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Mary Magdalene & the Gnostic Gospels

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Author Topic: Mary Magdalene & the Gnostic Gospels  (Read 5357 times)
Mia Knight
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Posts: 510

« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2007, 11:30:31 pm »

At the Home of Simon the Pharisee
by Phippe de Champaigne (1602 - 1674)

We praise the Good Lord for the wondrous works he has performed in this world. His ways are truly mysterious, wonderful and awe-inspiring.

From the Acts of the Apostles, we believe she witnesses the Ascension of our Lord on Mount Olive, and is in the Cenacle at Pentecost. For the next twelve years, she accompanies and shares the lot of the Apostles. Then, during the persecution of the Christians, according to oral tradition, she leaves Palestine with Martha, Lazarus and several disciples. The little group of pilgrims crosses the Mediterranean in a small boat and lands in France. They come ashore in a port near Marseilles, and Lazarus remains there. Martha travels inland and her saintly remains are now in Tarascon. The family of Christ, on pilgrims' feet, has come to preach the Gospel of Peace!

Mary Magdalene adopts a contemplative life, and lives in peace in the hills of La Saint Baume, about 40 miles northeast of Marseille, where she spent the remainder of her life. Some of her companions were Maximin, Sidonius, Suzanna and Marcella, who helped to Christianize those parts of ancient France.

Mary Magdalene died around the year 75 and was buried by Maximin in the crypt of his chapel in Villalata, later renamed St. Maximin. Between the third and fourth century, her body was placed in a magnificent white marble tomb, and remained therein until the year 710. The Cassian Monks had founded their Monastery in St. Maximin in 415 and were the guardians of the Magdalene relics. But when the Saracens invaded France, destroying all Christian symbols, the Monks transferred the relics to a more modest tomb for safety reasons. Before fleeing, they completely buried the tomb and their chapel. When the invaders left in 973, nothing could be found of the relics, though many searches were made.

On December 9, 1279, Charles, nephew of King Louis IX of France (who was canonized as St. Louis) finally uncovered the remains of St. Mary Magdalene. The transfer of the remains was made to the crypt on May 5, 1280. On July 22, the Feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, her relics were taken in procession through the streets of St. Maximin to the joy of pilgrims. This was the beginning of hundreds of years and thousands of pilgrims paying homage to Saint Mary Magdalene, the beloved of Christ, apostle to the apostles, patron of lovers, and bearer of Peace.

Father Bernard, OP, describes this holy place:

"During the many years of my priesthood in the Dominican Order, my eyes have been able to contemplate the delicate head of Mary Magdalene which is visible behind the screen in the Crypt in St. Maximin. I am not speaking of a veil, or a statue, or some work of art, but the true head of Mary Magdalene. And each time I pray in the Crypt, I remember that this is the woman who shared the Ministry of Christ, who walked and talked with Him, heard Him preach, felt His touch, stirred His heart, and saw Him die. And above all, the one who first saw our Lord risen from the dead. Here, too, in the Crypt stands her white marble tomb, the tombs of her companions, and reliquaries containing other precious remains, including strands of her hair."
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