June 24, 2016
Pope Francis has raised the celebration of the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to the dignity of a liturgical Feast, recognizing the importance of her role as the “apostle to the apostles.” In the modern Church calendar, saints may be commemorated with a memorial (optional or obligatory), feast, or solemnity. By making the commemoration of Mary Magdalene a feast, it is elevated to the same grade as that of the apostles.
The new rank of celebration does not involve any change of the day on which the celebration itself takes place and, as for the liturgical texts, the following is to be observed:
1. The day dedicated to the celebration of Saint Mary Magdalene remains the same as it appears in the Roman Calendar, that is 22 July.
2. The texts to be used in the Mass and in the Divine Office remain the same as those contained in the Missal and in the Liturgy of the Hours on the day of the Feast, with the addition in the Missal of a proper Preface (currently available only in Latin; it will need to be translated and then included in the in the next reprint of the Roman Missal.
3. Where, according to particular law, Saint Mary Magdalene is legitimately celebrated on a different day and as a Solemnity, this day and rank remains as before.