12 Dec: Is That Mary Magdalene?

Inspired by a dream, Prince Charles of Provence ordered an excavation that uncovered a sarcophagus believed to contain the remains of Mary Magdalene on 12th December, 1279. 

The evidence presented included a papyrus note, a sweet rose fragrance filling the air, a wax-covered tablet proclaiming Mary’s identity, and even a piece of skin where Jesus supposedly touched her after his resurrection. 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly investigate how and why Mary may have ended up in France in the first place; recall the bout of ‘Magdalene mania’ that gripped the mediaeval world; and explain why, for centuries, people said she was a sex worker… 

Further Reading:

• ‘How Early Church Leaders Downplayed Mary Magdalene’s Influence’ (HISTORY, 2019): https://www.history.com/news/mary-magdalene-jesus-wife-prostitute-saint

• ‘The Skull and Bones of Mary Magdalene’ (Atlas Obscura, 2013): https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/marys-house-in-provence

• ‘Relics of St. Mary Magdalene in the Basilica of Saint-Maximin-la-Saint-Baume, France’ (Pierre Repooc Productions, 2017):