“For two thousand years, Marie Madeleine has been present at Sainte Baume”

“For two thousand years, Marie Madeleine has been present at Sainte Baume”

Who is Mary Magdalene for you?

At the same time, the forgiven sinner of the Gospel of Luke, Mary of Bethany and Mary of Magdala. And even if it is not the same woman, her character is magnificent: first witness to the resurrection of Christ, first of the Apostles! This forgiven sinner is the heart of the Gospel! And we understand that the Dominicans took it as a model, our order being that of Mercy.

What are the links between your order and the saint?

She is our secondary patroness after the Virgin Mary. In 1294, the Count of Provence, wishing to relaunch the pilgrimage to Mary Magdalene, had a basilica built at Saint-Maximin and asked the Dominicans to settle there, as at Sainte-Baume. Having gone to look for the relics of Mary Magdalene, the monks of Vézelay did not find everything. A hidden tomb revealed, in 1279, the skull of Marie Madeleine (today in the crypt of Saint-Maximin), as well as a tibia and a lock of hair presented to the cave. A prestigious pilgrimage, frequented by the kings of France, developed from the end of the 13th century. Arrested during the French Revolution, he resumed in 1851.

Is it possible that these relics are those of Mary Magdalene?

Elements point in this direction: Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer was a port; the skull found is that of a 50-year-old woman, of the Mediterranean type, and a long oral tradition indicates this. At the beginning of the 20th century, Father Vayssière said: “I don’t know if she came. What I am sure of today is that she is there.” For two thousand years people have come to venerate her in these places: yes, she is present.

Collected by Muriel Fauriat

In the footsteps of Mary Magdalene

Since April 9, Céline Anaya Gautier and Claire Colette have embarked on a ten-month walk, from France to Israel. Goals? Open a pilgrimage route in the footsteps of Mary Magdalene and question the role of women in the Church. Follow their journey here!

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