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Mary Magdalene
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Religious Figure
    (circa 1-circa 70)
    Died at age 72
    Lived in Magdale, Galilee
    Feast Day is July 22
    Known as 'The Apostle of the Apostles'
    Also known as 'The Sinner' and 'The Penitent'
    The story of her life is shrouded in controversy.
    The Catholic Church considered her a sinner while the Protestant Church largely rejected the same notion.
    Some believe she had 3 biblical identities: Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany and the sinner who washed the feet of Jesus.
    She was portrayed as a prostitute in the movies 'The Passion of the Christ' and 'The Last Temptation of Christ.'
    Although most accounts place her at Christ's feet during his Crucifixion, many Catholic Churches omit her image from paintings depicting the event.
    According to the Gospel of Luke, Christ removed seven devils from her body.
    Some conspiracy theorists believe that she was the wife of Jesus Christ.
    She lived the last years of her life in exile, reportedly living inside of a cave called Sainte-Baume.
    The location of her death and final burial place are still debated.
    She was the first recorded witness to the Resurrection of Christ.
    Despite the controversy surrounding her life, she was named as a Patron Saint by the Catholic Church.
    The Catholic Church officially recognized that no Bible text supported the theory that she was a prostitute (1969).
    She is credited with writing 'The Gospel of Mary;' accounts of Christ's life which were excluded from the Bible.
    Many scholars believe she was closer to Jesus than were his disciples.
    She is an icon figure to Gnostic Christians serving as a symbol of strength and independence.
    Critics of the all-male priesthood use her story as an example of why women could be priests.
    The tradition of coloring Easter Eggs is said to have originated from a banquet she attended, where a white egg she was holding turned red as she preached the word of the Lord.
    Sainte-Baume has become a sacred place of pilgrimage for her followers throughout the world.

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