the Mother of God
husband of Mary
fisherman and foundation
whom Jesus loved
Text by Victor
A Strong Influence on Art of the Middle Ages
had a strong influence on the Christian imagination of the Middle Ages:
in art, drama, poetry and spirituality. She was presumed to be a beautiful
woman, whose warm human heart was transformed by her love for Jesus;
a sinner who became a favorite of God. All Christians, both saintly
and otherwise, looked to her as a model of what a friend and disciple
of Jesus should be. The Golden Legend, a popular collection of stories
of the saints, describes her relationship to Christ in detail. sidebar
by her story, medieval spiritual writers added simple human details
to the Gospel accounts. According to the author of the Meditations on
the Life of Christ, Mary held the feet of Jesus when he was taken down
from the cross, because she had kissed them and washed them with her
tears once before.
the tomb) she could not think, or speak, or hear anything except about
him. When she cried and paid no attention to the angels, her Lord could
not hold back any longer for love... 'Woman, whom do you seek? Why do
you weep?' And she, as if drugged, not recognizing him said, 'Lord,
if you carried him away, tell me where, and I will take him.' "Look
at her. With tear-stained face she begs him to lead her to the one seeks.
She always hopes to hear something new of her Beloved. Then the Lord
says to her, 'Mary'.
as though she came back to life, and recognizing his voice, she said
with indescribable joy, 'Rabbi, you are the Lord I was seeking. Why
did you hide from me so long? ...I tell you so much grief from your
passion filled my heart that I forgot everything else. I could remember
nothing except your dead body and the place where I buried it, and so
I brought ointment this morning. But you have come back to us.'
they stayed there lovingly with great joy and gladness. She looked at
him closely and asked him about each thing, and he answered willingly.
Now, truly, the Passover feast had come. Although it seemed that the
Lord held back from her, I can hardly believe that she did not touch
him before he departed, kissing his feet and his hands."
she met Jesus) there was no grace he refused her, no sign of affection
he withheld from her. He drove seven devils out of her, admitted her
to his friendship, came to dwell in her house, and defended her when
it was needed. He defended her before the Pharisee who accused her of
being unclean; before her sister Martha, who called her idle, and before
Judas, who criticised her generosity. And Jesus could not see her in
tears without weeping.
"For love of her he restored her brother to life after he had been
dead for four days. He cured Martha of an issue of blood which she had
suffered for seven years. To her the risen Jesus appeared first, and
made her an apostle to the apostles."