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Mary Magdalene the Myrrh Bearer, Icon Written by Nita Renfrew

Mary Magdalene the Myrrh Bearer by Nita Renfrew
Mary Magdalene the Myrrh Bearer (Nita Renfrew) Icon written in the Russian Byzantine tradition. Egg tempera and gold leaf on board.

With this icon of Mary Magdalene, Nita renfrew brings a traditional element exploring the many aspects of Mary Magdalene to the exhibition Blossoming during The Mary Magdalene Celebration. Nita shares with us her thoughts and intuitions:

The Shadow Trinity (as it has come to me):

Mary Magdalene the Healer, the shadow Jesus Christ

The Virgin Mary, Mother of God

The Holy Spirit—a female Dove who lays the Eggs that bring Light and Life to Earth

The Official Holy Trinity:

Jesus Christ, the Son

God the Father

The Holy Spirit, manifested as a Dove

The Holy Spirit descends from the Heavens to Mother Earth, to

Creation, bringing the Heavenly Light down to Incarnate Earth

It is said by some that it was the Magdalene who taught healing to Jesus.

In traditional Eastern Orthodox icons, she carries a vessel of sacred myrrh, used for anointing and in healing. She was one of the group of women who carried myrrh to the Tomb to anoint Jesus’s body.

It was to Mary Magdalene that the resurrected Jesus Christ first appeared in the garden outside the tomb. Jesus instructed her to carry the message of his Resurrection to the eleven Apostles.

Thus, she became the Apostle to Jesus’s Apostles.


The wild ecstasy of my afternoons

NITA M. RENFREW is Iconographer to the French Church du Saint Esprit in New York City. She trained at the Prosopon School of Iconology.

Nita has a practice as a healer of humans and other-than-humans, specializing in Reiki and Craniosacral bodywork, with many years experience working in mainstream medical settings. She has studied with a number of traditional and other healers from many countries. Nita is an ordained Interfaith and Interspiritual Minister. (An Interspiritual Ministry is based on the belief that all religions derive from a common source, and can be practiced concurrently.)

She is also an artist and writer, and is a member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Shamanic Practice.

Nita considers herself to be primarily an Interspecies Minister, in communion every day with a community of Wild Birds, Squirrels and Racoons on New York City’s Central Park. She is surrounded every afternoon by Rock Doves (better known as Pigeons) and Mourning Doves, in great awareness that Doves have been the earthly beings in which the Holy Spirit has chosen to manifest on Earth: first with Noah’s Ark, where the Dove brought back an olive branch to signify that the flood was receding; when an Angel and a Dove announced to Mary that she would bear Jesus; and, when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a Dove at Jesus’s baptism.

Mary Magdalene as a healer along with Doves, who bring together the energies and blessings of Heaven and Earth, have long inspired Nita’s work.

See Nita’s interview where she describes the stages of creating an icon, as a form of prayer, in connection with her recent commission by the French Church to create an icon.

Élie Neau (1662-1722) - The Process of Writing a New Icon (Nita Renfrew and Joris Bermann) 9/2/22

To see the Bishop consecrating the icon, please click here (1:50:00-2:05:00):

To see Nita’s presentation before the consecration, click here: (1:15:00-1:25:00):


This icon is part of the collective art exhibition dedicated to Mary Magdalene titled Blossoming, July 18-22 in El Barrio Art Space Art Gallery, with a reception on July 22, 2023, during The Mary Magdalene Celebration.


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Tanya Torres  
Art for Love, Peace and Joy

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