Have you ever thought about the fact that, no matter which artistic realization of a pieta one looks at, Mother Mary and Jesus are portrayed close in age? Do artists not value mothers or older women and instead want to portray younger women? Do those sculptures possibly portray Jesus’ wife Mary Magdalene instead of his mother? Did the artists back in the day know the truth about Mary Magdalene’s role in his life and pass on the information to their students? Or did the younger artists never question who they were portraying in actuality?

On my travels through Provence, I often ask myself these questions, knowing that Mary Magdalene was worshipped as the wife of Jesus throughout southern France for 1200 years. The roman church was clearly not thrilled by this and tried to fight this belief. The knowledge of Jesus’ marriage and his bloodline seemed too dangerous and the church made sure that the believers would worship his mother instead of his wife. Because of that reason, all the memorials dedicated to Mary Magdalene were transformed into places of worship for Mary, e.g. the Notre-Dame churches in France and Central Europe.

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