Matthew 26:13

Verily I say unto you, Wherever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, which this woman has done, be told for a memorial of her.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Ambros. in Luc. 7, 37: It is possible therefore that they were different persons, and so all appearance of contradiction between the Evangelists is removed. Or it is possible that it was the same woman at two different times and two different stages of desert; first while yet a sinner, afterwards more advanced. ...
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
De Cons. Ev., ii, 79: Though the action described in Luke is the same as that described here, and the name of him with whom the Lord supped is the same, for Luke also names Simon; yet because it is not contrary to either nature or custom for two men to bear the same name, it is more probable that this was another Simon, not the leper, in whose house in Bethany these things were done. I would only suppose that the woman who on that occasion came near to Jesus’ feet, and this woman, were not two different persons, but that the same Mary did this twice. The first time is that narrated by Luke; for John mentions it in praise of Mary before Christ’s coming to Bethany, “It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.” Mary therefore had done this before. That she did afterwards in Bethany is distinct from Luke's account, but is the same event that is recorded by all three, John, Matthew, and Mark. That Matthew and Mark s...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
That also which she had done. The exploits of kings and emperors are no longer remembered. The actions of those who have built cities, raised fortresses, carried on wars, and erected trophies of their victories; who have subdued nations, dictated laws to thousands, and raised statues to their own honour, have passed into oblivion; and many of their names are long ago forgotten. But when a poor simple woman, in the house of a leper, in the presence of twelve men, pours out her ointment; her good work is rehearsed after the lapse of so many ages, in every part of the habitable globe. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxxi.) ...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Hom. in Ev., xxxiii, 1: Or, we may think that this is the same woman whom Luke calls a “sinner,” and John names Mary.
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AD 420
Not that he was a leper yet, but having been so, and having been healed by the Saviour, be retained the appellation to show forth the power of Him who healed him. Another Evangelist instead of ‘alabastruin’ has ‘nardum pisticam,’ that is, genuine, unadulterated. For let no one think that she who anointed His head and she who anointed His feet were one and the same; for the latter washed His feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair, and is plainly said to have been a harlot. But of this woman nothing of this kind is recorded, and indeed a harlot could not have at once been made deserving of the Lord’s head. I know that some raise a cavil here, because John says that Judas alone was grieved because he had the bag, and was a thief from the beginning; but Matthew, that all the disciples were sorrowful. These know not the figuresyllepsis, by which one name is put for many, and many for one; as Paul in the Epistle to the Hebrews says, “They were sawn asunder,” when it is thought tha...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The disciples had heard their Master say, “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice,” wherefore they thought among themselves, If He accepts not burnt-offerings, much less will He the application of such ointment as this. And He says not merely, “She hath wrought a good work,” but says first, “Why trouble ye the woman?” to teach us that every good act that is wrought by any, even though it lack somewhat of exact propriety, yet we ought to receive, cherish, and cultivate it, and not to require strict correctness in a beginner. If He had been asked before this was done by the woman, He would not have directed its doing; but when it was done, the rebuke of the disciples had no longer any place, and He Himself to guard the woman from importunate attacks speaks these things for her comfort. That this mention of His death and burial might not cause her to despond, He comforts her by what follows, “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever”. Behold the accomplishment of this saying; to whatsoever part o...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Do you see how again He declares beforehand the going forth unto the Gentiles, in this way also consoling them for His death, if after the cross His power was so to shine forth, that the gospel should be spread abroad in every part of the earth. Who then is so wretched as to set his face against so much truth? For lo! What He said has come to pass, and to whatever part of the earth you may go, you will see her celebrated. And yet neither was the person that did it distinguished, nor had what was done many witnesses, neither was it in a theatre, but in a house, that it took place, and this a house of some leper, the disciples only being present. Who then proclaimed it, and caused it to be spread abroad? It was the power of Him who is speaking these words. And while of countless kings and generals the noble exploits even of those whose memorials remain have sunk into silence; and having overthrown cities, and encompassed them with walls, and set up trophies, and enslaved many na...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
“Alabaster” is a kind of marble, white but marked with veins of different colours, which was in use for vessels to hold ointment, because it was said top reserve it from corruption. From the Greek, &#960;&#953;&#963;&#964;&#953;&#962;,faith, whence ‘pisticus,’ faithful. For this ointment was pure, unadulterated. That is, To whatsoever place throughout the whole world the Church shall be propagated, there this also that she hath done shall be told. That also that is added signifies, that as Judas by his reproof of her has earned evil character of treachery, so has she also earned the glory of pious devotedness. ...
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Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
He clearly shows that the Apostles had uttered something harsh against her, when He says, “Why trouble ye the woman?” And beautifully He adds, “She hath wroughta good work in me;” as much as to say, It is not a waste of ointment, as yesay, but a good work, that is, a service of piety and devotion. “For the poor ye have ever with you.” The Lord shows in these words as of set purpose, that they were not to be blamed who ministered of their substance to Him while He dwelt in a mortal body; forasmuch as the poor were ever in the Church, to whom the believers might do good whensoever they would, but He would abide in the body with them but a very short time. Whence it follows, “But me ye shall not have always.”. Or, it is to be explained by supposing this spoken to Judas only; and He said not, Ye have not, but “Ye shall not have,” because this was spoken in the person of Judas to all his followers. And He says, “Not always,” though they have it at no time, because the wicked seem to have Ch...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. He teaches us that the woman did this by some divine inspiration, prefiguring His death and the burial of His Body. For the Lord would not have allowed Himself to be anointed with myrrh if it did not reveal a mystery. Being God, He foretold what would be, that the deed which the woman did would be told everywhere in praise of her. Behold God’s love for mankind, how He rewards the woman with a great gift; for He causes her memorial to be kept universally, for as long as His Gospel endures. How did the myrrh symbolize His burial? It was the practice among the Jews to prepare bodies for burial by anointing them with myrrh, as the Egyptians did, to prevent decay and foul odor. He is saying, "By pouring the myrrh the woman shows that My Body will be buried." He said all these things to shame and reprove Judas by whom He would be betrayed and handed over for burial. Understand it also in a spiritual sense: the leper is the Gentile people, the sinful woman is the congregation and the Church...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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