Day 15:  Magdalene, Sophia and Sophia’s three daughters

Fresco from shown below)

Art:  Mary Magdalene is here connected to Sophia, the goddess of wisdom, and her daughters (from left to right) Faith, Hope and Love. Note the fleur-de-lis design over the top. [Katia inserts: And notice those red X’s on their gowns!  The Red X, and sometimes a plain X, was used asa code for the Grail Heresy and Esoteric Christianity.  MM and Sophia have X’s and O’s on their gowns.  The daughters have no O’s,only the red X pattern.  Little Faith has the X pattern on her gown,while Hope has it most visible on her cloak. Love’s gown is unique in that the bodice is different from the skirt.  Her skirt has red X’s but her bodice has three white star-like X’s, perhaps indicating the three kinds of love, eros, philos and agape.  See What is Love?for more on those three kinds. Note that Faith is the smallest daughter because one only needs “a little faith,” no bigger than a mustard seed will do. And Love is the biggest because the New Testament verse which lists these daughters 1 Cor. 13:13 ends with, “…but the greatest of these is Love.”  Sophia, Love, Hope and Faith are all holding sheaves of grain,while Mary Magdalene blesses us with both hands. 1 Cor. 13 is a great chapter to read and contains many famous phrases such as “when I was a child, I spake as a child,” and “see thru a glass darkly,” and “speak with the tongues of men and angels.”  You can see what is left of the daughters’ names written in Greek in the middle top of the picture. Faith is Pistis, Hope is Elpisand Charity is Charitas or Haritas.

Devotional:   Mary is often shown in paintings with saints of all different time periods. Her example extends all the way to us today.What does this teach us? It’s not such a bad thing to be “just a woman” if women can receive and teach spiritual truth just like men do. Do you think these paintings lend credence to the legends concerning Mary the Magdala? [Katia inserts:  Most Gnostics believe Mary Magdalene is an actual incarnation of Sophia. This icon is interesting because it connects these two Judeo-Christian “Goddesses”, but since it shows them as separate entities,the interpretation is still up to the viewer!  It must be one of those”veiled” enigmas of the Mary Magdalene story.  The nature of Christ was debated for so long it became the science of Christology and so we have Magdalenology now I suppose, which still a nascent science means the jury is still out on most of the enigmas / mysteries attached to her. Personally, I like the idea of MM having three daughters — Yeshua must be the father of Faith, Hope and Love (Charity). That makes sense,actually.]

Icon style fresco, 11th Century, from Museo Civico, Cividale di Friouli

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