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Saint Joanna
Venerated in Eastern Christianity
Roman Catholicism
Canonized pre-congregation
Feast 3rd Sunday of Pascha (Orthodox and Eastern Catholic)
May 24 (Roman Catholic)
August 3 (Lutheran)

Joanna was one of the women associated with the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, often considered to be one of the disciples. In the Bible, she is one of the women recorded in the Gospel of Luke as accompanying Jesus and the twelve: "Mary, called Magdalene, ... and Joanna the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources" (Luke 8:2-3).

Joanna is also among the women who went to prepare Jesus' body in Luke's account of the Resurrection, and who later told the apostles and other disciples about the empty tomb and words of the "two men in dazzling clothes".

Both Richard J. Bauckham and Ben Witherington III conclude that the disciple Joanna is the same woman as the Christian Junia mentioned by Paul in his Epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:7).

She is honoured as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church on the "Sunday of the Myrrhbearers", which is two Sundays after Pascha (Easter), and in the Roman Catholic Church on May 24. She is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod on August 3 together with Mary, the Mother of James and Salome.

Derivatives are : St. Jessica, St. Jennifer.

Joanna in literature

Joanna was a secondary character in Margaret George’s 2002 novel Mary, Called Magdalene. In the novel, Joanna, cast from Herod’s household by Cuuza for being possessed, is healed by Jesus in Capernaum. She then joins the other disciples. She is the second woman, after Mary, and becomes her friend.

Joanna is the main character in Mary Rourke's 2006 novel Two Women of Galilee. In Rourke's telling, Joanna is the daughter of a family that had become Hellenized and ceased to practice Judaism as they obtained a privileged position in the court of Herod. Mary is Joanna's long-lost cousin from a branch of the family that was still observant. When they meet they become close friends. Joanna meets Jesus through her friendship with Mary and he heals her of tuberculosis. The story centers on the friendship of Joanna and Mary, retelling events from the Gospel from the women's point of view.

See also


  • Bauckham, Richard J., Gospel Women (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2002), pp. 109-202.
  • Witherington, Ben, III, "Joanna: Apostle of the Lord—or Jailbait?", Bible Review, Spring 2005, pp. 12-14+

External links