Mary Magdalene

walwyn Mon, 11/08/2010 - 23:33
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Depicting the events in the life of Mary of Magdalene this window, in Chartres Cathedral, is from about 1210. According to Christian tradition she was one of Jesus' follows in Galilee, healed of seven devils, was present at the crucifixion, was the person to find the tomb empty, and the first person whom Jesus appeared to and given the task of announcing his Resurrection.


Mary Magdalene window - Chartres cathedral Medieval stained glass


The lower two scenes show the death and entombment of Mary of Magdalene by St Maximin of Trier. According to legend Lazarus, Martha, and Mary of Magdalene, having fled Palestine after the death of St James the Greater, landed at Saintes Maries de la Mer in the south of France, and from there travelled to Marseilles where they preached the Gospel. Mary lived in a cave in the Sainte-Baume mountains (Tégulata) and when she died she was was buried by St Maximin of Trier at what is now Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. The top two scenes of the window are illustrated with an angel in red presents the soul of of Mary Magdalen to Jesus who gives a blessing.


Mary Magdalene at the tomb - Chartres cathedral Medieval stained glass


Moving down we come to scenes depicting Mary of Magdalene at the tomb. In the bottom left an angel is showing her the shroud and the empty tomb, and in the bottom right she encounters Jesus holding a cross and at first mistakes him for a gardener. In the top panels she is announcing the Resurrection to the disciples.


Raising of Lazerus - Chartres Cathedral Medieval stained glass


The bottom section of the window shows in the bottom left Mary of Magdalene in the house of Simon the Pharisee, washing the feet of Jesus with her tears and drying them with her hair. The three other scenes in this window show the death of Lazarus and him being lain on a sepulchre.


See also other examples of works depicting Mary of Magdalene featured on this site.