. However, she was with Jesus. Not that the cost of discipleship is ever cheap, but she had Jesus personally to teach her. She had sight, as well as faith.

    The rest of us have only faith to go on. Queen Margaret went with that faith and changed a people.

    • Jim Begley's Gravatar Jim Begley
      April 2, 2012 - 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Nicely thought, Bob…

      • April 2, 2012 - 9:27 pm | Permalink


        Even a blind squirrel gets an acorn of a thought occasionally.

  41. barbara's Gravatar barbara
    April 2, 2012 - 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a nice video of the Easter Sequence (in Latin, though!):

    You get to see a San Marco mosaic, too – and I think that’s Mary Mags right there in front….

  42. Mark D.'s Gravatar Mark D.
    April 2, 2012 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

    After dissing the Celts through the first rounds I am going for Margaret. She really had to walk the walk (in bluidy Scotland, no less)….and I’m thinking an Emma / Margaret showdown would be Super Cool. So up the Scots!

  43. April 2, 2012 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

    The Apostle to the Apostles gets my vote in this round.

  44. Jennifer Edie's Gravatar Jennifer Edie
    April 2, 2012 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s sad that your book of saintly devotions is only available as an ebook. I’ve tried but I can’t pray with a screen. Guess I am too old to learn new tricks. Let me know if you ever publish it as a real book.

    • April 2, 2012 - 4:28 pm | Permalink

      After General Convention meets this summer, we are likely to publish a paper book, based on the current calendar of the Episcopal Church. We didn’t want to print this version and have it be out of date.

      • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
        April 2, 2012 - 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of e-publishing, is there a way to get the LM “game” for people who don’t/won’t use computers? I was explaining LM to the wife of our rector emeritus. She was amused by the concept of LM; I wished I had something concrete to show her. (Also, we have a neighbor w/o computer by choice. Perhaps others in the same boat.)

  45. April 2, 2012 - 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I have to vote for my beloved companion patroness!

  46. Jim's Gravatar Jim
    April 2, 2012 - 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Amen yet again Dr. Primrose. My ancestors had their lands in Scotland seized by one of Margaret’s sons and given to the church because they refused to accept the church that Margaret and her husband created. To honor the memory of my family and the religious persecution that they suffered I will give my vote to Mary.

  47. Joline's Gravatar Joline
    April 2, 2012 - 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t have said it better:
    “While I have a (short) list of holy women and men who help sustain my faith, Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles, is my radical go-to saint. Contemplating her love and loyalty to Christ Jesus keeps my heart from breaking whenever I focus too long on wreckage wrought in the name of religion. For all this and more, she’s already wearing a golden halo.”
    Go Mary and claim your rightful place at the top.
    Mary is the heroine of heroines as well as Apostle to the Apostles.

  48. Dean's Gravatar Dean
    April 2, 2012 - 5:51 pm | Permalink

    My favorite window in St. John’s (in Albuquerque) is “The Three Marys.” Below is something, not from the hymnal, but expresses my feelings quite well.

    The Ballad of Mary Magdalen
    from Blue Divide

    My name is Mary Magdalen
    I come from Palestine
    Please excuse these rags Im in
    But Ive fallen on hard times
    But long ago I had my work
    When I was in my prime
    But I gave it up, and all for love
    It was his career or mine

    Jesus loved me
    This I know
    But why on earth
    Did I ever let him go
    He was always faithful
    He was always kind
    But he walked off
    With this heart of mine

    A love like this will come but once
    This I do believe
    And Ill not see his like again
    As I live and breath
    And Im sorry if I might offend
    But I will never see
    How the tenderness I shared with him
    Became a heresy

    Jesus loved me
    This I know
    But why on earth
    Did I ever let him go
    He was always faithful
    He was always kind
    But he walked off
    With this heart of mine

    But I remember nights we spent
    Whispering our creed
    Our rituals, our sacraments
    The stars our canopy
    There beneath an olive tree
    Wed offer up our plea
    Gods creation innocent
    His arms surrounding me

    Jesus loves me
    This I know
    But why on earth
    Did he ever have to go
    He was always faithful
    He was always kind
    But he walked off
    With this heart of mine

    © 2012 Richard Shindell

    • Mary Lou's Gravatar Mary Lou
      April 2, 2012 - 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Love that!

  49. C.Santana's Gravatar C.Santana
    April 2, 2012 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m amazed so many are conflicted on this one. I’m one of those ScotIrish Celts who see all too clearly the political difficulties of voting for Margaret. And even so, come on….the Magdalen? There’s no contest here, WWJD? Ha! Like most men who love the one they are with, I feel certain he’d vote for His very own Mary.

  50. Barb's Gravatar Barb
    April 2, 2012 - 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Meredith: I loved your pinterest page. The picture you like with the haunting eyes is painted by an artit named Richard Stodart. On google it said it is for sale.

    • April 2, 2012 - 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Which one with the haunting eyes — I think there are a couple. Would you post a comment there so I can fix the description? BTW, I futz around with Pinterest to relax and soak in beauty at the end of a day with words.

  51. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    April 2, 2012 - 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what the people in Scotland today think of Margaret. Saint? Sinner?
    Yawn? (tut-tut).
    Though I have no axe to grind against Margaret (the ancestors apparently left their axes in the Old Country), I’m sort of awe struck by Mary being at the tomb. Dumbfounded, actually. I’m voting for amazement. In amazement. The Magdalene.

  52. Pete Haines's Gravatar Pete Haines
    April 2, 2012 - 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Decisions, decisions, decisions. I believe this is the hardest vote of all. Can I split my vote? Mary Magdalene has to get my vote because of her role in the early church and as the Apostle to the Apostles. Sorry, Margaret.

  53. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    April 2, 2012 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I love Mary Magdalene, but this is the Final Faith-full Four. How much harder it is to be faithful when you are not basking in the glow of the Source? Mary was right there with our Lord. Margaret practiced her faith 1000 years later. I certainly think Margaret’s faith is nothing to yawn about. I really find the critical nature of some people’s comments so un-Christ like. All the saints and their devotees are worthy of our respect. Give respectful reasons for your vote but do not criticize the other saint or his or her fans.

    • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
      April 2, 2012 - 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Patsy, I’m afraid I wasn’t very clear in my previous post. Since I am in the U.S. and not in Scotland, I am curious about how Queen Margaret is percieved in Scotland in our century. We have read much about Margaret’s accomplishment during her lifetime. Some people reading LM expressed unhappiness or dismay over Queen Margaret’s treatment of the Celts. So, I am curious to know what the Scots think today. Is she thought of as a saint or a sinner? Or, worse yet, are people dismissive of her? Do the Scots today remember her for her organization and her charity to orphans or for crushing the Celt culture?
      In my opinion, Queen Margaret’s Christ-light still shines brightly.

  54. Hope and Skye's Gravatar Hope and Skye
    April 2, 2012 - 8:51 pm | Permalink

    A tough vote for Hope and Skye tonight. It was tough to vote against the saintly lade who turned eggs from white to red. What swayed them to go for Mary Magdalene was that she close to Jesus … and they were also swayed by all of the lovely pictures of her on the pinterest site!

  55. dr.primrose's Gravatar dr.primrose
    April 2, 2012 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Jesus could really lay it on when he wanted to. All of Matthew 23 is pretty much a long-winded rant against the scribes and the Pharisees. A couple of highlights:

    “For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth.”

    “You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?”

  56. Jim Begley's Gravatar Jim Begley
    April 2, 2012 - 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Yikes, Dr. P. tough act to follow…
    “For it was Mary, Mary… Plain as any name can be”, but consider this short list of her monikers…Apostle of the Apostles, sinful woman , Myrrhbearer, Lady Bug, Beloved Disciple, Christ Loved, Equal of the Apostles< Holy Grail?, The Magnificent, The Penitent…and Begley's vote receiver.

  57. Mary Lou's Gravatar Mary Lou
    April 2, 2012 - 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Gotta go with the original “Bad Girl of The Bible.” I love Mary Magdelene. She had the love for Jesus that most of us can only dream of achieving in our lifetime.

  58. April 2, 2012 - 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the wonderful lessons. I didn’t know anything about Margaret before this and she is a fascinating and inspirational woman. Hard to choose between the two, and I can’t even begin to imagine that moment when Jesus said “Mary” and she knew it was him.

  59. Bobbie Traxler's Gravatar Bobbie Traxler
    April 3, 2012 - 12:33 am | Permalink

    Margret is a wonderful example of the Christian life, but my vote is for Mary. Hers was a life transformed both by the living Christ and by the risen Lord.

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