22 JulyNorth Transept Spire-G74
Patron Saint: Repented prostitutes, Penitents, Hairdressers Symbol: Cruet of ointment

The Latin Church usually converged, in the liturgy, the three distinct women mentioned in the Gospel. The Greek liturgy commemorates them separately: Martha and Mary of Bethany, the sisters of Lazarus, and Mary Magdalene or Mary of Magdala, the possessed woman who received a miracle from Jesus, followed him during the Crucifixion and had the privilege of witnessing his resurrection. The identification of the three women was facilitated by the name Maria, which was common to at least two of them. According to San Gregorio Magno’s theory, they were one and the same woman indicated in all passages of the Gospel. Those who drew up the new calendar, reconfirming the memory of only one Maria Maddalena without other indications, such as the adjective “penitent”, wanted to celebrate the holy woman to whom Jesus appeared after the Resurrection. This is the Magdalene who the Church remembers today, and who according to the ancient Greek tradition moved to Ephesus where she later died. The statue on Spire G74 is, without doubt, the figure of Mary Magdalene. It is evident from the pot of ointment– her iconographic symbol–she is holding in her hands. The body is portrayed walking with the right leg forward, while the dress is sculpted clinging to the body to give the impression of being wind swept, thus enhancing the figure’s movement. The woman is looking upwards, as if she were observing the Christ at the foot of the cross or his ascension to heaven at the miraculous moment of the Resurrection. The original statue was made in 1953 by Aldo Andreani.