I spent the afternoon in the church of Santa Trinita pretending to be a middle-aged English woman with a guilty secret lodged in her breast. Would all those sacred images have thawed her brittle crust and inspired in her a longing to let out the truth? The wooden Magdalene might have shaken her. The idea of Magdalene with the vessel of consecrated oil is fascinating: it's a metaphor perhaps of the female's power to heal, an emblem of her sexuality and its powers of replenishment and protection, though the Church would not see it quite that way. And despite her wizened corroded appearance the Magdalene in Santa Trinita still has her healing balm.