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Mary Magdalene Borne Aloft

Taddeo Crivelliabout 1469

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

While angels carry her toward heaven, Mary Magdalene prays, naked save for the covering of her abundant hair. According to The Golden Legend , a popular medieval compilation of saints' lives, the former sinner repented of her ways and retired to the wilderness outside of Marseilles in France after Jesus' Crucifixion. While living as a hermit there, "every day at the seven canonical hours she was carried aloft by angels and with her bodily ears heard the glorious chants of the celestial hosts."

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