Mary Magdalene – Pray for Us

Am terribly saddened to hear news just in from the Bishop of California that two of the icons of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco have been destroyed.

One was of John Donne and this one was of Mary Magdalene.
Mary Mag

I saw her every day when I spend three weeks living at Grace Cathedral last year. She always seemed to me to be particulary striking, serene and somehow unsettling. She was a bearer of the divine, in other words.

There are images which some people cannot bear. This proved to be one one such.

Mary Magdalene and John Donne – pray with us for a world free from violence, free from attack, free from fears within and fears without.



  1. Rosemary Hannah says

    I am very very sorry that so lovely a thing, and so meaningful, should have been destroyed. I hope that, like other icons, they will live again in a not-too-different incarnation.

  2. I remember them. I do hope they can live again.

  3. I have a copy of that icon in my study and I love her. I think Mother Pamela gave her to me. Perhaps they’d like mine?

  4. Agatha says

    I agree it’s sad but I think the Bishop of California is going a bit OTT in calling it a “tragedy”. The situation in Syria is a tragedy, this is a picture they probably sold copies of in the church shop – indeed RevRuth has offered a replacement.

    Myself I could probably have vandalised the John Donne one during my SYS English studies!

  5. frdougal says

    Some words of the Russian mystic St Theophan the Recluse may be apposite: “Images, however sacred they may be, retain the attention outside, whereas at the time of prayer the attention must be within – in the heart. The concentration of attention in the heart – this is the starting point of prayer.”

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