E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
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.