While Mary, the mother of Jesus, is looked upon as a "spiritual
mother" of those who want to have her guidance, Mary Magdalene is more
connected with life on earth for those who admire her.
Mary Magdalene (Maria of Magdala) was a woman who followed Jesus. Many people think she was a prostitute and that Jesus changed her life. But although Jesus said, "She has loved much", this did not necessarily mean a lot of sex, but the real ability to love people, to feel with people and to be good to people. She loved Jesus. She liked him both as a man AND admired him as a spiritual guide. According to mystical literature (Jakob Lorber) she purified her love for Jesus more and more, turning it into a spiritual love. So her love was her way to understand Jesus and God more and more. (Possibly similar to Clara, the woman who loved the monk Francis of Assisi /St. Franciscus around 1100 who first rejected her and later accepted her. There is an interesting movie in the cinemas about Francis, in German and English.)
There is a special tradition referring to Mary Magdalene - the legend of the "Holy Grail". Joseph of Arimathia, Mary Magdalene and some other followers of Jesus took the "Grail" - originally the cup with some blood from Jesus on the cross - to France or England. Some miracles are connected with the Grail. (The Grail is also a symbol of divine love).
There are also other theories about Mary Magdalene. For instance, the theory that M. Magdalene had a child with Jesus, creating the beginning of a former dynasty of European kings (the Merowingers). Nobody is able to prove this speculation of modern books.
To Mary of Bethany - sometimes identified with Mary of Magdala, but for instance according to the mystic J. Lorber she is a different woman -: see our main text part 1, chapter "Washing the feet, and Mary of Bethany anointing Jesus". The country estate of Bethany belonged to Lazarus and his sisters Maria (of B.) and Martha. There was another woman, bathing Jesus' feet with her tears.
It is also possible, to choose a - male or female - disciple of Jesus as an example, and to learn from his experiences named in the Bible.
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