Follow-up on Mary Magdalene

The Follow-up to the Section on Mary Magdalene in thePaper What You May Not Know About Joseph of Arimathea

Copyright 2021 by Joan Berry

          Mary Magdalene’s remains (relics) are in France at the Shrine of the Basilica of St. Maximin-la-St. Bauma. Charles II, during his reign as King, had a small church built to hold the remains of Mary in its crept. The site was excavated in 1279 CE where her marble sarcophagus was discovered. A tress of dark brown hair was found with her skull. DNA tests in recent years determined that she was Jewish and had Mediterranean ancestry. According to French records, Mary was preaching there as late as 47 CE and was housed in one of the commonly used cave-house communities mainly occupied by widowed and single women.

          Regarding her remains (relics), her skull was missing the mandible. However, Pope Boniface VIII recovered it and the skull was completed. That cannot be said about the rest of the skeleton because sections of it were sent as relics to various Catholic churches. One church claims to have one of her hands, another claims to have one of her feet, and so on. Today, some of the bones remain in addition to the skull housed in the enormous Gothic basilica in France. There, the bones such as the tibia are displayed in a glass bulletproof -reliquary.

          The skull is protected in another bulletproof-glass reliquary where the skull is encased by gold adornments. The skull and tibia are paraded once a year through the city. The statuary of Mary is dressed in the royal of blue and red.