A lot of people are of the opinion that Mary Magadalene’s place of birth was Magdala. However, her name has nothing to do with an unknown city in Galilaae, which did not even exist at the time. The name Magdalene or Magdala derives from the hebrew “migdal” (Tower) and could mean that she was the owner of a tower or a castle. Since women named Maria (or Mirjam) were not allowed to possess property (women with this name were pointed to a ministry function within a spiritual community at that time), this statement cannot be verified. The American religious scholar Margaret Starbird is of the opinion that the word “Magdala”, which one can also translate as “higher, big, magnificent”, referred to Magdalene’s status as Jesus’ wife. She is convinced that the name Mary Magdalene actually means “Mary, the Great”. In Notre Dame de Beauregard, a little mountain church in Provence, I have discovered a beautiful depiction of Mary Magdalene, which I wanted to share with you below.

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