June 2018

Discovering Mary Magdalene

Another secret to unveil?

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

There is an old legend about Mary Magdalene. In Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer I come into contact with it. Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, an ancient town in the marshes of the Camargue, where the Rhône River meets the Mediterranean Sea, is named for two Marys — in French, Ste. Marie Jacobé and Ste. Marie Salomé — who are closely linked to Jesus in the gospels. The three saints Mary Magdalene, Mary Salome and Mary of Clopas are believed to be the women who were the first witnesses to the empty tomb at the resurrection of Jesus. After the Crucifixion of Jesus, the Marys were said to set sail from Alexandria, Egypt with their uncle Joseph of Arimathea. According to a longstanding French legend, they either sailed to or were cast adrift – arriving off the coast of what is now France. Together with them there was a group of other people with interesting names: Lazarus and his sister Martha and a woman named Mary (Maria Magdalena) and Sara, the Egyptian servant.

At the end of may there are big gatherings from the tribes of the Roma, Manouches, Sinti and Jenische. They all worship their patroness, the black Sara – Wikipedia.

It’s important to notice that there is a woman – most likely Mary Magdalene – who arrived at the shores of Europe. There have been many speculations about the connection of this former prostitute to the Christian Saviour Jeshua of Nazareth. Some belief that she’s been the wife of Jesus. Others even go further in suggesting children of the holy couple who have been raised in Europe. Mary Magdalene was said to have listened and understood Jesus on a very deep level. He seems to have told her a wisdom that even his closest disciples could not understand. In 2018 a movie about her life came into the cinemas.

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The relics of Mary Magdalene

Driving along the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea in eastern direction I find a small village in the mountains of the “Massif de Saint-Baume”. Saint-Maxime was growing in the 1980s in size. There is the old town with shops, markets, restaurants, bars and cafés, opposite the harbour. In the einen bemerkenswerten Bevölkerungszuwachs verzeichnen. In the basilica there is a tomb with the bones of Mary Magdalene. The skull is protected behind an iron gate but visitors have access to the crypt.

With modern computers forensic scientist have been able to reconstruct the face of the skull.

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The Gospel of Mary

Wikimedia

The Gospel of Mary is an apocryphal book discovered in 1896 in a 5th-century papyrus codex written in Sahidic Coptic. The codex Papyrus Berolinensis 8502 was purchased in Cairo by German scholar Karl Reinhardt. Most scholars agree that the original gospel was written in Greek sometime during the 2nd century. However, Hollis Professor of Divinity Karen King at Harvard Divinity School suggests that it was written during the time of Christ – Wikipedia.

Jean-Yves-Leloup wrote a book called “The Gospel of Mary Magdalene”. There is a copy of the manuscript together with an interpretation from his side. On [Page 17] it says:

Peter said to Mary, “Sister, we know that the Savior loved you more than the rest of the women. Tell us the words of the Savior which you remember—which you know (but) we do not, nor have we heard them.”

[…]

(Mary) said, “I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to him, “Lord, I saw you today in a vision.” He answered and said to me: “Blessed are you, that you did not waver at the sight of me. For where the mind is, there is the treasure.” I said to him, “So now, Lord, does a person who sees a vision see it the soul through the spirit?”

[…]

Peter: “Did he then speak secretly with a woman, in preference to us, and not openly? Are we to turn back and all listen to her? Did he prefer her to us?”

There is a wisdom mentioned here that is not talked about in the bible. What was the language between Jesus and Mary? What kind of teachings did she receive? What’s the effect of hearing it? Why did the Church had to hide these texts? Is there an intention to create a certain type of world view? Is it all about power?

It’s a surprise for me that the presence of a female spirituality has survived in the South of Europe. It’s not my mind that’s leading me on from now but my heart that is longing for fulfilment.