A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

The Penitent Whore
Thursday, August 03, 2017



Rosa 'Mary Magdalene' August 3 2017



magdalena

De María Magdalena, personaje de los Evangelios.

1. f. Mujer penitente o visiblemente arrepentida de sus pecados.

The above is from my online Real Academia Española dictionary.

It translates:  as penitent woman or visibly regretful of her sins

For me one of the most important and wonderfully written novels of the 20th century is José Saramago’s The Gospel According to Jesus Christ. Because in the novel Saramago expands on the idea that Christ is cared for (sores from walking) by a woman who anoints him with an expensive perfume and shares a bed with Him. What is extraordinary is that this incident  (just the anoiting) is one of the few that is recorded by all four gospels.

He suspects the woman is a prostitute, not because he is particularly good at guessing people's professions at first glance, besides, not that long ago he himself would have been identified as a shepherd by the smell of goat, yet now everyone would say, He's a fisherman, for he lost one smell only to replace it with another. The woman reeks of perfume, but Jesus, who may be innocent, has learned certain facts of life by watching the mating of goats and rams, he also has enough common sense to know that just because a woman uses perfume, it does not necessarily mean she is a whore.

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ
José Saramago translated from the Portuguese by Giovanni Pontiero

Saramago goes on to write about how Jesus stays for a while with Mary of Magdala and she teaches him the reality of the birds and the bees.

I have no idea if English Rose breeder David Austin did more than just name a lovely rose Rosa ‘Mary Magdalene’ or he knows something of Mary Magdalene and her importance in the Apocryphal Gospels.

There may be a couple of attributes of this rose that may suggest he named the rose for a good reason. For one the rose emerges a blush pink and with age turns to white- the floozy turned penitent?  And secondly this rose smells of what the English call myrrh. This is a complex  scent (most un-rose-like ) that resembles hints of Pernod, lemon and Magnolia grandiflora  soap. Many who like roses hate the smell as they say it is medicinal. I disagree and I love the scent and more important Mary Magdalene is one of the strongest myrrh-perfumed English Roses.



     

Previous Posts
Helianthus annuus 'Red Star'

Spent Sexual Parts

Art Bergmann - Remember His Name

Helen of Terpsichore

Vancouver - Greatness Deferred

A Yellow Alcea & First Frost

My Latent Interest in Men

UBC's Deadening of Robson Square

A Dead Channel

The Return of She



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1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17

10/1/17 - 10/8/17

10/8/17 - 10/15/17

10/15/17 - 10/22/17