The new novel by Anthony S. Maulucci, MARY OF MAGDALA, paints a psychological portrait of one of history’s most enigmatic women as she strives to define and then to fulfill her role as the only female apostle of Jesus the Messiah. Believing in her right to work as Peter’s partner in the leadership of the brethren, she is not discouraged by Peter’s refusal to accept her and is determined to continue her private campaign to spread the teachings of her beloved friend and master, with whom she has had a intimate relationship. She travels throughout Asia Minor and eventually to Rome in order to be close to Peter and convince him of her worthiness to work at his side. In Rome, Mary is befriended by a wealthy patrician widow who provides her with a life of luxury and the opportunity to act as Peter’s protector without his knowledge. Unhappy with this arrangement, Mary nevertheless accepts it in order to be in a position to keep Peter from harm and prevent the further persecution of the members of the clandestine Christian movement. This is not what she believes she was truly meant to do; however, she bides her time and waits, struggling to keep a powerful politician who wants her for his mistress at a comfortable distance. While exploring the streets of Rome one evening, a chance encounter with a badly beaten young prostitute who dies in her arms gives Mary a renewed sense of purpose, and she begins her mission to save the exploited young women in the brothels of Rome. This turns out to be her most significant contribution, and it this work that is later used to by the Church to falsely label her as a penitent prostitute.