Acrylic on archival quality masonite, 16 x 20", ornate gold frame

As the Holy Spirit hovers over the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and Mary 

of Egypt, the sun is going down on an evening desert sky where there are located, two caves. Tradition tells us that Mary Magdalene, Martha and Lazarus made their way by boat to the shores of France to escape the persecution of those who followed the "WAY." Magdalene went to do penance on a high rocky cliff in 

St. Maximum France until her death.

Mary of Egypt is a lesser known but very inspiring saint. She lived a dissolute life, seeking out men for her lusts and seems to have had an addiction to this way of life. She heard that some pilgrims were travelling to Jerusalem, so out of curiosity she went along with them and even boldly slept with some of the pilgrims on her way there. When arriving in Jerusalem at the church of the Holy Sepulchre, a force prevented Mary from entering. She immediately felt a deep remorse for her sins 

and the harsh reality of the degrading way in which she had lived. She went to confession and the next day she returned to the church and was able to pass through the front door unimpeded. 

She returned to Egypt and found a small cave in the desert where she spent the rest of her life making reparation. She brought with her, only a jug of water and three loaves of bread that miraculously kept replenishing so that she never hungered or thirsted for over thirty years. The jug and the loaves are on her table in the picture.

Hence the two caves in the distance of the painting. Beside each cave there grows a green tree bearing fruit indicating the fruitfulness of their prayerful solitary penitential lives lived in such a harsh terrain.

On Magdalene’s table there is a cross which of course is where she remained throughout the whole passion of Our Lord. The egg... a symbol of the resurrection sits on a stand beside a robin. The robin is the ffirst bird to give his morning song at the dawn of the new day, just as Magdalene was the first of the disciples to sing the good news to the apostles that Jesus had risen. Alleluia!

As babies do, Christ grabs Mary's little ffinger with one hand while his other hand points upward to the Father, reminding us of the duality of his being. Human and Divine. Both penitents wear a lace over garment, and bridal veil, putting on a new life of purity lived only for their Spouse. Our Blessed Mother is garbed in an apple blossom gown and an almost luminous spring green veil... she is Ever Virgin. Three lilies tell us of her intimate union with the Holy Trinity. They all stand on a blue carpet… the colour dedicated to Our Lady. The three gaze upon the Christ Child. The Blessed Mother keeps both Marys close to her. She is the Refuge of Sinners and the true mother of us all.


© 2024 Christine Oskirko. All rights reserved.