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Mary Magdalene

(St.). Patron saint of penitents, being herself the model penitent of Gospel history. In Christian art she is represented (1) as a patron saint, young and beautiful, with a profusion of hair, and holding a box of ointment; (2) as a penitent, in a sequestered place, reading before a cross or skull.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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