Mary of Bethany
Who is Mary of Bethany?
Mary of Bethany is a biblical figure described in the Gospels of John and Luke in the Christian New Testament. Together with her siblings Lazarus and Martha, she is described by John as living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem; in Luke only the two sisters, living in an unnamed village, are mentioned. Most Christian commentators have been ready to assume that the two sets of sisters named as Mary and Martha are the same, though this is not conclusively stated in the Gospels, and the proliferation of New Testament "Marys" is notorious.
Medieval Western Christianity identified Mary of Bethany with Mary Magdalene and with the sinful woman of Luke 7:36–50. This influenced the Roman Rite liturgy of the feast of Mary Magdalene, with a Gospel reading about the sinful woman and a collect referring to Mary of Bethany. Since the 1969 revision of that liturgy, Mary Magdalene's feast day continues to be on 22 July, but Mary of Bethany is celebrated, together with her brother Lazarus, on 29 July, the memorial of their sister Martha. In Eastern Christianity and some Protestant traditions, Mary of Bethany and Mary Magdalene have always been considered separate persons.
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