“Today’s visit to the Mary Magdalene grotto was surely one of the absolute highlights of our spiritual journey. The weather angel looked out for us as it was supposed to rain, but didn’t. We arrived in Plan d-Aups and walked through a mystic forest, that supposedly consists of trees up to 1000 years old, to the grotto. Numerous kinds, aristocrats and popes walked on this path in the past centuries, because La Baume („The cave“) has been a well-known pilgrimage place since the 5th century. On the walk to the grotto, one also passes a larger-than-life cruxification-scene, which looks quite spectacular.
Standing at the entrance to the grotto, one has an amazing view of scenery of Eastern Provence, a region most commonly associated with Saint Maximin. As legend has it, Mary Magdalene lived in the cave for 30 years, to atone for her sins. The interior of the grotto houses two memorial sites as well as beautiful glass windows which depict scenes of Mary Magdalene’s life. Many of us could feel her energy and were touched by it.
After leaving the cave we drove to the basilica in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baum, which is dedicated to Mary Magdalene and Maximinus who are depicted by the main entrance of the church. The church is one huge commemoration site and depicts Mary Magdalene in various ways through paintings, sculptures, at the altar on carved or painted medallions. Especially noteworthy ist he golden ‚rose altar’ that depicts a view scenes of Mary Magdalene’s life and the carved pulpit.
In the church crypt one can view a sarcophagus that supposedly houses the human remains of Mary Magdalene. In addition, her head is displayed in a glass container behind the iron bars of the altar. The glas container is decorated with a golden mask in front, which can be removed. The reliquary is being carried through town during its annual procession.
Today our spiritual journey is coming to an end and we are celebrating with an evening meditation and dinner. It was a particularly harmonic, intense and transformative time together, during which many new friendships developed and existing friendships were deepend. Each of the participants went through his/her own transformation process during the course of the journey and could proceed towards his/her own spiritual developmental path.
The last few days were very touching and moving for all of us, at the same time we had a lot of fun and laughed together. We enjoyed eachother’s company, the excellent French cuisine and the exquisite French wine. Spirituality has nothing to do with being detached or with askesis, but can take place during one’s life on earth.
PS: Tomorrow, Gerd and I are traveling to Languedoc in order to prepare our Spiritual Journey 2014. …”