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Transfiguration


Image Description
The Gospel of Luke 7:36-50 is the biblical text on which this icon is premised. Luke refers to Mary Magdalene as a penitent woman who seeks out Christ at a dinner held by a Pharisee. “A woman known in the town to be a sinner learned that He was dining in the Pharisee’s home.” Luke 7:37. Mary Magdalene wipes Jesus’ feet with her tears and her hair. She kisses His feet and rubs perfume on them. The harlot comes to Christ fully repentant for her sinful acts. Jesus praises her kindness, her display of “great love”, and her faith and offers her forgiveness and salvation. From this moment Mary Magdalene becomes one of the Holy Woman, close followers of Christ during the significant events leading up to his resurrection. She witnesses the raising of Lazarus from the dead, the crucifixion, is one of the myrrh bearing women, and is the first witness to the Resurrection. In the icon, Mary Magdalene is depicted in an act of deep humility and repentance for her sins. The dark dress is a symbol of her deep sin, but her bright head covering foretells her ultimate purification. It has been said that the greatest sin is to be conscious of no sin. Mary Magdalene, through her total consciousness of sin and her act of love and contrition ultimately attains God’s forgiveness.

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