When you are traveling through Provence, you will see Mary Magdalene chapels quite frequently. There seems to exist a network of Mary Magdalene sanctuaries. However, this wasn’t always the case. If you think back to the Middle Ages, we associate a very dark time with it. Back then women didn’t have any rights (unfortunately, this fact still exists in various countries today), but instead were viewed as the property of their husbands or fathers. They weren’t allowed to participate in the public sphere and weren’t able to own any form of property. The only exceptions were the women in Southern France. They, just like their husbands, were able to inherit and own property. Already in the early beginnings of Christianity it was a custom to worship women in that region.
The region of Southern France was the center of a Mary Magdalene worship over the span of many centuries. Many chapels, wells and springs still carry her name to this day, but during the 12th century when the worshipping of Mary Magdalene was outlawed, some of these cult sites received new names. They were named “Notre Dame” and were dedicated to Mother Mary. Due to these events, the importance of Mary Magdalene was pushed to the background and was lost until recently, when it was unearthed again. It is time again! It is her time again!