Mary Magdalene and the red egg in the Orthodox tradition
In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Mary Magdalene visited Emperor Tiberius to issue a complaint about how Pontius Pilate handled Jesus’s trial. As she described the events of the crucifixion and resurrection, the Emperor dismissed her story, scoffing, “That could no more happen than the egg in your hand could turn red”. Promptly, Mary Magdalene prayed and the egg turned red.
According to the Orthodox, it is from this event of the meeting of Mary Magdalene and the emperor that we developed the custom of Easter eggs, where in the Russian and Greek tradition, red Easter eggs are given as gifts.
Her visit to Rome is still very much alive in the Orthodox Tradition. Most of the icons, especially Russian ones, represent Mary Magdalene with a red egg in her hand.
I have the pleasure to share with you this video recorded with Marion Hellwig for Easter 2021. Enjoy !