Miniature Lives of the Saints – Saint Mary Magdalen

Saint Mary Magdalen holy card in which she holds her alabaster jar of oil, from the painting 'Magdalene', by Carlo Dolci, 1665-1670, oil on canvas, Galleria Palatina, Florence, ItalyArticle

Of the earlier life of Mary Magdalen we know only that she was ‘a woman that was a sinner.’ From the depth of her degradation she raised her eyes to Jesus with sorrow, hope, and love. All covered with shame she came in where Jesus was at meat, and knelt behind Him. She said not a word, but bathed His feet with her tears, wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed them in humility, and at their touch her sins and her stain were gone. Then she poured on them the costly unguent prepared for far other uses; and His own divine lips rolled away her reproach, spoke her absolution, and bade her go in peace. Thenceforward she ministered to Jesus, sat at His feet, and heard His words. She was one of the family ‘whom Jesus so loved,’ that He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead. Once again, on the eve of His Passion, she brought the precious ointment, and, now purified and beloved, poured it on His head, and the whole house of God is still filled with the fragrance of her anointing. She stood with Our Lady and Saint John at the foot of the Cross, the representative of the many who have had much forgiven. To her first, after His Blessed Mother, and through her to His Apostles, our Lord gave the certainty of His Resurrection; and to her first He made Himself known, calling her by her name because she was His.

MLA Citation

  • Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Saint Mary Magdalen”. Miniature Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year, 1877. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 February 2015. Web. 27 January 2022. <>