Tuesday, July 12, 2011
A Repentant Sinner
There is a rather beautiful story about the conversion of Eve Lavallière, a fin de siècle actress on the always worthwhile Tea at the Trianon, The French do repentance so well, we English are perhaps a little more into compromise.
I think somehow it is the influence Mary Magdalen, her body was at Vézelay in Burgundy, now there is just a fragment but it is her influence on the popular mind that is important, even if now in the Liturgy she is less of a creature of contrasts.
Some people come here just because of the dedication of the Church to her. I don't know if "St Mary Magdalen", was deliberately chosen because she was the Great Penitent or not. Certainly in the 19th century this part of Brighton was the red light district, the home actresses and courtesans up the hill and of cheap brothels and bordelloes down the hill, towards the sea. The church stood between the two groups.
With the British Museum exhibition of relics, I have been thinking we ought to do more with our own relic of St Mary Magdalen, even if memory of her as a penitent is itself a "relic" in the popular mind.
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