How have the women fallen! Jesus and the disciple on the right are full size while the artist has shrunk Mary Magdalene to a womunculus. The above mosaic, from St. Mark’s in Venice, was completed between 1200 and 1250 CE. Eight hundred years earlier, the Church father, Hippolytus, pointed out (implicitly) that she was the first apostle: “Lest the female apostles doubt the angels, Christ himself came to them so that the women would be apostles of Christ… therefore the women announced the good news to the apostles…’” in fact, the statement contains an error. The men were only disciples at that time. They didn’t become apostles (that is, those sent) until, just before his ascension Jesus, appointed them to go out and teach all nations. Thus Mary is, de facto, the first apostle. The church conveniently forgot that as the patriarchy tightened its hold on Christianity. Yet in early Christianity, she was a major figure, especially in Egypt where a Gospel of Mary was discovered in the 1890s.
I discuss this at length in my book, Cover-Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’ True Heirs, which will be coming out next winter.