Check Point 2

Mary of Saint Egypt is told from the point of view of Zosimus, a monk who has gone into the desert in search of a new role model because he thinks that he cannot do anything to make himself better within the monastery. Mary of Egypt was a women who was fond of many men. One day she had realized how unsatisfied she was and needed to make a change. So, Mary decided that the best decision was to flee into the desert to reflect on her life of sexual activities that occurred in the city. Mary wonders around the desert naked and blackened from the son. When Zosimus first sees Mary she runs because of her past. Zosimus was very curious as to why she was wondering alone in a hot desert and wanted to know the details. Unfortunately Mary would not say a word. After that they talked briefly and Mary requested that Zosimus was to bring her communion every year. But when Zosimus returns for one of there annul meetings he finds Mary dead. However, she had left a message written in the sand to tell him her name, which he had never asked, and the date of her death, which took place on the night of there last meeting.

1.”Do not imagine at all that I undertook anything for any wealth, but I always lived in poverty, because I had, as I have said already, insatiable desires, so that I unceasingly defiled myself in the mire of wicked promiscuity; and that was my misery. And that I counted as life, that I should unceasingly perpetrate wrongs against nature.” ( Pg.7)

This quote is Mary explaining that she never wanted anything in return for her sexual encounters. Her interactions were strictly for her pleasure that she needed to fulfill. Mary was weak when opportunities for sexual activities came her way. If someone was to offer her a gift or money she only felted the passion for the desire to sin. People started to get the wrong impression of Mary's acton with men. Others thoughts that she was a prostitute.Even thought this was not what she was doing that is how the people viewed her. Mary clearly had a bad reputation in the city so many people talked about her sinful actions. The word spread around the city and Mary did not appreciate it. She felt dirty after every time she had met with someone. Mary was unsatisfied with herself and the way that others viewed her. This was not what she wanted out of life and did not know how to make a change.

2.“While I lived thus, on a particular occasion I saw a large crowd of Africans and Egyptians hurrying together as if to the sea. I quickly fell in with one of them then and asked him where he thought the crowd intended to hasten to. He answered me and said this, that they intended to go to Jerusalem for the honouring of the holy cross, which would be celebrated after not many days. Then I said to him, ‘Do you think they will be willing to take me, if I wish to go with them?’ (Pg.7)

This quote is Mary searching for a way out of the city. She asked a man that was in a large crowd of Africans and Egyptians where they were heading. The man answered Mary and said that they were heading toward Jerusalem for the honoring of the holy cross. This was a perfect opportunity for Mary to take. She needed time to reflect on herself and all of the sins she had made. The man told her that she could come with them if she had money. But Mary was very poor and didn’t have any money. So because the only thing she had was her body, she offered her body to the men that were on board. Even though this is the reason that Mary wanted to get away this was her only solution to not having any money to offer to the men going to Jerusalem.

3. “So I came to this desert, and from then until this present day I have kept apart, always fleeing away, waiting and hoping for my God, who delivers from the danger of this world all those who turn to him.” (Pg. 9)

This quote is very important because Mary finally got her peace of mind from the Holy Spirit. She had gone to the church that the men on board the ship were going but at first she claims there was a force that was depriving her of entering. Then she said that she was touched the the gracious mother of God and was allowed to enter. After she paid her respects to the holy church she was told by the spirits to go toward the river Jordan. On the way there she had received three pennies that she bought three loaves of bread to eat over time. Without going to the church Mary would have not been able to continue he journey to clearing her mind of her sins.

Mathew Schmalz Associate Professor of Religion, College of the Holy Cross. “Is Temptation Such a Bad Thing?” The Conversation, 10 Dec. 2017,

Matthew Schmalz discusses the intent behind not only tempting situations for also anything that could be looked at as sinful behavior. This relates to Mary of Egypt because she sins in many ways. Mary can not help but have to fulfill her sexual desires. Mary uses her body to get to her Jerusalem by sleeping with many men that were aboard the ship. Matthew states that “ Sin can be anything that distracts us on our journey to the final wholeness found in and with God.” This is an important statement because Mary’s consciousness can not be cleared until she deals with her desires properly. God is not in her life because she is closing him off by continuing to sin.

Becker, Joshua, et al. “The Pursuit of Selflessness.” Becoming Minimalist, 9 June 2014,

Joshua Becker discusses the importance of being selfless. In this article he talks about how are lives can be lived for numerous reasons. Selflessness is many times overlooked as happiness because people did something good for someone else, but there are a million other reasons why people are selfless. Some of these include solving problems that we as humans encounter in our every lives. This relates to Mary of Egypt because Mary ended up learning how to become selfless to herself. She learned how to resist her urges and do the right thing instead of just using her body for her needs. Mary was courageous to find it In her heart and soul to fight her temptations and that took her to selflessly give up her bad routine.

Hertz, Noreena. “Why We Make Bad Decisions.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 Oct. 2013,

Noreena Hertz discusses why we make bad decisions in her article from the New York Times. She states that she was struck with a mysterious illness and lost 30 pounds in three months. She had lost all faith and was thinking about her death. No one could find out what was wrong with her. She became hopeless and couldn’t see anything positive in her life. It look a long time to diagnose her with a rare lymphatic vessel condition. She went through many doctors visits and tests but surgery was the best option. After she had the surgery she recovered gradually and is now cured. Noreena wanted to give up but she kept on fighting. This relates to Mary of Egypt because Mary wanted to give up on her journey to creating a new life. She was always putting herself in bad situations were she knew that she would feel sad after. Mary went into the desert to get away from people so that she wouldn’t make any bad decisions like having sex with people. She had learned her lesson but unfortunately she did die unlike Noreena who survived.

Check Point 3

Lewis, Katherine J. "Male Saints and Devotional Masculinity in Late Medieval England." Gender & History, vol. 24, no. 1, Apr. 2012, pp. 112-133.

  • In this article Katherine talks about male Saints who intended to provide models for men following the new monastic form of life. A story of St. Benedict was shared. In this story St. Benedict was living a monastic life throughout the medieval period. The people in this monastery were expected to be against the temptations that were sent by the devil. The temptations could be sent in many ways like food, physical comforts, or riches. St. Benedict himself was tempted by the devil who had him think of a women. This temptation caused him to burn with lust, but he did overcome the sensation and displayed himself naked and went into thrones and needles so that his body was torn and he could never feel temptation again. This story connects to Mary of Egypt drastically for two reasons. The first reason is because Mary has Zosimus on her side that was also involved in the monastic life. The second big comparison to these stories is that both of the main characters thought that they could end there temptation with pain. Mary ended with burning in the desert because she wanted her temptations gone but left Zosimus a message in the sand. St. Benedict wanted his temptations gone as well so he torchured himself until he felt nothing.

Mistry, Zubin. "The Sexual Shame of the Chaste: 'Abortion Miracles' in Early Medieval Saints' Lives." Gender & History, vol. 25, no. 3, Nov. 2013, pp. 607-620. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/1468-0424.12040.

  • In this article Zubin Mistry focuses on questions of chastity and sexual sin in examining an usual ‘abortion miracle’ of early medieval Ireland. A saint encounters a nun who has breached her vow to chastity and became pregnant, but through the saints intervention, the pregnancy miraculously disappeared. A women named Brigit who was an influential monastery at Kildare, was one of the pre- eminent Irish saints. She had saved a women from sexual slavery. “With a strength of faith most powerful and ineffable, she faithfully blessed a woman who, after a vow of integrity, had fallen into youthful concupiscence, whose womb was now swelling with pregnancy: and, after the conception disappeared, without childbirth or pain she restored her healthy to penitence.”(Pg. 610) In this story it shows how sexual acitivty can play mind games. Being in a situation like pregnancy can change a lot. This was a way for a women to not have to be involved in sexual actions. It was a way out. Women can see sexual activities in two ways. One way being a gift that she can use to get what she wants or needs, and another way is a gift for the body by creating new life. Mary used her body for evil. She used her body and let other people use her. Other women like Brigit would be ashamed of this because other women are looking to getting away from men.

Burke, Kelsy and Amy Moff Hudec. "Sexual Encounters and Manhood Acts: Evangelicals, Latter-Day Saints, and Religious Masculinities." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 54, no. 2, May 2015, pp. 330-344.

  • In this article Kelsy Burke and Amy Moff Hudec talked about how sexual encounters are affected by religion and spirituality. They tells us that surrounding marital intimacy can help with gender obstacles. Men who take complete control like mormons who have many sexual partners are less happy. This is because there is no true intimacy. This can connect to Mary of Egypt because she had many interactions with men but was never satisfied. This is because she never had any true feelings for the men that she had sex with. Mary had urges that she needed to fulfill and did not care who it was. Also, if she needed something she would use her body to get it.


I thought that the meeting with the librarian was very helpful. I have never had a meeting with the librarian before only in this class. I learned many different useful tactics. I had never used google scholar before and I had not known how to use the library data base. I also did not know how to use the database from home which was very useful because I commute to school. The scholars in my texts are a comparison between other saints and Mary of Egypt. All of the articles that I have researched discuss saints and there actions. I thought it was interesting to see all the different stories of saints and connect them to Mary of Egypt. It was helpful to have information that I could connect all to the same topic. By seeing all the information from every scholarly author and how it connects to each can reassure me that my research is helping me to understand my main texts of Mary. This also is a great way to get different interpretations of storys and how others might read them. Being able to research there female saints and there stories that also involved sexual activities was helpful. This was helpful because all the stories have different patterns. Some peoples was more along the lines of following a religion and some were due to gender obstacles. The articles all involved people who did not know how to handle there situations.


The only question that has occurred to me while doing this research is that there is not alot of articles or journals specifically on Saint Mary of Egypt. I think that it would have been helpful to get the story from different points of view. The original text was read from the point of view of Zosimus, I wish that I could have read the text from the pointer Mary. Getting information about other saints was still helpful because some of the saints have similar qualities that I could relate. Even though there is not different points of views of the story to compare to,, there is specific topics that I could compare each to. For example there religion, genders, and spirituality.

Check Point #4

The story of Mary of Egypt was meant to teach about temptations and religion, instead authors made it look like she was just a prostitute who wanted to use her body to get things. Authors also made it seem as if only women had temptations.There is no doubt that Mary indeed did use her body at one point in the story but she felt that it was her only option because she was poor. Mary felt as if her only way to get things was to use her body because that is all that she knew how to do. Many other stories about saints portrayed females as women who have no other education so there last resort was sexual activity. Then on the other hand, the male saints were also tempted with women. For example, St. Benedict was tempted by the devil the presents of a women. In these stories there religions tell them that they should not cave into there temptations but they also don’t tell them how they should handle dealing with having these temptations. Due to the fact that people did not know how to handle there feelings it resulted in hurtful and dangerous actions. Mary runs away from her temptations in the desert with not much food, water, and shelter. She ends up dying in the desert from overheating. In St. Benedict's story he torments himself by running through needles and thorns naked so that he can never feel anything again. Then there is the story of Brigit who saved women from sexual slavery. She had pregnancy miraculously disappear. This story shows how sexual activity is a mind game. This relates to the other two stories because sexual activity is a mind game for both males and females. The temptation of sex is hard because the feeling is addicting. Handling the temptation isn’t the only hard part, the religion aspect of sex is a huge part. Religion play a big role in sexual activity because if you are not married it is considered a sin. These scholars and educators show many different opinions and perspectives on male and female stories about sexual activities which is a great way to show that temptations aren’t only in just women.

Work Cited
Lewis, Katherine J. "Male Saints and Devotional Masculinity in Late Medieval England." Gender & History, vol. 24, no. 1, Apr. 2012, pp. 112-133.
Mistry, Zubin. "The Sexual Shame of the Chaste: 'Abortion Miracles' in Early Medieval Saints' Lives." Gender & History, vol. 25, no. 3, Nov. 2013, pp. 607-620. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/1468-0424.12040.

Largier, Niklaus. "Praying by Numbers: An Essay on Medieval Aesthetics." Representations.104 (2008): 73-0_5. ProQuest. Web. 13 Dec. 2017.

In this Article Niklaus Largier argues that sainthood is focused on the animation and the phenomenology of sensation and emotion.’It is the saint in his acts of prayer-the core of his practice while standing on the pillar who produces the series of images that start to infect and occupy the world, turning him into the lens that makes the historical nature of his surroundings-not unlike the world in Hieronymus Bosch's famous painting the Temptation of Saint Anthony-emerge as the realm of abject pleasures, evil seduction, and empty promises.” This is a great argument because it shows in the picture the temptation that a women puts on saint Anthony. This picture provides us with a specific framework of a dramatic scene that shows peoples everyday struggles like temptation. Having a piece of art to portray an unspoken feeling is amazing. The feeling of being tempted is a pull in many directions. The urge to fulfill your temptation is hard especially when you have someone or something to egg you on.

Driscoll, Ellen. Hunger, Representation, and the Female Body: An Analysis of Intersecting Themes in Feminist Studies in Religion and the Psychology of Women. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 13.1 (1997): 91-104. JSTOR. Web. 28 Nov. 2017.

In this article Ellen Driscoll discusses the human body and connects it with feminist studies and stories. This connects with my topic of Mary of Egypt because Mary was seen as someone who used her body for evil and sins. Driscoll explains how the female body is looked at as an obsession and fascination within society even still today. This is highly important because people are more worried about there body and appearance than the things that matter the most like education and self worth. This articles connects to Mary lot Egypt because Mary does not see her self worth when she gives up her body to several men. Since Mary gave herself a bad reputation she made it okay for other men to treat her like a toy. I think that this article is very important because women today still do actions like this. Women give themselves away to people who don’t deserve it. In society today women are weak. I say this because urges and temptations are activity playing a big role in society today. Women in the medieval ages had this problem as well. They would starve themselves to make sure that they would get attention. The female body should be seen as sacred and be worshipped not used. Ellen Driscoll’s article has been cited a numerous amount of times and it has also been published in other articles. This makes her article a credible source.

Nair, Janaki. The Troubled Relationship of Feminism and History. Economic and Political Weekly 43.43 (2008): 57-65. JSTOR. Web. 28 Nov. 2017.

In this article Janaki explains how feminist history is lost in with other history. This article explains how feminism is connected with desire to transform gender perspective. Nair focusses in on women in India. In the article she explains how in India the women are stuck in the colonial period of time. To further explain this means that the women in India aren’t allowed to have a voice. The men are the dominant part of the relationship and control them. Women in India are trying to break this because they want to have a voice in society. Feminists want to show others how important it is to stand up for what you believe in even if it does cause problems. Janaki has published many articles and books about women and the importance of there roles in history. I think that this makes her a credible source.

Argument Against a scholarly article

Weissenberg, Marita. "Generations of Men and Masculinity in Two Late-Medieval Biographies of Saints." Gender & History, vol. 27, no. 3, Nov. 2015, pp. 669-683. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/1468-0424.12156.

In this article by Marita Weissenberg, she argues that boy should be raised to have a mindset that all men are above women. I disagree with this because it goes against everything that I researched. From men thinking that they can control a women for her body to men thinking that they control all there actions. Men were told to show there powerfulness but they weren’t shown there weakness to temptation. By not showing this action is were I disagree the most. This makes women look more weak than men and it also portrays women to be the only ones with temptations. By exposing mens weakness it allows women to be seen differently and not judged for there actions as much. Men usually have a voice but women aren’t shown to express there feelings which is wrong because there knowledge can be just as powerful as men. This article has been cited many times and published several as well so this tells me that it is a credible source.