St. Mary Magdalen Keychain

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St. Mary Magdalen

Feast Day: July 22

Patroness of converts, women, penitents, contemplation and against sexual temptation

According to tradition, after Jesus' Ascension into heaven, the Magdalene—a wealthy woman of some importance—boldly presented herself to the Emperor Tiberius Caesar in Rome to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ, with an egg in hand to illustrate her message.

Holding the egg out to him, she exclaimed for the first time what is now the universal Easter proclamation among Christians, "Christ is risen!"

The emperor, mocking her, said that Jesus had no more risen than the egg in her hand was red. Immediately, the egg turned red as a sign from God to illustrate the truth of her message. The Emperor then heeded her complaints about Pilate condemning an innocent man to death, and had Pilate removed from Jerusalem under imperial displeasure.

Why would Mary Magdalene bring an egg to talk about Jesus with the Roman Emperor?

In another tradition, it is said that Mary Magdalene brought a basket of white boiled eggs with her on Easter morning to the tomb of Jesus—perhaps as a meal for herself and the others as they waited for someone to roll the stone away. When she arrived at the site of the Resurrection, finding the stone already rolled away, she also found that the eggs in her basket had turned into bright shades of color.

Perhaps this is why she brought an egg to the Emperor; did she expect that Jesus would perform a similar miracle for her egg as he had done on that first Easter morning?

While we do not know if these stories are true with absolute certainty, we do know that the tradition of handing out red eggs at Easter is one that originated among Christians in Apostolic times. And we often find Mary Magdalene depicted in icons holding a red egg. Moreover, the story fits into the various cultural traditions already surrounding the symbol of the egg.


Acrylic keychain with St. Mary Magdalen
Size: 3.5" (including key ring)