Saints in the Tarot
| St Mary Magdalene (circa 1c A.D.)|
Disciple of Jesus. Mysterious beauty.
Legends say Mary Magdalen was born to a noble family. Later she degenerated and became a prostitute. Meeting with Jesus brought repentance to her. Afterwards she devoted herself to meditative, contemplative life.
She was the woman who was sister of Martha: who annointed Jesus at his tomb: whom risen Jesus first met and bade not to touch him. Many scholars consider the Magdalen legend consists of different women's stories.
There is no reference to her in the Act. Many hypotheses have been put forward: some of them were labeled as heresy.
Left: an attracitive, beautiful Mary Magdalene without any sign of repentance: painted by Crivelli (c1475). Attribute, a pot of ointment.
| Apocryphal legends say Mary Magdalene traveled to Provence after the
Ascension of Christ and evangelized the southern part of France. After
thirty years of hermitage, her Assumption took place.
Left: Mary Magdalene's Assumption depicted in a reredos (Unterlinden, Colmar). Thirty years of hermtage gave her over grown hair long enough to hide her whole body: she didn't need any clothes. Mary Magdalene was carried naked by angels.
A simple loin cloth was depicted: a sign of decency, perhaps.
| Le Monde in Marseille pack is almost same with Magdalene's Assumption in design.
Biblical Four Beasts have been depicted as carriers of saints in many pictures.
That which seems to be a wreath is in fact a mandolla (medieval convention
for expressing halo). |
You can assume Le Monde originated from medieval Christ Triumphant such as curved in ivory plates and rightly so. But as to Le Monde in Marseille pack, the silent passage of Magdalene cast graceful shadow in it.
And we must note the fact that the patron Saint of Marseille is none other than Mary Magdalene. She has been worshiped in the southern port since 11th century.
|Example of carrier beasts.
|Example of mandolla.