We have been in Marseille in order to check everything on site for our Spiritual Journey this fall. Among other sights, we will visit with our group the church of St. Victor in Marseille, whose first bishop Lazarus was Mary Magdalene’s brother. In its crypt one can view a portrait of him that is etched into the stone, as well as a relief of his sister Mary Magdalene.

A distinctive feature of the crypt is certainly the black Madonna, who, in my opinion, depicts Mary Magdalene. In his book “Bloodline of The Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed” (1996) / “The Grail Enigma: The Hidden Heirs of Jesus and Mary Magdalene” (2008), Laurence Gardner states that the black Madonna had her roots in the goddess Isis and the pre-patriarchal Lilith. She presents the strength and equality of womanhood – a proud and assertive figure – which is a stark contrast to the obedient figure of the conventional white Madonna, portrayed in churches as the mother of Jesus.

Further, the author notes the following: “The women of the Dan lineage were Lay-Nazarenes. Mary Magdalene functioned as ‘Mirjam’ as the leader of the congregation and therefore was allowed to wear a black robe like the ones worn by the Nazarenes and the priestesses of Idis. Around the year 33 AD as part of the early worshipping of Mary, a cultic worshipping of the ‘black Madonna’ spread as well, which had its origin in the region of Ferrieres [France] (Ullstein Taschenbuchausgabe, page 131).

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