Theodora of Rome, Ambrose and Mary of Egypt

Date of news: 1 April 2016

Fol. 181r

Theodora of Rome (feast day 1 April) was considered to be the sister of Saint Herman of Rome. She stood by him while he was being tortured, and several months later, after having been tortured herself, she was buried beside him. In the middle we see Ambrose, bishop of Milan and one of the four major western Church Fathers (feast day 4 April). With her naked, hair-covered body, Mary of Egypt (feast day 2 April) paints an unusual picture. She was a prostitute who plied her trade with every man in her traveling company during her pilgrimage, but after she converted to the Christian faith she wandered through the desert for forty years with only her hair for protection as penance. In her hand she is holding the three loafs of bread that she took with her.