Wooden figure of saint Mary Magdalene as a penitent, invoked against plague, ulcers and for children slow or weak, possibly Spanish, 1601-1750
Dressed in a Hessian robe as a repentant sinner, with a skull and an alabaster jar at her feet, St Mary Magdalene is often represented in this pose, usually with a cross. The wooden statue is painted. Traditionally, among Catholics, Mary Magdalene has been invoked against plague, ulcers and to look after ill children. Mary is also the patron saint of repentant women. Many Catholics believe that saints can protect against ill health and may help cure specific diseases.