This article adds to our understanding of late medieval women's religious writing by examining the role of the Virgin Mary in Mechthild of Magdeburg's thirteenth-century mystical text The Flowing Light of the Godhead (Das fließende Licht der Gottheit). The Virgin Mary was ubiquitous in late medieval religious writing, but she played different roles and modeled different ways of life, reflecting the particular aims of individual authors. In Mechthild's text, Mary is depicted as a spiritual teacher who actively draws the narrator into higher forms of the mystical life. Mechthild also portrays the Virgin in several traditional roles, adapting each of these roles to support her particular vision of the mystical life. Mary thus functions as a model for religious experience in The Flowing Light, while also authorizing and sanctioning Mechthild's contemplative ideals.