Mary Magdalene’s image gets new look in modern age

This Easter - more than 2,000 years later - Mary Magdalene is getting a reputation overhaul.

The prominent Bible figure has long been seen as a sexualized contemporary of Jesus Christ, with depictions in Western art and pop culture like “Jesus Christ Superstar” and the Da Vinci Code leading many to assume she was a reformed prostitute at the time.

However, Mary Magdalene being a reformed prostitute is never explicitly mentioned in the Bible, and the Catholic Church has officially - since 1969 - agreed that’s not the case.

Pope Francis has gone so far as to declare a feast day in Magdalene’s honor, occurring each year on June 22.

“By doing this, he established the absolute equality of Mary Magdalene to the apostles, something that has never been done before” says the editor of the Vatican’s “Women’s Church World” magazine.

Widely believed to be the first person to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection, Magdalene is viewed by modern scholars as a woman of wealth and high social status, providing her ample time and resources to the cause of Christ and his apostles.

A new film starring Rooney Mara aims to depict Mary Magdalene in this new light, though a release date in the U.S. hasn’t been set.

“It takes a long time for serious scholarship to trickle down to the popular level,” says one leading religious scholar.

It would appear, slowly but surely, the Bible’s second-most famous Mary is finally proving there’s something about her, more than what we’ve come to believe.