painting of mary magdalene encountering the risen Jesus

Mary Magdalene Proclaims the Risen Jesus


This Scripture passage contains the resurrection story of Mary Magdalene encountering the Risen Jesus at his tomb after his crucifixion on Calvary, as found in Chapter 20 of the Gospel of John.

The Gospel Account

This reflection is the first of two appearances in the Gospel of John after Jesus had risen from the dead. In both appearances, Jesus is physically present in body and Word. Jesus speaks personally and directly to Mary, the Apostles and Thomas. What starts with fear and unbelief, becomes belief in Jesus’ presence. 

The full text of the Scripture may be found in the Gospel of John, John 20:11-18.

The Five Decades

When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five moments from the Gospel passage. Read the Gospel verses for each decade and let the words sink in as you pray that decade.

First Decade: Mary Encounters Angels in Jesus’ Tomb (John 20:11-13

Meanwhile, Mary stood weeping beside the tomb. Even as she wept, she stooped to peer inside and there she saw two angels in dazzling robes. One was seated at the head and the other at the foot of the place where Jesus’ body had lain. “Woman,” they asked her, “why are you weeping?” “Because the Lord has been taken away and I don’t know where they have put him.”

Second Decade: Mary Meets the Unknown Jesus (John 20:14)

She had no sooner said this than she turned around and caught sight of Jesus standing there. But she did not know him. “Woman,” he asked her. “Why are you weeping? Who is it you are looking for?”

Third Decade: Mary Asks to Find Jesus’ Body  (John 20:15)

She supposed that he was the gardener, so she said, “Sir, if you are the one who carried him off, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away.”

Fourth Decade: Jesus Calls and Sends Mary (John 20:16-17)

Jesus said to her “Mary!” She turned to him and said (in Hebrew) “Rabbouni!” (meaning Teacher.) Jesus then said, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Rather, go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Fifth Decade: Mary Witnesses to Seeing Jesus Alive (John 20:18)

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples. “I have seen the Lord.” she announced. Then she reported what he had said to her.

What to Remember

These Gospel verses reflect the growth in belief of the Risen Jesus, through personal encounter with him as lived by Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ disciples. That encounter leads to sharing the good news that Jesus is alive.

As a follower of Jesus and a child of God, you can pray this rosary reflection when you need the prayers and example of  Mary Magdalene to inspire you to seek out Jesus, listen to his words, and become a messenger of the good will he offers. Let the Gospel lead you to announce that Jesus’ Father is our Father; Jesus’ God is our God.

What to Pray For

  • For the openness in mind and heart to recognize God’s messengers pointing to Jesus.
  • For the courage and grace to share the good news of Jesus’ risen presence with others.
  • For the encouragement and appreciation of all women who proclaim the Risen Jesus through their gritty faith and daily living.
  • For a profound conversion for those encountering Jesus in daily living.

Feel free to pray the rosary using these Scripture verses for a deeper connection with sharing the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

 When This Gospel Appears

This Gospel account is proclaimed during the first week of Easter.

* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website,

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