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On the feast of the Holy Cross in about ad 381, Mary joined the crowd at the door of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. But an invisible force prevented her from entering. She was suddenly filled with remorse and began to weep, because for the past seventeen years she had been a prostitute. The following morning she discovered that she was able to enter and venerate the cross. At once she fled to the Jordanian desert to do penance for her sins, where she lived without human contact for forty-nine years sustained by her new faith in Jesus.