We hear a lot about the men of the New Testament: the Apostles, Sts. John the Baptist, Joseph, Paul, Timothy, and more. Authorship of all of the Gospels and books and letter of the New Testament is also male. But that doesn’t mean women didn’t play an important part in the times of early Christianity. From the Gospels we know of the importance and primacy of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We also know of other important females like Sts. Elizabeth, Mary and Martha, and Mary Magdalen. But there are more than just these women mentioned in Scripture! Here are 9 women saints mentioned in the New Testament.
St. Lydia Purpuraria
St. Lydia (whose last name means “purple seller”), first heard St. Paul speak outside the gates of Phillipi, her home. She then invited him into her home and was baptized along with her entire family. She was a woman of means, as she sold purple-dyed cloth, and helped Paul with his mission, including allowing him to reside at her home. She is the patron saint of the color purple (yep, we even have patron saints for colors) and her feast day is August 3rd. She appears in Acts 16:13-40.
Priscilla and her husband Aquinas were forced to leave Rome under the rule of Emperor Claudius and so moved to Corinth, where they heard St. Paul preach. She was of good social standing and education and eventually came to be known as an educator of “The Way” and had as a student, Apollos, who went on to accompany St. Paul. She is mentioned in Acts 18:2-3 and Romans 16:3.
This woman was likely the one to carry St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans to Rome before he could get there himself! In kind, she is thus mentioned in the Letter to the Romans 16:1-2. St. Paul called Phoebe a sister, benefactor, and deaconess, and indeed she was a deaconess at the Church in Cenchreae at Corinth.
St. Anna the Prophetess
Anna is mentioned in three verses of the Gospel according to St. Luke, 2:36-38, which reads:
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
This comes directly after the famous prophecy of St. Simeon who tells Mary that a sword will pierce her heart and that her child will be the rise and fall of many nations. After a power-packed punch like that, it’s easy to see why St. Anna is often overlooked! But here we see that she was one of the very first preachers of the Good News of Christ, making her a very important person, indeed.
St. Tabitha (Dorcas)
Tabitha was completely occupied with acts of almsgiving and good deeds. She was a widow in modern-day Israel and encountered the Apostles there. She is mentioned in Acts 9:36-42.
Also know as Mary Salome, she was one of the women who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus and was later among the women at the burial of Jesus, as well. She was also the mother of Sts. James (the Greater) and John, the sons of Zebedee. She’s mentioned in Mark’s account of the Crucifixion (15:40), in Matthew 20:20, John 19:25, Mark 16:1, and Matthew 27:56, 28:1.
St. Mary, mother of John Mark
This Mary is the mother of Gospel writer (John) Mark and is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. The Apostles regularly gathered at her home in Jerusalem. Her home was also the place St. Peter went after being released from prison by Herod. Her deed was recorded in Acts 12:12.
Joanna’s husband was a steward of Herod. But she is one of three women mentioned who helped provide for Jesus and the Apostles. She was also one of the three women who discovered the empty tomb on the first Easter morning. Pretty amazing! We hear of her in Luke 8:2-3 and Luke 24:10.
St. Mary of Clopas
This Mary was the mother of St. James the Lesser and Joseph, and the wife of Cleophas (or Clopas). She’s one of the “Three Marys” mentioned in the Gospels. She’s extra cool because she served Jesus, was present at the Crucifixion and accompanied St. Mary Magdalen to the tomb of Christ. There are two traditions of what became of her after the Resurrection. One states she became a missionary in Spain and died at Ciudad Rodrigo. Another tradition says she went to France with Sts. Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Either way, talk about putting love and service into action! We learn about her from John 19:25, Matthew 27:56 and 28:1, and Mark 15:40 and 16:1.